Holiday Blues

wild at heart

I am tired, tired, tired.
Tired beyond the distant rigours of night-feeds and toddler tantrum time.

The six, long weeks which polka-ed into view at the end if June, promising a temporary end to after-school clubs, to early morning arguments about football kit, French club folder and ballet gear; those six, long weeks of promise have but a few days left in them.
But that’s a lot more than I’ve got left in me.

I have no more energy to insist –
“Time to brush your teeth and get dressed now” when it’s already 1pm and they may as well wait until after lunch before bothering to go upstairs.

I can no longer pretend there’s a reason to go to bed before 9pm, all I can do is threaten them with -
“School starts on Tuesday and it’ll be back to normal bedtime on Monday night”

I no longer even try to get them out of the house, where Playmobil is their latest must-do-all-day obsession, and into the park.
Let them run up and down the walls to let off steam, it’s all the same to me.

My good intentions to lead them gradually back to school routine, via earlier and earlier bedtimes and short but regular injections of mental maths, have followed the smell of burning toast out of the kitchen window.

They are rebellious, they are rude, they have been sent to bed crying on two consecutive nights.

Such is the result of unfettered family time.

Let the doom-mongers who scream that nurseries are bad for children come round to our house at the dog end of the summer holidays.

Let them see what’s bad for children, and, more importantly, for parents.

But when I complained about the playmobil compulsion, which is taking over every flat surface of the house, Ben retorted,

“Aren’t you glad we like playmobil and don’t want to play on Nintendos and playstations all the time?”

What could I say?

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
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7 Responses to Holiday Blues

  1. Iota says:

    I hate Playmobil. You would like a friend of mine who confessed to hoovering it up occasionally, accidentally on purpose. Ben has a point, though. Much better than screen-based addictive rubbish.

    When I had a baby or toddler, I used to hate it when people with older children smugly said “oh this is the easy bit; just you wait”. They were right though. It’s the dreaded question “what are we going to do today?” that makes the heart sink each morning. Thomas the Tank Engine videos and a trip to the supermarket doesn’t do it for them now like it used to.

  2. Does anyone ever say “Wait till they leave home – it’s great, you get your life back!”?

  3. Jen says:

    Ugh, I sympathise entirely though, I confess, my gruesome twosome finally wore me down until I let them spend far too much time on screen-based activities.

    It’s horrible, that feeling of ‘sod it, let them do what they want then’ but the constant arguing does become tiresome after the first few weeks.

    Luckily, mine have spent the past week at their grandparents to they REALLY know what misery’s all about now!

    I just have the end-of-summer scraping the grime off them to look forward to now before it’s back to the joy of nagging about homework and packed-lunch panic.

    Oh, joy!

  4. em says:

    You know what i didnt know what playmobli was so i have had to google it! And not i am dreading it! Think i’ll be vac’ing it up too!

    One of your previous posts is about anonymous take a look at this
    its one of my american blog buddies pages.

  5. beta mom says:

    Ooh, they got you with that comeback. I’m sure there’s an underground manual they pass around at secret child society meetings, “How to negate your parents arguments in two easy steps.”

    As for the back to school – we can’t do it either. It’s like ripping off the band-aid quickly. It’s going to be painful reentry.

    So glad to have found you….I love your writing!

  6. Omega Mum says:

    This post made me feel tired just reading it. Know just how you feel. Is there a recognised post holiday fatigue syndrome?

  7. Beta Mum says:

    Iota – I have been vacuuming up small pieces of plastic since this post, some of which may have been playmobil guns, roller blades or hats.

    SAHD – one of my friends is about to see her eldest off to university and is wondering where all that time went.

    Jen – if only their grandparents were more willing to so something useful, like have them to stay for week every now and then, perhaps my two would appreciate their parents a bit more.

    Em – playmobil is a great toy really, when it’s contained in a child’s bedroom rather than liberally distributed around the house.
    Had a look at the website – food for thought!

    Beta Mom – thanks for your comment. Glad to meet you too, my U.S. alter ego!
    I always thought my two were in cahoots. When they were tiny, one would sleep through and one would wake regularly through the night, so that one was alert to create havoc all day while the other could spend the day napping.

    OM – one more day to go…

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