I was amazed at something we found on Holiday so I’ve brought it home with me. The kids all get a lanyard to wear around their necks and for every food they try or each healthy food they eat they get a sticker.
I’ve never seen my four year old tuck in so much. The excitement on her face at getting a sticky smiley face to go on her card was beautiful. She had a go at pretty much everything, from squid to salmon to star fruit. And was so proud of herself at filling the card and getting a certificate. It may not work for everyone, but 4 months on its a winner in our house.
In the summer holidays were all looking for things to keep the kids occupied, so please can I pass on my little tip to you. Having just got back from a very rainy and muddy Camp Bestival weekend at certain times it was easier said than done entertaining our little rugrats, but we stumbled upon something rather wonderful when inside the tent because rain had stopped playing.
Eating jelly with a fork it turns out is hilarious, tasty and takes a long time cos it keeps dropping off. How brilliant, I'm applying this principle to everything during the next month to see if it will hold off the screams of "Mummmmmmyyyyyyy!" (See my last blog) I wonder what else I can do it with? Spaghetti with a cocktail stick? Drawing only with things found in the garden?
Last night was hell trying to get my little girl to sleep in the heat. We’d been in the garden all afternoon when it was 30 degrees and she been led in a sleeping bag cos she’s cold in the shade! So, it came as no surprise that her bedroom was too hot to go to sleep. She still of course wanted her duvet and 15 blankets covering her and I stayed for five minutes holding a hand so that should settle down. 10 minutes later she’s up again and asking for a drink and taking her pyjamas off. I put her back in bed but then heard a voice from the top of the stairs asking to go into my room because it’s cooler. Then she couldn’t sleep because I wasn’t with her so I got into my bed and waited for her to close her eyes, that didn’t happen.
Boiling under the duvet she started a conversation about when she’s a grown-up and she has a baby in her tummy. Will it be a boy or a girl, what names will they have, will I then be a nanny and will she be a mummy? No sign of sleep yet. We are now two hours into the bedtime routine and she starts to close her eyes when we hear the familiar sound of Mr whippy!Why does the ice cream van have to come past playing the music at 8.45 when all the windows are open? No, I don’t know what that noise is! No that isn’t an owl doing magic! Yes I can hear an aeroplane, but GO TO SLEEP!!!
I really can’t believe what I’m about to tell you. We’ve just had a lovely holiday in Sardinia, went to the airport to check in for the return flight and walked away with our tickets. It was pure luck then I looked at the boarding passes to see if we had a window seat for my little one that wanted it so much, and that I clocked that three of us, two adults and a child had been completely split up. No I’m not talking one on either side of the aisle, we were sat 10 rows apart. My daughter is four years old for goodness sake, she can’t be expected to sit on her own, and I doubt she would anyway.
And what about the people she’d be sat with, I doubt if they would enjoy the flight either. I find it completely unacceptable and have since heard that it’s a moneymaking scheme by the airlines to make you pay to book your seat. If the adults are split up its no real bother but the airline would surely not take a four-year-old flying on their own, so how can this be seen as okay? I really can’t believe it. How can I be responsible for her if she’s not even within spitting distance of me. It’s not like they didn’t know her age, they saw her passport, they saw her asleep in the buggy, they even put a luggage tag on the pushchair. You can’t honestly begin to understand what that would do to a parent and what it did to me when I don’t like flying anyway. And what if some thing happened in midair? Would I have to rely on a complete stranger to take her to the toilet, to fire her iPad up to watch Zootropolis and to do colouring in with her?
As it was, I marched straight back to the desk and had stern words, making sure she was at least sat with me. It’s complete madness and I’m getting more cross as I write this. Come on airlines sort it out.
At this time of year everybody’s looking around at the holidays that they going to take in the summer. As a single parent I’d love to just book one and fly off, but you know it’s never as simple as that. And being on my own throws up some issues that I’d never considered.
Last year we went away with another family and a friend of mine, and that was absolutely perfect, just a big gang of us we all took care of each other.
The first hurdle this year is the price. You can only get a free child place if there are two paying adults going as well, otherwise I’m paying full price for a four-year-old who’ll eat one slice of garlic bread a day, not good value from the all-inclusive buffet.
I started to try and imagine us being away and thought about taking my little girl to the beach. She’s never one to shy away from the water and of course I wouldn’t let her go in the sea on her own so would have to go in with her, but who would look after our stuff, I couldn’t just leave my handbag there with my phone and all the other bits, but there’s no way I’d let her wonder out on her Todd.
The next scenario I came up with, I could see causing some real problems. Imagine the scene, my preschooler is in the pool (like she is for approximately eight hours a day on holiday) and I need the toilet. The chances of her getting out of the pool to come with me are close to zilch, zero, not a hope. How would you get around that one? Sit on a lounger with your legs crossed for an hour as you wait for her to get out, I couldn’t just leave her there bobbing about in her armbands.
I have lovely memories of our time away last year, a big gang of us, which meant she always had somebody to play with, fast forward to this year and mummy will get no peace. Even now it’s spoiling my dreams of sitting on a sun lounger, on the 45th page of my book as the sun beams down on me, ahhh relax.
Today I get my life back, ok just a little bit of it, well, three and a half hours of it to be exact, my little darling is back to pre school!!!! It feels like flippin Christmas! What will I do with my extra half an afternoon??? ANYTHING I WANT!!!
The six week holiday has been lovely, but it’s so nice not to have to plan a trip out. Everywhere has been full of screaming kids, the parks should be sponsored by neurofen. Peace and quiet ensues and I will most probably be sponsored by Mr Kipling.
I try and do my best to build confidence in my daughter, at 3 years old she’s susceptible to all the things that she hears others are scared of.
She went crazy the other day at the tiniest spider, but I reassured her that spiders are actually our friends and get rid of all the other bugs for us. We now give them a name, normally Barbara, and have a chat with them about not running too quickly across the carpet. I do this because I have mates who are petrified of the eight legged creatures and can’t stand to be near them. I even have a friend who couldn’t go to work one day because there was a spider beside the front door!
Flying on a plane is not one of my favourite things to do, but I know that my three year old picks up on my fear, so I smile throughout.
I was a little more tested this week, when I woke up with an animal in front of my face while camping in a tent. I’m not going to lie, it did make me jump, you would if you had a reptile there too. It was a tiny little monster, all curled up under my towel. When the kids woke up, I put on my best brave face and acted like a zoo keeper. We named him Colin and watched him climb the side of the tent with his ‘sticky feet’.
To be honest it probably does me good too, hiding fear, a little bit of fake it before you make it.