Half term. That frenzied time when you have one week to catch up on all those little jobs; the niggling bits of life admin that have a tendency to creep up on you until they make up a to-do list longer than your arm. Yet it’s also that one week when you have all the grandiose plans of days out and adventures and exploring and making memories. The week that’s all yours, to spend with the child you spend most of the time trying to placate with a selection of televisual delights whilst you prepare dinner.
So you make that to-do list, and run around try to make the admin jobs into their own little events, worthy of note. The trip to buy the sandpit you still have the vouchers for from Christmas becomes a trip to the Mothercare soft play-until you realise that you have no money and are reduced to gently stroking the Little Bird clothes that you know you cannot justify buying. And before you know it half the holiday is gone on just those little admin tasks…
Monday was what my mother would call a “miserable” day. One of those days where the rain pelts down from dawn to dusk with not even a chink of sunlight to dispel the gloom. Personally, I don’t mind such days, but Monday was different. Not a bad day, certainly not a miserable day, just a day when I didn’t feel like leaving the house. The rain cover for the pushchair was at my mother’s-not that a rain cover is of any use to a child that kicks it off in indignation anyway-and I had no stamina for chasing a small child around in the rain.
So we just stayed in.
And you know what, it was really quite nice. We watched far too much CBeebies and I spent far too much time feeling guilty that a) I wasn’t taking Piglet out on some grand adventure and b) I was clearly wasting my cherished holiday time by sitting around doing nothing as though I had innumerable leisurely Mondays ahead of me, but still, it was nice. And at the end of it I thought, maybe I don’t have to be Intrepid Mum, leading my child on some madcap adventure all the time. Maybe sometimes it’s OK to sit down and just be. To chill out and watch CBeebies and play with cars and not venture further than the local shops (to be fair, getting the pushchair in and out of one of the said shops could probably be counted an adventure in itself).
So this holiday, I am going to catch up with that life admin, finally take that book back to the library, put that sandpit in the garden and maybe paint the kitchen. And we’re going to watch a lot of CBeebies. I’m not going to trek far and wide on multiple bus journeys to get to far-flung day trip destinations.
After all, that’s what the summer holidays is for, right?