We’ve hit half term. I make that sound as though it was an easy thing to do, like I sprinted to the end of the week and gave it a ‘high five’.
We crawled there, dragging each other forward and holding each other back in equal measure. All the while, getting increasingly tetchy and irrational, full of whinges and tuts about uniform (‘WHERE IS IT?’) packed lunches (‘I physically can’t make hot toast with unmelted butter that will still be exactly the same in 5 hours time…’) planning (‘Who has stuck Frozen stickers to Mummy’s planner? No, I didn’t do it myself and for the last time – I do not want to build a snowman!’) and marking (‘Put it down. Don’t mix the papers up. Leave it. No… DON’T DRAW ON IT!)
And then it was Friday. Lovely, lovely Friday.
I resolved to enjoy the lack of routine and appreciate time with the children in the best way possible: being patient, fun, listening, reasoning, not shouting (shouty mum has been in permanent residence this week)
On Saturday morning, after breaking every single one of those resolutions, I sat down with the children (2 oldest) and got them to make a list of what they wanted to do in their week off. After explaining that we couldn’t go to France, Disney World or do anything that involved riding dolphins, my eldest set about the task. Lots of pen chewing and face screwing later he produced his list. My heart sank.
He’d written a list of rules ‘no snatching, no being silly, no jumping on the sofa…’ it went on. It was supposed to be a wish list of things they wanted to do and what he ended up doing was giving me a list of his worst crimes (well not his worst, but still). I screwed up the list and got a fresh piece of paper.
‘Right, grumpy, let’s do another one – this time, it’s a This time next week list…’
My friend Laura (who I went to uni with and I’ve known for well over 10 years now) writes The Other Field and recently posted This time next year… I still haven’t sent her mine, I will, when I’ve figured out what will be on it that doesn’t involve wine or sleep. So we adapted it. We sat, the 3 of us and wrote our list. Two year old – massively confused about the concept but she eventually contributed that she would like to have been somewhere with swings and ride on a caterpillar with me (I know, good luck me)
It was altogether more fun and got rid of all the horrid shouty mum phrases that appeared on the first one.
After I’d helped with the family list I thought about making one for myself:
This time next week…
- I will have written something every day, even if it’s something short.
- I will have laughed until I am at risk of – a) dying b) pelvic floor muscles giving in c) until tea comes out of my nose – at least 4 times.
- I will have done my work for school EARLY so it is not eating me up all week…
- I will have spoken to, seen or even better have had a drink with those friends who drag me through the long days at work and listen to my many moans.
- I will have had some time off with my husband.
- I will have complimented his tiling skills with devoted sincerity.
- I will have had 2 precious days with my parents: taking photos, drinking tea and consuming the Yorkshire wit, sense and steadiness they always seem to bring.
- I will not have spent the week criticising the job I do and appreciate I do the best I can – I am my own worst enemy!
- I will have read something other than students’ essays and exercise books.
- I will let them get the Play Doh out… once.
Wish me luck!