7 more school days until the end of term.
“Whoop whoop”, shriek the small things. “Oh, for the L o v e of G o d”, shriek I.
7 more school days until I lose my sanity to the unavoidable repeating of the same phrases over and over again, like some oversized demented parrot.
7 more school days until I morph into a human spider, scurrying to the glut of importunate demands thrown at me from every conceivable angle.
After the somewhat disastrous previous holidays back in May, which saw us on a one-way ticket to Meltdownville, I have decided to take a more proactive stance this time around.
I aim to prevent any displays of excited anger and avoid drawing the attention of the mordant masses by completely kowtowing to my little urchins in pursuit of The Easy Life. I have a solid vision of what I wish to accomplish: peace, harmony and general survival.
So, to ensure I don’t suffer at the hands of two small destructive gremlins and find myself strung to an oscillating ceiling fan, I launched myself into a Jacuzzi of Bacardi, with a pen, a diary and the National Trust’s What’s On Guide.
I have planned to fill as many days as possible with as many exhausting activities as possible, rather than stress my cerebral synapses one iota.
It’s the fight or flight response, and although my kids know how to use the microwave and a tin opener, I’m thinking flight probably isn’t the best option when it comes to a 5 year old and a 10 year old.
So fight I shall.
I’m going to burst my bubbles of selfish escape: put down my books, put away my phone, close my laptop and overindulge my kids in time with me. I’m attempting to be going to be FUN MUM EXTRAORDINAIRE for 6 WHOLE WEEKS.
Plenty of outdoor activities. Plenty of fresh air. As much time away from the house as possible in a bid to prevent tedium and the bad behaviour it spawns, which in turn means both kids have a modicum chance of returning to school with all limbs intact and fully functioning.
Obviously, the rain is bound to come and piddle on my parade. If Mother Nature’s pelvic floor lets her – and me – down, you may have to come and retrieve my mutilated body from the blender, and reaffix the dismembered limbs that my charming little soldiers have ripped from each other.
*Bummer. Suddenly realises urgent need for rainy-day contingency plan.
In the meantime, I still have a few empty spaces on my calendar, so if you’d like me to come over and drink your coffee/tea/Bacardi, while my gremlins disable the brakes on your car, short-circuit your electrics, and set fire to your pets, give me a call and I’ll pencil you in.
OR, better still.
If you would like to provide lodgings my über-feral children for a few days – in the name of friendship – that would also work for me.
What are your plans? Are the hols filling you with the same imminent dread, or are you loving the thought of not having to force a fake-cheery morning grin on the school run for the next 6 weeks?
It’s the end of week 4 of pretty much faultless behaviour. *finds penny, picks it up *bites foot off next door’s rabbit.
My elusive absence from the Blogosphere is down to the fact that things have actually been going incredibly well. I KNOOOOOW. Crazy!! So I have been sitting here. Not breathing. Not moving. Not eating. (Have been drinking).
It’s like I’m existing in some kind of space-time continuum. Dare I say: It’s like I’m living a NORMAL life. One where birds twitter around my head, and the smell of freshly baking bread emanates from the oven. That IS normal, right? That’s what y’all have been doing while I have been drowning in the rolling waves of insanity, right?
Yup! It’s the end of week 4 of NO tantrums, NO shouting, NO explicitly aggressive behaviour. Quite frankly, it’s weird. Weird in a good way. But weird all the same.
Feeling slightly awkward with my new NORMAL life, the odd movements I have been making have involved the clenching of shoulders and furrowing of brow. In pure anticipation of the sharp shards of the eggshells puncturing my feet. But nope! Nada! Zilch! My feet are still pretty and scar-free.
Even my own natural captious demeanour hasn’t evoked so much as a grouchy retort or a spade-sized foot-in-the-face.
A couple of weekends ago, we made a snap decision to go and see the foster carers. It was a fantastic day. I no longer felt that I was an interloper, looking in on my own son’s life. All his attachments to them as parental figures seem to have dissolved. As much as he was pleased to see them, he was equally happy to leave and come home. It signified a huge breakthrough.
However, the following day at school did result in Pickle’s fist meeting a small child’s face. Several times. A minor glitch. *lifts rugs, sweeps glitch under.
Pickle seems to have suddenly developed an ability to listen and understand. But more importantly, I’ve been able to reason with him, to talk about his frustrations and he, in turn, has been able to get on top of his anger before lobbing his usual verbal hand grenades.
This more composed behaviour has meant that I’ve been able to spend more time on his learning. From being ‘behind’ in his reading, he has made some great forward strides and, according to his recent school report, “is now meeting expectations”.
Above and beyond his academic development, the words that really puffed my chest out were: “Pickle is a lovely little boy, who is always happy and smiling. He is very kind and has shown a caring aspect to his personality when he has helped other children who have hurt themselves or lost a toy”.
Minor as that may seem, that’s progress!