Yesterday was the first real day of the summer holidays and I had really high hopes.
Last year Emma wouldn’t walk anywhere at all, Greg couldn’t walk and I was in a horrible financial limbo between finishing my job after maternity leave and waiting to start my degree and get a maintenance loan. I was trying to pull back the spending but the kids didn’t entertain the idea of going anywhere free, what with the walking situation. If I remember correctly, it also rained.
This year I imagined it would be a breeze. I imagined I’d be experiencing some relaxing summer vibes every day, a bit like this:
But what actually happened today was I failed at everything I set out to do.
All I really wanted was to take both kids to the park down the road and let them run off some of their excess energy. I let the little one out of the buggy on sight of the park, which was a massive mistake.
Our little park, which is usually lovely and clean, was covered in broken glass and dog poo. They have to be the two worst things that you could stand in. I managed to avoid that fate, but in order to save Greg too I had to scoop him up and strap him back down.
He wasn’t too happy. Cue the full on tantrum.
So, onto the next park.
We call this Pancake Park because Emma once befriended a girl there who told us she ate pancakes every day. Pancake girl was highly competitive and everything Emma did, she claimed she could do better. This was at a time Emma shared these characteristics. We hoped this girl would teach Emma a lesson about how it’s not nice to make people feel bad by trying to beat them at everything.
It had the opposite effect.
Emma was completely enamoured with Pancake Girl and was amazed by her apparent skills. Parenting lesson learnt: don’t be too discreet.
We managed to get some swinging done. In fact, we managed to get Emma a lap of the park equipment at the beginning and end of our stay and let Greg run round on the field bit in the middle (we had him on a lead, if we let him go he’s the sort of baby who would get drunk on freedom and never come back).
Pancake Park is pretty far away and Emma still isn’t keen on walking, so whinging all the way home ensued. Especially as I had to nip to Spar on the way (this was a fail too, I wanted oven chips and their freezer was broken).
We arrived home sweaty and exhausted. At least the ordeal was over and I could put the boy to bed for a bit.
My trip to the park took about two hours extra than I had planned and brought no one any joy.
Other things you need to bear in mind for surviving the summer holidays are:
- Your floors will never be clean for more than 15 minutes at a time.
- You will not eat in peace, even if you feed the children first.
- You will not arrive anywhere at the time you expected.
- If your children are looking forward to something, unforeseen circumstances will ruin it.
- Someone will drop their ice cream.
- (It might land on your carpet.)
- You will plan something that sounds delightful, only to be met with a disappointed “Awwww!”
- You will need to go to bed at 7:00 too because you’ve tired yourself out tiring them out.
- Say goodbye to hobbies.
P.S. I’d love to hear ways you’ve had to lower your expectations for summer. Drop me a comment!