Term 3 comes to a close tomorrow and the children break up for two weeks holiday. For me, it’s going to be all go in the catering, entertaining, mediating and facilitating department. I have got rather too used to ‘just Alice and me’ time in the morning whilst Sophie is out at Kindi and Charlotte is at school. Morning is when I get on top of my housework, enjoy a quiet coffee and a little read of my fav blogs whilst Alice naps or go for a walk on sunny days.
Alice helping me with the laundry in the messy play/laundry room…
I have mixed emotions about the holidays. It usually takes me a few days to get used to having three children at home all day, as I’ve really not had much practice in this since Alice was born. Usually there’s hubbie around at the weekend and after school I have wonderful Frances to help out till hubbie gets home. Keeping Charlotte and Sophie happy isn’t too difficult, but with a baby in tow there is so much more to cart around and consider – especially now she’s on solids. And each time the holidays come round Alice has moved onto a different developmental level and nap schedule. Structuring the day to keep a 7 month old, 4 year old and 7 year old isn’t all plain sailing. By the time I’ve rolled up my sleeves, surrendered to the mess and embraced it all it’s time for them to go back to school and kindi.
So, whilst I wait for the holidays to start I’ve tried to get prepared – both mentally and practically. I’m telling myself it’s only two weeks so let the house be turned upside down. I’m preparing for non-stop action in the kitchen with the surfaces barely staying clean for five minutes before the next round of cooking, baking and snack making ensues. I’m going to up the ante on the rewards for errands, so that with a bit of luck we’re not knee deep in clutter, toys and dirty washing at the end of the two weeks. Many hands make light work and my older two are more than capable with a cloth, so long as there’s something in it for them, and very occasionally they help out of the goodness of their hearts.
I’ve organised a couple of outings to various places (which fill me with trepidation, but I’m going by the Kiwi mantra of, ‘She’ll be right mate’). So I’ve lined up Capital E for a dance performance & exhibition; the Botanical Gardens for a craft morning at The Treehouse as part of the Spring Festival; and a weaving workshop at The New Dowse art gallery. I didn’t want to schedule in too much as it will be nice to have some time to just potter and not have to be out the door for a set time.
I’d love to spend time at the pool with them, visit Zealandia, the beach and take a trip to the garden centre for them to do a couple of planting projects. And they love spending time on the waterfront and meeting their Daddy for lunch. Now if I could just order in some fine weather with not too much wind please! And we’ll have an extra hour of daylight to play with, as the clocks go forward one hour on Sunday, making it dark close to 7.30pm.
The craft table is all stocked up for those wet and windy days (I’m being realistic – it is Spring and Wellington after all) and I am meditating on being at peace with glitter, sticky tape and paint (ha, ha, hee, hee, ha, ha).
It’s kind of fascinating to see what the girls come up with when there’s no restriction on their time. The other morning, before school, they came up with a pair of binoculars and a telescope (with night vision apparently) so goodness knows what will materialize over the holidays. They’ve been waking early (6 ish) with the birds and the light.
And this morning they were taking it in turns to tow each other around the house, with a scooter tied onto the back of a bicycle with a skipping rope.
Alice is going to wonder what’s going on, with her sisters on tap all day and will have to nap on the go for much of the holidays, thankfully she’s still quite happy and light enough to nap in the Mei Tai so we might even manage a few walks. I really don’t want to have to drive far though, as it’s so hard finding the ‘right’ time to travel with Alice – I don’t want to plonk her in the car-seat straight after a nap, as she needs time to wriggle and move, and she hates going in the car-seat when she’s tired. Ho hum, we’ll survive.
I’m not going to be able to please everyone all of them time and all the girls have colds, which is making them a little more fractious, but I’ll do my best and just hope I don’t exhaust myself too much in the process. Having both my older girls home will force me to get out the door in the mornings and take in some new scenes that I haven’t visited in a while. Or perhaps they won’t want to leave the house much and just stay and ‘play schools’ instead! And there’s always the library and the DVD rental store. Yes! Writing this post has been good therapy. I’m feeling much more upbeat and positive now. Sometimes the waiting is the worse of it – too much time to think, much better off to get stuck in and deal with it. I can do it!
‘Waiting’ is one of the writing prompts this week at ‘Sleep is for the Weak Writing Workshop‘.