As they draw to their protracted conclusion I can finally admit that they nearly broke me. I’ve survived, but only just. Had it not been for a long weekend of respite I quite possibly would have fallen at the final hurdle.
Good riddance Summer holidays, and take your pesky school kids with you!
It’s not been without it’s casualties. I’ve lost Sonny to Nursery for three mornings a week, and the Park may take a little time to recover its magic, but as I hear all the horror stories of buying school uniforms and the GCSE debacle, a smug warm feeling transcends my body … it’s term time, children will be returned to their pens, holiday activities can be deleted from the museum blackboards, and the serenity of a Tuesday morning at the Art Gallery will once again calm our nerves.
We’ve had a lot of help along the way. Ben brought a few weeks of entertainment for us all, along with the Olympics, ice-creams, and Man vs. Food(?)
Rainy Day games (or just games as they soon became known) were helpfully provided by various sites including the wonderful The Imagination Tree.
In order to selfishly enjoy the park it became our breakfast retreat. We started with a shop bought croissant and by late August it involved bowls, spoons, and had we found an electric point quite possibly a toaster. I’m still not sure why we attracted such strange looks from the dog walkers, after all, it wasn’t us who were walking round with poo in a bag?
I’ve only threatened to get a full-time job twice, thrice, ok, thrice out loud, and if you exclude mine then the tantrums have never gone beyond manageable.
Respite came in the form of a week on my own with Janet taking the boys up to Edinburgh to see their Auntie Jackie and Ben. It very nearly didn’t happen, and almost took me over the edge, but despite conjunctivitis and fevers they did make it up for a long weekend, which was just enough for me to breath a little deeper, sleep, and do all the things toddlers ensure are an impossibility.
I read a Saturday paper from cover to cover, including supplements! Not once was I interrupted by a young head breaking through the news, nor did I look for the sports section only to find it scrunched up as an improvised football. I ate a Bacon sandwich without losing the customary half to the theiving hands of a toddler. I woke … and went back to bed. I watched football; I even watched the vidi-printer spew out Scottish Third Division results. For anyone thinking about having a child enjoy these moments, you’ll never appreciate their unadulterated joy until it’s too late!
And as normality returns, I feel liberated, refreshed, and itching to re-discover what made me enjoy being a stay at home dad in the first place.
This week we discussed Woolly Mammoths. I suggested we might find one at the zoo. Sonny rolled his eyes. I guess it really is time to pass his educational baton on to his wonderful new Nursery.
This also provides me with the full attention needed to teach Luca some fundamental safety tips. Why did Luca cross the road? It’s not a joke, seriously, why does he insist on running across roads? My only explanation thus far is because the alternative is to share a pavement with his brother? And you never know, with my undivided attention we may even advance his vocabulary beyond ‘da’.
And so it all begins again. Goodbye summer holidays, you’ll not be missed, and hello to my old friends fun and adventure, we’ve missed you … a lot!