So, here we are. The first day back at school, the first day of the final half term of this school year.
Let’s take a look back on the last week.
Let’s call it ‘half term hindsight’.
Let’s start at the very beginning….that’s a very good place to start, when you read you begin with A B C, when you look back you begin with Saturday….. (yeah that perhaps needs work, anyway onwards and upwards)
The first weekend of half term was good fun. We had the exciting prospect of a family christening on the Saturday. I LOVE christenings, I’m not sure why, I just do.
So I was in full on neatness mode. My dress and shoes were selected, the Monkeys looked slightly less feral than normal.
I ironed clothes…………….
Yes I know. Believe me you’re not the only one who’s shocked.
- Monkey number one exclaimed “wow, I didn’t know we had an iron”
- Monkey number two announced “wow this shirt is warm and straight and smooth”
- Monkey number three declared “wow I have one of those, but mine has a board too” (I found the iron. I was not going rummaging for an ironing board that I may or not own.)
- Monkey number four just looked and me oddly and said “mummy do hair?” (I later realised he assumed they were industrial sized hair straighteners)
So we are all clean and presentable, the girls have matching french braids. One has long blonde fine hair and the other has a wilderness of tight mousy curls so matching might be a stretch but they did at least have two braids each.
CircusHusband who is on a working weekend appears home in time and deliberates about his clothes (despite promising me days and days ago that he was prepared and knew what he was wearing and where it all was)
We load into the car, feeling smug that finally something has gone right.
We arrive at our destination, unload the Monkeys, enjoy a gentle stroll to the church.
A church with closed doors.
A church that seemed remarkably quiet.
A church with a board outside advertising the christenings that it would be undertaking……………tomorrow.
I tried really hard to pass it off as a deliberate practice run, but rudely no one was convinced and no one was very happy with me.
On the flip side at least Sunday (aka Groundhog Day) was easy.
Unfortunately CircusHusband couldn’t join us on Sunday (apparently when you’ve organised your whole week to allow you to finish early on Saturday, then a spontaneous Sunday absence is ‘tricky’).
But anyway, the Monkeys and I went to church. No one tried to paddle in the font, no one cartwheeled down the aisle, no one needed a wee…..’right now’. Pickle thought it was amazing because her nursery has visits from ‘the church ladies’ once a week who tell them stories about Jesus and she was really impressed that the man in the funny cape knew Jesus too! She actually has a slight obsession with ‘the church ladies’. She knows the name of one of them -let’s call her Betty- but she doesn’t know the name of the other one, so if you ask who she saw the conversation goes:
“Which ladies were there today.”
“Well only one, you know Betty mummy?”
“Oh yes your favourite one.”
“Yes. Betty wasn’t there today, we had the one who isn’t Betty”
She is also fascinated by the stories although perturbed that they only know stories about Jesus, she’s considering asking Father Christmas for a new book for them so they can learn some different stories (but then she might not get her violin?!). Then there’s the exciting moment where I find out if this week’s story involved ‘Baby Jesus’ or ‘Old Man with a Walking Stick Jesus’, I assume these parts are acted out as they seem to be coveted roles in her 4 year old head. My favourite conversation about ‘the church ladies’ so far was on the last day of term.
“Did you see the church ladies today?”
“Yes it was Betty and the one who isn’t Betty and guess what?” Well the story was about Jesus……again, but at the end the ladies chose me to say something really funny”
“Really, what was that then?”
“Well they said this little poem thing and then I had to say……..
Never again will I be able to finish The Lord’s Prayer without an image of Bart Simpson in my head.
Weekend complete. The week was fairly quiet we visited a local castle ruins, which both the biggest Monkeys declared their favourite part of their week off so marking that one up as a success.
We did (well, mainly Froo and Pickle) did baking. Half terms cost me a fortune simply because I need enough ingredients in to satisfy Froo’s constant desire to bake. This week’s creation was a beautiful, two tiered sponge cake sandwiched with lemon icing and decorated with peach slices and mixed peel. It tasted phenomenal. Really very impressive.
However this was slightly marred with this interaction:
“Froo this cake is amazing, well done you must be really pleased.”
“Of course it’s amazing……I used Grandma’s recipe”
One funny incident of this week needs to be shared so here goes. Noodle had been complaining in the evenings a sore tooth. I deduced that he had picked the gum around it and foresaw that it would become a method or stalling bedtime (I have a pretty good radar for this sort of thing).
He goes off to bed and sure enough he appears again about fifteen minutes later. CircusHusband goes to see him and comes back mumbling something I didn’t quite catch but ended with the word ‘sore’, I nodded and said “there’s bonjela in the first aid box, put some of that on and it should help”.
He was gone a while then came down and declared job done.
We heard no more from Noodle and a few hours later CircusHusband turns to me and says
“I never knew you could use Bonjela like that?”
Slightly confused I enquire what he means.
“You know, for tummy ache”
Now completely confused I just sat silent until he continued….
“Noodle said his tummy was sore and you said to put Bonjela on it…….”
Me – “what? No I didn’t…..Oh…..You mean you …….?”
Yep. Noodle was now happily snoring away with his stomach lovingly covered with teething gel.
Fast forward to this weekend just gone and I had a night out. Not just out, but out out. You know, where you have to brush your hair.
Now, nights out when you are a mum and all your friends are mums are similar to the initiation process required for joining MI5. The first part is deciding a date, you collaborate all the data and work out that yay there is one night you are all free…….a Tuesday evening in October 2025.
Then there’s clothing. What do you wear? The problem with having small children is that your wardrobe generally has two sections ‘stuff I don’t mind having Weetabix ground into’ and ‘pyjamas’. Unfortunately it’s not always possible to amalgamate the two to produce something suitable. Add onto that the conundrum of childcare and transport and you’re knackered before you’ve even set off.
Fortunately, thanks to very good friends, we have a childcare/transport system in place which works well. We go out and CircusHusband and CircusHusband’s friend have the children all in one house. This does mean they are outnumbered seven to two but hey ho. It seemed to be a success this time; there were computer games, snacks and silliness……..and the children had fun too!
Once you’re out it’s all good. The relief of letting your hair down for a little while is amazing. That amazing feeling wears off rather quickly however when you roll into bed at 2:42 and wake up to a banshee hollering your name at amplified volume at 5:46.
Now we are back to structure and routine as we begin a seven week half term of business. This first week alone includes 3 school trips, 1 nursery trip, 1 intake evening to prepare us for Pickle starting school in September (I’m fairly sure it’s them who need preparing if I’m honest). 1 spelling bee. 1 music group. 1 fundraising event and 1 jar of coffee…….maybe Pickle’s beloved church ladies can have a word with their friend Jesus and see if the magic refilling oil concept can also be applied to caffeine.
Enjoy this week whatever you are doing.
Welcome to my world