Honestly, half term sort of snuck up on me. I was aware there was a bank holiday, and that looming at some point, there would be a half term, but I hadn’t properly, properly realised it was here until… it was here.
We had planned… nothing.
I desperately tried to overcompensate.
We made cornflour goop. YoungestGirl immediately protested at getting her hands dirty. It amused EldestGirl for possibly three minutes. It took about seven minutes longer to clean up than they spent playing.
Undeterred, I set up painting, where both children immediately managed to cover the only inch of their clothing that wasn’t protected by the children’s equivalent of radiation suits, in dayglo paint that of course won’t come out in the wash. I vowed – not for the first time – that the only painting that’s going to happen in our house from now on is naked painting. TheBloke (TM) is not delighted by this as I have asked him to emulsion the bedroom ceiling.
A day without YoungestGirl, who was at nursery. We took EldestGirl out for breakfast and then into town, where we let her choose utter tat with her birthday money, which of course she has not looked at or played with once since. We made chocolate challah bread. Nobody liked it.
We went swimming. This is only an option for the advanced parent and should never be attempted alone. EldestGirl has been having swimming lessons for about 18 months. She can now sink at a Level 1 accredited standard. YoungestGirl alternated between clinging to me, crying pitifully, “Keep me safe, Mummy,” and steadfastly refusing to get out.
Neither TheBloke (TM) nor I got to use our towels because by the time we had wrangled two dripping, shivery children of their swimming costumes and back into their clothes, enough time had passed that we were absolutely dry. Our local pool has a “communal changing village”, with unisex individual cubicles. As all the family changing rooms were occupied, and it’s pretty difficult to change three people in a cubicle with a closed door, I may have indecently and nonchalantly exposed myself to a large number of impressionable youngsters in the town. I cared not.
We took the children to a middle-class pottery painting workshop. Their creations were shit. I have accidentally forgotten to collect them post-glazing.
I had clearly given up by this time. I have no idea what we did this day because the only photo I took was of our bin, which was broken.
I was completely out of ideas. I told EldestGirl to write a novel. She actually did. (But her spelling was poor, so I told her I wouldn’t be submitting it to a publisher until she found herself a decent proofreader, and by the way, my rates are very reasonable. Unfortunately she’d spent all her money on plasticky tat on day two.) YoungestGirl might find a career as a coder. This is what I tell myself to assuage the guilt from sticking her in front of the Kindle Fire and letting her watch CBeebies.
Someone told me the summer holidays are six weeks long. That’s a joke, right? Right?