Thursday, 23 July 2009


Hooray! The Summer Holidays are here at last! Lie ins! Stretchy moments in bed! Long Leisurely Breakfasts!
And then...
Long days with Children.
The typical conversation has already taken place with the 'Organised Mothers' who say things like,
'Well, the children are booked on a Week's Sailing Course in the Lakes followed by a Fortnight Enrichment Course In Maths, English and the Sciences. Oh, and they so love Comunity Work that they have another week in the local library to help with the Summer Reading Week.'
Bollocks to all that. Mine aren't booked onto anything. We are going to Devon to stay with Mother in Law. Then to Essex to house sit for my sister. Otherwise we are Here.
Summer holidays are a bit like Last Minute Dot Com. We do everything at the last minute.
Let's go to the Beach!
Let's go swimming!
Let's go for a picnic!
Let's go and play tennis!
Let's do Bugger All!
Life has been so horrendously busy the last few weeks that have probably missed all the deadlines for tennis and sailing and golf and summer camps and Life Skills in Cookery.
Why am I so Bloody Useless at Organising the Holidays?
Husband comes home at end of day on Typical Summer Holidays Day.
'Did you go to the beach?' he will ask Brightly.
'Nope,' we all reply. Slumped in front of telly.
'Play tennis?'
'Play golf?'
'Go out?'
'What did you do?'
We all look at each other.
'Had lunch,' says someone.
'Yes, and fed the chickens.'
Husband looks grieved and goes out into vegetable garden.
What we did actually do was fun. We probably had a friend over. Cleaned out the chickens. Made lunch together. Went for a walk. Made a castle out of cereal boxes for the rabbit. That Sort Of Thing.
Been Together.
I find that the more I organize for my children the more they want things organised for them. So we just do the odd organised thing. Like that sailing course last year. The rest of the time is theirs and mine. We fill it with inconsequential things. We rest. We play. We go to the beach. We find a tennis court and play, all four of us, on one court. Middle Son loves his tennis so I cram him, last minute style onto any tennis camp I can find.
We go to Pizza Express, the children's Mecca of Restaurants. I bully them to make their sodding beds and clean out their rooms. We wash up together and make the meals together. Feed the chickens and water the pots.
Sometimes we have lovely days. Sometimes they are Crap. Usually they are OK.
Ordinary days of an ordinary life.
And when you look at the news on a typical day, Ordinary seems very good indeed.
Right. Must see when that Tennis Camp starts. Middle son champing to do it. And Daughter wants to have a sleep over or two with her friends. And Youngest wants to go swimming.
So. We'll do that then.
As for the rest of the holidays... let's just see How It Goes.
One day at a time.
St-r-e-t-ch. This Is The Life.
More coffee anyone?


Mum Gone Mad said...

Oh I am sooo not of the organised variety! We are at this moment lolling and considering the possibility of tidying up a bit, followed by maybe making a cake :) enjoy the break... I am going to xxx

The Dotterel said...

'the more I organize for my children the more they want things organised for them...' You said it! The single most important reason not to organise anything. And here's another - school does more than enough of that for most of the year!

confused said...

all sounds lovley! i dont have any of my own children but i have taken a week off to look after my closest friends little 6 year old boy... im the cool uncle! i havent organised a thing! well ive cheated... ive phoned my mum and asked if she would like to do some things with us! she is really looking foward to it and has been collecting leaflets and information on all sorts of things we can do and see! proberably going to be a very expensive week but im sure we will all enjoy every second of it!

MrsMama said...

Love this. I think most children these days are entirely over-scheduled anyway. It's nice to have some down time.

Good for you. :)

Catharine Withenay said...

I think I'd like it in your house!

I try not to organise too much, but have a couple of weeks with some morning activities, to save me going mad more than them. Still, I'm looking forward to the flexible time when we can do as we choose.

Neas Nuttiness said...

I don't always leave a comment, and I'm sorry about that! I come by and read (and I'm NEVER disappointed), and more often than not, I can't come up with anything as witty, or insightful - so I just slink back home.

PS - I truly thought that TV watching was designed for summer vacation!

Ladybird World Mother said...

MGM - Lolling is good. Long may you loll! Enjoy your holidays too!
The D - Totally with you there... organised things are OUT! Have fun. x
confused - you sound like a bloomin' marvel... can you come here the week after??! Oh, and mum's are brilliant at moving everything along... I bet you have a fab week. Blog about it!
MrsM - Downtime is just the thing for the holidays, dont you think! Enjoy yours. x
CW - totally agree... nice to organise the odd thing when hair is no longer attached to head owing to pulling it all out over arguments and noise levels. Flexible time rocks! x
NN - what a lovely comment and thank you so much for not slinking home!! TV watching and holidays... firmly entwined...!

wonderwoman said...

i'm with you on the non organizing - i find that spontaneous things usually turn out the best! have a lovely hol!


NaomiG said...

I love it. I am not the organized sort either. Love your "the more I organize for my kids the more they want things organized. I agree totally. Sitting about doing nothing on designated do nothing days is truly a wonderful gift.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I'll have a cup of coffee. After the busyness of the school year, my kids and I loved days where we didn't do much. Just relaxed. After a few of those, we were ready to go do something fun. But sometimes doing nothing is the most important to do on a certain day. Enjoy the summer.

Ladybird World Mother said...

ww - I love's hoping that it works for us this holidays! Its only day 2 and I already am getting irritated with the little dears. But cushion fighting in the sitting room makes me Cross. Things Break. Grrrrr. Happy hols to you too!
Naomi - Designated Nothing Days. Brilliant. Will call them that from now on. Better have some Designated Doing Days, I spose. ;)
MJ - Milk, sugar?! Doing nothing is a luxury, isnt it... after a period of sustained busyness. I am loving it! Having said that, we are off to swim in next door's pool now. I am happy, children are happy, and I think I might even get that cup of coffee! This is the life...

disa said...