The school holidays are over and the children are back to school. Six weeks passed without any grievous injuries, maiming, fratricide, sororicide or GBH. Everyone’s still talking to one another and the children haven’t forgotten how to count, read or spell their name. Well done. You’re getting good at this parenting mullarky.
The holidays are over, the new uniforms bought and the obligatory photos of the children in their new uniforms standing by the front door have been posted on Facebook. Don’t feel too bad for doing it despite what those ‘too cool for school’ types on social media say. Everyone does it. We all do it. Even the too cool for school types do it. Even Kate Moss did it. Okay, so her photos were taken by Mario Testino but the point remains. It’s a thing what we all do. If we didn’t do it, how else will our children hate us in the future?
I joke, of course. Yes, the children have been back to school for a week now and I kinda miss having them around, so much so, I’ve taken to asking myself for drinks while I’m on the loo, changing the channel over to Horrid Henry at any given opportunity and arguing with myself over Lego. But saying ‘No that’s MINE’ out loud doesn’t have the same effect if you’re just saying it to yourself. It’s also a little worrying.
The holidays are over and today, instead of going to a farm, zoo, play centre, gallery, castle, theme park or somewhere else exciting, I’ll be tidying the house and conducting a forensic examination of the bank accounts. How much did we spend WHERE in July? We didn’t even go to Luxembourg? Why did we buy that? Did we buy an ACTUAL giraffe? Who spent £400, and why, in August at the App store? All questions which need answering. I think we spent somewhere between £20,000 – £22,000 on drinks and snacks in Costa alone but after holidays, uniform costs, new shoes, trainers and days out it’s not as bad as I feared. Thankfully I only have to put one kidney on Ebay.
Did you know we only spent one day at home during the summer holidays. One day! The rest we were out and about doing something. In the case of the children it was bickering, which was something that got steadily more pointless as the weeks went on. At the beginning of the holidays they would bicker about something sensible like ‘No that’s my Barbie.’ ‘No, that’s MY Barbie’ but as the holidays went on it became more pointless and surreal. “Stop stealing my SHADOW” “No that’s MY space and MY air.” “STOP STEALING ALL THE AIR.”
But now I’m by myself at home there’s no bickering. I tried to start bickering with myself by sitting in MY usual place on the sofa but that just didn’t work as it was my usual space on the sofa.
I plan to go shopping tomorrow, but the out-of-town shopping centre I visit won’t be the same without over excited teenagers running about, without parents shouting at their children for running up the down escalator, without a teenage shoplifter setting off the alarm in Superdrug after nicking some mascara. I’ll be able to peruse at my leisure. I’ll be able to find a seat in a coffee shop. It’ll be bliss. Well, as blissful as shopping in Meadowhall ever is. It’s nicknamed MeadowHell for good reason.
So yep. The children are back at school, my partner is back at work, and it’s all back to normal. As I drag the vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard and drop it on my toe I realise that all is totally back to normal. The house is still as tidy as it was three hours ago. The sofa isn’t full of random soft toys all with names. “Don’t sit on Pinky. Pinky’ll get upset.” “Make room for Gingerbelle” “That’s where Geoff is sitting.”
Who names a soft toy Geoff? But I digress.
Yep, the school holidays are over, my partner is at work and the children at school. The house is quiet, the kitchen floor has been steam mopped and everything is where I put it three minutes ago. But there’s something missing. There’s definitely something missing.
As I stare at the joyless ironing pile I find myself thinking Life is truly back to normal, and Bergerac is about to start.
Sod this, I’m off to the playground. And I’m taking Jeff with me. Who’s coming?
I hope you all had a great summer, and please let us know what you got up to. The comments slot is just below so let us know your highs and lows of Summer 2015. Oh, and thanks for reading.