Friday, 30 August 2013

Might as well pour me in a blender..

As most of you won't need reminding, let me speak to the small minority who do not realise that UK children return to school in a few days after six glorious weeks of British Summer. Thankfully, this year I can actually refer to the sunshine and good weather because it was plentiful. Of course I imagine you're picturing children in gingham dresses running in slow motion through golden fields whilst perfectly posed Mothers, head to toe in Joules, sit beside wicker picnic baskets under an apple tree laughing with each other and devouring strawberries. Perhaps, for some, this was a reality. This reality is however short lived as we take a closure look at the scene; the children are running from each other, tears streaming from faces after wrestling violently amongst the wheat. The Mothers who were enjoying eating the children's left over strawberries are not laughing, they are gurning with the sort of smile that can only come from sitting under a wasps nest and having planted the tartan blanket onto a ant hill. In the distance ferocious barks are edging nearer as an angry farmer and his dogs want  to know who is destroying their crops. Happy days...

Highlights for Summer 2013 for me include a coach trip which broke down ensuring that a forty five minute journey took two hours and left us (and twenty toddlers) stuck at the edge of a very busy road, complete melt down from both children simultaneously in a library and not forgetting the memorable incident involving the dog kennel, two children, water and some poo. Please do not judge me, I love my children more than words can describe but I am really looking forward to school starting again. Perhaps you feel the same way as I do, and is there anything wrong with that? Can you honestly tell me that being in close proximity with anybody or anything for twenty four hours a day, seven days a week for six weeks that relationships would not become strained?

Yet on the other side of the charred toast, is the perfectly golden baked crust. Spreadable with mushy moments such as waking up to 'I love you Mummy, you're so nice', supporting your children to swim on their own, endless giggles from fun games and a fridge disguised as an art gallery. We've been lucky enough this year to camp most weekends, the four of us (and dog) squeezed into the VW enjoying the atmosphere that comes with attending festivals and have shared memories of ice-creams, dancing and laughing in the sunshine. So, it is with mixed feelings that I greet the start of another academic year. Come Tuesday my Son will start nursery and I will find myself with two hours spare to work on my career each day. Meanwhile, on the same day I will bid farewell to my daughter as she starts school for the first time. I have no doubt that my daughter will relish her time at school but six hours? Six hours five days a week?? That's a bit much is it not??? She is only four. With a heavy heart I have resigned to the following- I need a break from my children and this is normal and nothing to be ashamed of and also, despite needing a few hours to myself a couple of time a week, I am really really going to struggle to be apart from them for any longer than this.

So here is my mantra for the last three days- Forget the housework, the stresses, the gardening etc and just try to relish the last moments of enjoying each other's company. I am being brave and heading camping alone with the kids. It is with a heavy heart that I admit that no summer holiday will be like this one, for once they start school, is it just me or does it feel like you are loosing your child to the state, to society and to capitalism? Ok,I am getting a tad political now so I will leave you with this- Make the most of this weekend- together!