Sunday, 21 July 2013

Time Out

'Bet you're looking forward to the summer break!' says the lady in The Co-op. I smile with improvised serenity and sag under the weight of the lager I'm stockpiling.

This last weekend of term has given me a foretaste of the six weeks ahead. Idyllically we grouped in the garden, my children and I. The sun was shining, the barbecue smoking and the hammock swaying under the apple trees. And my ten-year-old:

threw stones at her brother and broke his front tooth.
cracked the back of his head with a carefully-aimed swingball swipe.
jabbed a streak of mascara into her left eyeball.
warbled of lust and bondage outside the vestry wall.

The eight-year-old:

flattened his sister's limited-edition Lucozade bottle
tipped her skull-first out of the hammock.
piled a stash of illicit sweet wrappers under my geraniums.
made resonant remarks about female biology as parishioners passed the garden gate en route to the Sunday service.

I, meanwhile, have spent my weekend mini-break supervising three medical emergencies, diffusing seven fights, flailing through nine swingball matches and processing four baskets of laundry, eight bowls of washing up and two blocked drains. Plus I might, in carrying tones, have informed my daughter that I could murder her as our new neighbours picnicked on the far side of the vicarage fence.

And the Vicar? He has spent the two days in his swivel chair with the study door shut. 'It's so hard on him,' says one of the faithful at the family Eucharist, 'having to work weekends!'

What are your chances of surviving the summer holidays?





22 comments:

  1. Not good at all and my children are 24, 21, and soon to be 19 and they still fight like troopers. I was sad being an empty nester, but now I am thinking that it was quite nice as I count the days till they leave for school again.

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    1. I'm sure I'll be very doleful when my nest empties, so I suppose I'd better make the most of juvenile warfare, but I had hoped it would cease come mid teens!

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  2. My 2 boys sleep 'til lunchtime most days given the chance, I know I should shake them awake to get on with the day - but I'm scared! It's so peaceful when they're asleep!

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    1. When mine were little I'd let their afternoon naps run on indefinitely for the same reason.

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  3. Sounds familiar. And for some reason lost in the mists of time, we're now leaving the comfort of our own home to spend a week under canvas. On the Isle of Mull. Where it always rains.

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    1. I'm sure you have a beautiful character, but you are clearly mad as a hatter!

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  4. My kids mostly ignore each other - perhaps that is better..

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  5. They looked the picture of togetherness yesterday when the 8yr old was interviewing the 10yr old on the church microphone about her fashion accessories.

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  6. Oh yeah, I'm totally with you on this one! Time for me to stop being a mother and a woman, and in steps REFEREE for the next 6 weeks!

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  7. SO familiar. Except our summer break started a month ago ad runs until 8th Sept...

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    1. So someone was telling me. No wonder you're emigrating!

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  8. OMG!!!!! Was it wrong to laugh !!!!??? I laughed... good luck Anna, very good luck for the coming weeks. I think as much outdoors time as is humanly possible and bribery! X.

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    1. I expect I'll see the funny side in a few decades time!

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  9. Of course the theory is that 2 years is the ideal age gap... :)

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    1. Maybe if it had been greater it would have been bricks she was throwing!

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  10. Thank you. You have made mine look like Angels!

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  11. Simply adored this post. Laughed so hard when I read the last line. I'm forwarding your blog to a friend who's married to a vicar and has kids same age. She'll love it.

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    1. What a nice thing to say. I'm sure your friend's children are angelic!

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