That’s how long I have been alone with my children sans kindergarten. It’s been a while. Of course we were together every day when we were in the U.K., but there were always other people about and a back garden to safely play in. I don’t mind telling you that I’m exhausted! Now I know if the children didn’t attend nursery at all it would be different from the past three days, but I wanted to make our days fun. It started off with the nursery trip. Once a year at around this time, they go on a day trip without the parents, just the staff. Now this would be fine, except they don’t tell the parents where the trip will take them too. They used to, but then the parents used to turn up with their younger children and it used to make the whole thing too crowded, so they decided not to tell the parents. My mind boggles why I’m (what seems to be) the only mother that finds this dubious. In light of recent events especially..what if there were another big earthquake? A typhoon? An accident that meant I couldn’t get back to the nursery to pick them up? Who would I call? Is it right for me not to know where my 3 and 5 year olds are? Of course the answer to the last question is a resounding NO (at least in my head anyway). My mind wanders back to the article I read in a parenting magazine about a French kindergarten who took the children on an overnight trip to London…Well, at least those parents knew where their child was…
So I explained to a disappointed H that she wouldn’t be going on the trip again this year, but that we would have a “fun” day out instead. I had planned to make a packed lunch to take with us, but in the end I didn’t have enough stuff in the fridge/freezer, so I decided not to beat myself up about it (there’s a lot of self-forgiveness going on in my life right now) and buy something at the supermarket which just so happens to be in the same building as the indoor play area. We left the house at about ten o’clock, and when we got there about thirty minutes later, the car park was 9 floors full and I had to drive all the way up to the roof…this place opens at 10…The play area has time slots of about an hour and a half to two hours during weekdays. I think it’s an hour at the weekend, but I never dare go then. I am very for this. First of all, it allows everyone to get a fair playing time. Secondly it means I can blame someone else when my children cry, scream, beg and moan about not wanting to leave.
We arrived towards the tail end of one play session, which meant we had thirty minutes playing time. Lots of time for bouncing, sliding, ball-pooling and hamster ball rolling. When the whistle was blown, the children came out easily when I told them we would come back after lunch. We went downstairs, had our ready made, lazy Mum lunch, then popped into the children’s library (also in the same building), where L chose a Japanese book for Daddy about scabs…yes, scabs.., and a few more normal English books. Then more playtime followed by some frozen yoghurt at Yogen Fruez. I have been trying to interact more with the children lately, and find it’s easier to do it while we’re out. I think I can relax more than when I am at home and thinking about how many things need to be done, etc. So we sat in the pretend house, had fake tea and picnic together and generally had a brilliant time. They hardly even fussed about leaving either. Thursday night I was worn out, but I still managed to get out to the gym. I hadn’t been since the previous Saturday. I really hadn’t been all that bothered, but the drive out, the exercise and the alone time was really important to me after having such an action-packed day.
Friday was an inside day pretty much. We popped out late morning to go shopping for baking supplies! I bought a whole load of stuff with a list which didn’t really get properly thought out but which contained a lot of things I’d said, “aw, I wish I had_____” about during the week. Then we baked…From 1p.m. until 5p.m. I was in the kitchen. I hadn’t even realised it until my back started to hurt. That morning I hadn’t thought I’d be able to last the day, but afternoon brought a new wave of energy for some reason. H, L and I baked brownies, Irish soda bread and leek, potato and bacon bake. The brownies were soft in the middle. I’m not really sure what happened there..but they are yummy all the same, although a bit too sweet for my liking. H couldn’t finish hers. L could of course. He’s a glutton for the sweet stuff. Y came home early (ish), and we had a video night. H chose A Bug’s Life, which we sat and watched while L fell asleep on the floor and I fell asleep on the sofa. I’m fairly sure Y was asleep too. The only person awake through it all was H. And today she has been a TERROR. She was up at seven, even after not going to sleep until about ten…just a terror. Y reminded me last night that he was going to be helping MIL with her work BBQ today, seeing as she had asked people to arrive while she was still going to be at the office…smart…Y was supposed to go and “help” from 11 – 2 This ended up being 10:30-4 which was the time it took me to plan and prep two lessons, bake bread rolls, do laundry, help H make stuff/answer general questions about the world and it’s workings and cook our lunch. We nipped out for a bit after Jehovah’s Witnesses trying to collar us and after I caught a neighbour’s grandson trying to beat the hell out of my satsuma tree with a plastic bottle…I needed to get away from the madness that is our street at the weekend.
Just playing at the park for half an hour was a welcome break from staying inside. It really blew the cobwebs off. When I came back, Y had vacuumed, washed up and wiped down the kitchen floor (he proudly told me all of this). I know he was feeling guilty for coming home two hours later than planned without a phone call..well, not guilty, maybe a bit scared of my wrath…It’s been a great three days just me and the children, but it’s so tiring. It was tiring when they were small pre-nursery, but the energy I need with them now? Loads….Tomorrow I have to work. Part of me needs the break. And Monday? LOVE it!