I’ve decided not to cling too rigidly to the days of the week… Monday can be Sunday or any day, at least it feels like that when I’m free from working for the man for a bit.
This week has been like that, days merging into each other, all seemingly the same routine of waking with the kids in my bed, lying in, watching the same DVD twice in a row, then playing with the kids next door, a bit of gardening, lunch somewhere in there, then swimming in the afternoon.
1. Despite the feeling of sloth, I have been quite productive with my week. I finally painted a desk I bought on ebay for R1 (which was supposed to be for fourth term homework, but oh well, the new term is not far away). I also established my new garden beds, with manure and mulch in one, ready for autumn planting in March. I had to drag the tomato bushes from the centre and they don’t seem too happy with the move… 😦 A bit droopy.
2. School holiday memories. My kids have a shorter holiday break than others due to vacation care, etc, but I am trying to instil a sense of normality. This week of ‘nothingness’ has actually been intended. I had thought of the theme parks, movies, museum trips, railway workshops, etc route, but they have so much structure in their ordinary lives, I want them to think back to their school holidays and not remember specific day trips, but instead, the feeling of languor, of not having to be anywhere, where they can roll from one activity to the next, without any pressure.
I got the spa clean and working this week and had decided to get rid of it as the filter and heater need replacing, and it didn’t really seem to contribute to the downshifting simplifying life I am trying to achieve. However, watching the kids splash around with the neighbours and their cousins who were staying, afternoon after afternoon, I have changed my mind. There could be a sensory memory being made in the chlorine smell and the wet popcorn strewn all over the deck.
1. I took all the kids out for a walk up a country road. It was almost a ‘step forward’ moment filled with tadpole catching, rockclimbing, etc, but then a dog became attached to the girls and we couldn’t shake it. It didn’t help that one of the girls was adamant that her mum would let her keep it, and another said that there had been a lost dog sign. So I let them walk it home. Unfortunately, I didn’t think this through rationally and there was a bit of a confrontation with the neighbours at the other end, who ended up driving the dog back quite angrily. I was lectured about being the only ‘responsible adult’ out on the walk.
I was quite gutted by this turn of events and started to question what sort of parent I am. It is true that my own children will not listen to me and do a single thing that I ask. When I am told by others that I have to discipline my kids more (yes it does happen), I wonder, how on earth can I be stricter or firmer – how far do I have to go? I have nothing to enforce what I say to them. If they decide they don’t want to listen then they don’t. And when I tell them to go to their room, they keep coming out. I cannot lock the doors. And no matter how loudly I then have to shout, they still refuse.
I feel I am missing essential components from my parenting armoury.
Christmas also happened this week. I made a mango trifle and set the table for a change. In the afternoon we swam in our neighbours’ pool when they went out.
R1 pulling R2 home on her boogie board ‘sleigh’.