Sunday, 17 July 2011

Summer Boot Camp For The Impatient

Yet another wet and dismal day and I fear that the next seven weeks will be a nightmare if the weather continues like this.  I am the type of mum to dress the kids up in waterproofs and wellies and send them outside in the rain but today they didn’t fancy it and to be honest, I didn’t feel up to sitting out there getting wet myself with them.  The problem that I now face is finding them things to keep them occupied inside the house for the whole day. I am living on student finance so don’t get any money through till September now, days out and holiday fun will have to be to a very strict budget indeed.
My eldest is fourteen and is rather easy compared to the younger two.  He emerged from his room first thing to eat, fart and grumble at being asked to vacuum upstairs for me then he returned to his beloved Xbox for the remainder of the morning.  I think I saw him at lunchtime, well he made a guest appearance to grab his lunch, fart and grumble at having to stack the dishwasher then he ascended the stairs back to his pit of a room to twiddle his knobs and yell ‘fire in the hole’ at his friends online.
My other two children are totally the opposite.  Yes they are younger and at the age of four and six years old it is totally understandable that as a Mother I have to occupy them, suggest things for them to do and generally watch over them most of the day.  If I don’t keep vigilant watch over them I pay the price dearly and usually spend my evening scrubbing pencil off the walls or fixing broken toys and items from around the house.  They can’t seem to play with one things for longer than two minutes and they are also incapable of tidying up before getting out more toys to play with.  Yesterday the contents of the dressing up box remained on the conservatory floor until my husband got home and we threatened no food until everything was away nicely.  Even this threat didn’t work fully as we both ended up helping them to tidy up just so we could sit down without clutter around us.
So far today the children seem to have been more thoughtful and are putting things away as they go along.  Maybe the large supply of custard creams as bribery has helped a little but it’s working so I won’t grumble.  What I do need to tackle though is their constant whinging and whining of they can’t have something or can’t find a toy that they want.  The more a child jumps up and down on the spot repeating ‘mummy mummy’ whilst flailing their arms about and emanating a type of wail and half scream, the more I want to join in myself and just scream back.  I have been known to shout ‘grow up’ to them which often results in fits of laughter from myself as the realisation dawns that I’ve just told little children to become adults rather quickly.  I have resisted such urges today but what I have found easier to do is ignore them until they speak to me in normal voices.  In theory it sounds good but these two little ‘darlings’ have developed an art of shouting at me, and I mean sergeant major type shouting at me until I give them what they want, do what they were asking or find what they were looking for.  These two will definitely be learning the art of patience by the time school starts in September if it kills me.
It does worry me how they are going to behave when the baby is born.  Splitting oneself into four so that each child can have a bit of mummy at the same time isn’t going to be easy and something which I don’t fancy trying to manage on a daily basis.  They will have to get used to waiting their turn and doing so quietly.  My eldest son must hate having to wait the longest usually because he understands patience and that he will get more quality time if he isn’t screaming ‘now now now’ at me.  I don’t give any of the children more attention or time that the others because when they do demand more from me and become needy and clingy it does tend to push me away more because they need to learn to become independent and not rely on me for absolutely everything.  In my eyes if a four year old can dress himself in a morning he can certainly put the dressing up outfits on without creating a scene and screaming at me until I do it.
The children think that the school holidays have begun, not for me; I’m calling it boot camp.  They will be begging for school by September.

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