Report from the front line: 1st week of summer hols

Caffeine intake today: 5 cups of coffee. But I don’t feel bad about it because this week I watched ‘Room 101 – Extra Storage’  on BBC iPlayer and Heston Bluminthal (series 5: episode 4, if you’re interested) said he has 15, and sometimes 20 cups of tea a day – shiver me timbers Heston! And I thought I had caffeine issues! I feel cleansed just from hearing this confession. Heston, I thank you, easiest detox ever.

So, I have completed the first week of my first summer holidays with the children – hurray for me! Ok, I can feel your eyes rolling, ‘big deal’ is what you’re all thinking, ‘get over it, most of us have to do it’. But in my defence Ben was in nursery and preschool in previous years, so this 6 weeks together 24/7 with no breaks, is all new to me.

Here’s my report to date…

Basic stats
– Number of arguments between Ben and Edi: 15
– Number of times I’ve heard Ben say “come here Edi” shortly followed by Edi shouting  “Ow!”: 15
– Number of times Edi has smacked Ben in the face in revenge: 15
– Number of times they’ve both come running to me to tell on the other one: 15
– Number of times I’ve rolled my eyes and wished I could leave: 15

On this note, I have been a bit stupid to only just realise that Ben and Edi don’t ordinarily spend this much time together, therefore they’ve had to adjust to being in each other’s company a lot more than usual. It’s been a journey of screams, shouts, crying, stamping of feet, tantrums and teasing – and that’s just been me. Anyway, back to the stats…

– Number of times I’ve heard “I’m hungry”: 60
– Number of times Ben has whinged this week: 56 (not always corresponding with “I’m hungry”, sometimes it’s because he can’t get dressed, or he can’t put his shoes on, or he can’t think of what to draw, or I gave him the wrong cone for his ice cream, or I gave him cheese on his plate… the list is extensive)
– Number of balloon pumps that have been shoved up a 5 year old’s nose and pumped: 1
– Number of times I’ve had air pumped in my face by a bogie covered balloon pump: 6
– Number of confiscated balloon pumps: 1
– Number of poos done on the floor of the greenhouse by a two year old: 1
– Number of poos done by two year old in the greenhouse that have been prodded with a stick by a five year old: 1
– Number of times I’ve said “don’t poke Edi’s poo with a stick Ben, it’s not nice”: 1
– Number of times I want to poop-a-scoop my toddler’s prodded poo from the greenhouse again: 0
– Number of times I’ve been to Tesco to stock up on snack food: 3 (in addition to my weekly shop)
– Number of short story competitions I’ve decided to enter that end in a week and a bit’s time: 2
– Number of short stories written: 0
– Number of bottles of wine opened: 2, I’m finishing the second tonight (normally I don’t drink during the week, this is a massive increase for me)
– Number of ice creams consumed by Edi, Ben and myself: 9 (again, a massive increase)


Me, post greenhouse poop-a-scoop


Have I stuck to the summer holiday plan? (click here for incredibly interesting background on the plan)
Well, as it happens, yes I have (written with smug feeling in finger tips and a jaunty sway to my head). And has is worked? Yep! T’is a wonderful and brilliant thing. Ben loves it, I love it, Edi has no clue about any of it but goes along with it happily. Who knew that I am an inner planner and spreadsheet geek?
Because of the plan, this week we’ve been berry picking, attended a family mini dig archaeology thing at our local museum, done some fossil rubbing, seen both sets of grandparents and set up a tent in the back garden pretending to be explorers (Ben wants to sleep in it one night, but I’m reticent because our garden is sloped and I’m concerned we will wake at 2am in a crumpled heap at the bottom being nibbled on by hedgehogs, foxes and badgers. We’d be an all you can eat buffet for the carnivorous night time creatures.)

Have I used the activity bowl?
Yes. It turns out I bloomin’ love a good activities bowl! The plan doesn’t account for every hour of the day and when Edi is asleep I’ve found the bowl a life saver. Ben eagerly dips his hand in it, pulls out a folded piece of paper and opens it with delight to find out what activity he can do (by the way, they’re all FREE activities, which makes them even better). We’ve baked cakes, made a book, made a rocket from loo rolls and a cap off a fabric conditioner bottle (it looks way too much like a penis to display it), gone on a bug hunt in the back garden and watched a movie (at home, I haven’t left Edi and taken the monitor down to the local Vue).

Has the TV been on?
Yes. I’m not a member of the Von Trap family, I’m fallible human being and I have needs, such as writing, finishing a cup of coffee and sitting down. Gotta love Cbeebies.

Parental quote of the week: Me to Ben “If I can’t see it, it’s not happening”

Things I have loved about the summer hols so far:
– The mornings are much more relaxed and happier. I like not having to rush.
– Ben and I get a bit more one-on-one time together. I hadn’t realised how little of it we’ve had since he started school.
– Due to the more relaxed mornings I’ve had time to wash my hair more than once a week. It’s bliss to take my hairband out and my see hair fall to my shoulders rather than staying in its previous position due to dirt and grease.

Things I don’t like about the summer hols:
– I have very little time to write, the kids aren’t good at letting me sit, type at the lap top and ignore them. Some would say that’s normal, I say they’re high maintenance, and I’m too tired to write in the evenings so it’s not happening as much as I would like. I’m going to have to find a way to make it work other wise I think I’m going to go bonkers without being able to have a good old writing session. Hmm, maybe I’m the high maintenance one? Nah.
– I’m reminded every day of how little patience I have, which sometimes upsets me because it’s tell tale sign of how naturally un-maternal I am.
– The afternoons can be reeeeeeeeeally long before Dan gets home. Like, sooooooooo looooooong!

Some of the pointless thoughts that have bewildered me this week:
I love the song “Can’t feel my face” by The Weeknd (not a typo), click here if you don’t know it, but why can’t the poor boy feel his face? Is he having a stroke? I would advise him to stay well away from this numbness-causing person.  This thought has not only slightly bewildered me but it has also made me realise I’m out of touch with the yoof of today and that I’m now properly middleaged.

Why did we buy fish as pets for the kids? I feed them, I clean them out, I burry them, I buy them, I burry them (did I already say that? Well it happens a lot). The kids do sod all. Give them their dues, they’re very young and I wasn’t expecting Victorian-esque child labour fish-looking-after graft and discipline, but I was hoping for at least the occasional feed or little glance at the fish from them. But nope, they might as well not be there, the kids couldn’t care less about the sodding fish. Also, I found out the other day they live for up to two years. Oh good (that’s code for “oh bum holes”).

Why can’t I dance anymore? Why do I now feel the need to click my fingers and simultaneously flop my head from side to side whilst smiling when I dance? I never used to do this so where has it come from? Is it age? Why have I started this cringy dance move and why can I no longer dance in any other way? (other than “The Farting Ballerina” which is a dance I made up years ago to entertain Ben and now I wish I had never started it, he still makes me perform pirouettes, plies etc. and do a fart sound mid ballet move. What was I thinking?)

Why do I only know the rude version of “Teddy Bears’ Picnic”?

Hope your summer holidays are going well.
Bea x

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