If you’ve come here looking for pictures of dresses I’ve sewn, tips on calming techniques to soothe grouchy toddlers, or general smug advice about being a parent then I apologise in advance. The fact is parenting is your own unique journey and no-one should be telling you how to do it. Sometimes you do get it right *air punch, high kicks, YEAH!* but more often than not you don’t. Half the time you are refereeing fights over Lego, watching as a two-year-old lays themselves down in a supermarket aisle, and letting them have free reign on Netflix whilst you console yourself over a bottle of gin. Gin. That’s the only thing I will preach to you about. Gin makes it better.
So, more often than not, I will blog about the stuff that isn’t quite working out as my parenting manual said It would; mostly in an attempt to unburden myself and pray that someone out there has gone through similar and we can share in our misery together. There will be a few lists. Mainly because I like lists. Here’s a list I wrote last summer - you can apply it any holiday and with Easter fast approaching, it feels like the right time to publish this.
THINGS I'LL DO IN THE HOLIDAYS
1) Looking at people’s Facebook holiday pictures
We haven’t got the money to go away this year. Because that would be the dream: villa, beach, kids in a pool every day, wine, floaty dresses, Birkenstocks, wine, standing in front of a mirror to admire one’s tan lines. Wine. So if you are away this holiday, have fun, people. Enjoy that sun. Have a bottle (or five) of wine for pasty ol' me.
<--- not happening unless we win the lottery...boo :(
2) Ruining the morning of someone who works at Clark’s.
We need shoes for school. Four pairs of shoes. The Hound has feet like flippers so we always need the widest width fitting that is never in stock. Arya has dainty slipper feet that always require insoles. She will argue she needs sparkly shoes with hidden heel compartments. We will take forever. Other families in that shop will hate us. A child (usually Daenerys) will always leave that shop of their own volition and I will have to chase them through the shopping centre.
We like a good picnic and a park. I will push Daenerys on the swings looking on as other toddlers wait their turn and parents look at their watches. I will be asked to push roundabouts and have to referee a zip line. I will usually have to obtain a small child (The Hound) from a rope bridge after their foot gets stuck. We will eat sandwiches, many sandwiches. I will never pack enough drinks.
It’s raining. I will plan a Kids AM screening but we won’t get out arses in gear to get to that 10am showing. Netflix saves the day.
5) Mr Whippy
I will literally buy enough Mr Whippy this holiday to pay off this months’ mortgage payments.
6) Holiday Homework
Damn you holiday diary! I will take photos of Arya everywhere she goes, squirrel away receipts, flyers and postcards like a crazy hoarder woman. I will shout at my husband when he one day throws this all in the recycling and I have to go and retrieve it.
7) Feeding Hungrier than Normal Children
Why are you eating so much??? Stop eating!!! Where did all the crisps go? No more frigging crisps! Jon Snow, did you just eat that whole bunch of bananas? Jesus Christ.
9) Free Stuff
Libraries, art workshops, parks (did I say that already?), music and sports taster sessions, trails and treasure hunts. I don't care if you think you're too old for this Jon Snow, get with the programme. Free you say? And you’re giving me some stickers for my Arya’s holiday diary? I am THERE.
I'm sure we'll head down to the coast one day along with 90% of the other families on school holiday on the one day the sun shines. We will cart kids and our assorted belongings to the beach. The kids will love it. The husband will question why we needed a gazillion bags. I will revel in the fact the kids are enjoying fresh air and essentially don’t want for much. Except when someone asks for a Mr Whippy…then all hell breaks loose.
'Four 99s; one chocolate sauce, two raspberry, one bubblegum and a couple of Calippos. You what? How much? Jon Snow - run back to Dad and tell him we need another tenner.'