Bogeys, Holidays and Umbrellas

Me: “Mole, please take your finger out of your nose”.

Mole: “But I’m trying to get my bogey out”.

Me: “Leave the bogey alone, it will come out on its own later”.

Mole: “No it won’t mummy. It will be up there for a hundred weeks”.

Me: (trying not to laugh) “Well I can’t see anything up there”.

Mole gazes at me with glazed eyes, while her finger works its way round and round in her nostril, trying to wriggle its way up even higher. She’s such a lady.

Ah the holidays are stretching away before us, and even though school is still a year away for us, the term dates are coming upon us, like an inevitable tidal wave. Since preschool began this year for Mole, I’ve been forced to become aware of the term dates once again, for the first time in about, oh, 15 years. 15 years of glorious free and independent adult life between leaving school and starting it again, via my children. Don’t think about that for too long.

Oddly enough, I find the term dates strangely comforting. It gives me structure. I can plan the year around them (and I love planning holidays), so I’ve decided to embrace it even before we really need to. The only difference it really makes to us at this stage is the lack of preschool or playgroups.

Most school holidays I suspect will focus on a change of scene get away to see Granny Purple Hair, who is now happily installed in Welsh Wales, helpfully within five miles of a beach. In fact, this is just where we are going for the last two weeks of August. Buckets, spades and wet suits are ready and waiting in the shed to go.

Until then, I’ve compiled a long list of sunny day and rainy day stuff to go, see and do. These consist of mainly animal farms, woods, zoos and swings. The picnic bag and blanket are in the hall, along with the sunglasses, sunscreen, welly boots and rain macs, due to the schizophrenic weather.

For the rainy days I have a soft play centre earmarked as a last resort, but I suspect that play dates with friends, story book time on the sofa, dressing up, playdoh sessions and afternoons with popcorn and Disney movies will be more fun, and less stressful.

Mole: “Mummy, how many umbrellas do we have?”

Me: “Ummm, about five or six”.

Mole: “Yes that’s right. Where is your umbrella mummy?”

Me: “Mine is the grey one in the hall. You have your red one”.

Mole: “Yes, my red one! Mummy do you put the umbrella over daddy when it gets wet? Like I put my umbrella over Hedgehog?”.

Me: “Sometimes” (zoning out).

Mole: “Mummy, LOOK, a wind turbine”.

Me: “Aha, that’s nice”.

Hedgehog: “Mummy I want umbrella”.

Me: “You can have this spotty one Hedgehog”.

She scurries out of the door happily with it, wobbling underneath a vast umbrella canvas.

Mole: “Mummy can you take it down? Do it with the tie”.

I close the umbrella.

Mole: “Mummy do it up, do it up again”.

I open the umbrella.

Mole and Hedgehog: “Put it down, put it down”.

Me: (going cross-eyed) “Bedtime now”.

Mole and Hedgehog: “NO”.

Me: (losing the will to live) “I’m going to have a shower, do you want to come in with me?”.

Mole and Hedgehog: “YES!”

Mole: “Come on Hedgehog quick, let’s go”.

It’s the simplest way to get them upstairs. They blow bubbles with their flannels while I have a hot soak, they thoughtfully scrub all the suds off my legs, and once we’re out of the tub I can round them up into the bedroom, a bit like sheep.

I suspect the next six weeks are going to be like this.

Wishing everyone the best of luck, if you fancy a play date get in touch.