During the quieter moments on our French road trip, whilst lounging by the pool or drifting away momentarily from one of the FOUR books I managed to read whilst we were away, I (foolishly) assumed that the rest of the school holidays would be as easy. That the boys would continue to rub along happily together, brothers in arms roaming freely in the sunshine playing for hours with sticks and shells and boardgames.
Fast-forward three weeks and the reality is a little different. Combining work and school holidays with no formal child care is a juggling act that we're getting better at trying to eek out 15 hours a week for work does breed boy boredom and on occasion tempers start to fray. Play wrestling contests turn into grudge matches and sticky fingers get left everywhere.
Don't get me wrong; it's not terrible. I love the extra time I have with my boys during the summer holidays and its much easier to get work done with them around now they're that little bit older. I love that they can relax and just be and I love the Lego creations scattered all over the house. I am even learning to look fondly on the nerf gun bullets I find in every corner because that means they're having non-screen related fun. And with an 8 and 10 year old, that my friends, is classified as WINNING!
But after a series of unstructured, unplanned and largely spend-free days at home or at the park, the writing is on the wall and I realise that for the rest of the holidays, we must step it up a little.
On my list so far is:
- arts & crafts day
- going for a bike ride and a picnic
- swimming at the lido
- sleeping overnight in the campervan
- cooking a family dinner
- baking biscuits
- taking the bus instead of the car to town
- drawing a map of our house
- setting a treasure hunt
- having a friend for a sleepover
Obviously we won't get through all of that in one week - I have to work as well - but we can combine several activities on the list into one 24-hours to experience THE uber-summer holiday day I'm sure...