I love the summer holidays, as regular readers of this blog will know, because I get to spend more time with my lovely kids.
I’ve started to notice the kids don’t feel the same way.
Last week my eldest daughter, now aged 7, spent ages designing a new bead bracelet for her new best friend whom she’d met on holiday. She asked me to tie it together at the ends. I promptly dropped the bracelet and the beads went everywhere. Then, to make matters worse, I laughed! It was hilarious and I’m pleased to report that my eldest has come round to my way of thinking but it took a little while.
About a month ago my eldest was up in the night, unable to sleep because she was feeling poorly. I offered to come and keep her company. She’s enormous and wriggly (and she had a bug I didn’t want to catch) so she lay in her bed, the bottom bunk, and I lay on the floor. I immediately fell asleep on my face, started snoring like a man on a stag doo which woke up my youngest who was asleep on the top bunk. They woke me up by pelting me with toys and then threw me out of their bedroom so they could get some rest.
On a trip to Hampton Court this week my eldest, who is nearly 8 but going on 28, banged on and on about wanting to go around the maze on her own. We’re members to the maze is familiar to her, but not so much that she can just walk straight out. I agreed. She’s been a good girl and I wanted to reward her with a bit of trust that she is so craving. When it came to the moment my mummy radar started screaming at me in a panic so we set some rules.
- You don’t leave the maze. If you get there first you stay in the centre. Right in the centre. Right by the frame statue.
- If you find you can’t get out and you start to panic shout really loudly and I will come and find you. She asked me how I would do that. I said “I will follow your shouts” because that’s going to work in a maze!!!
- If anybody grabs you and tries to take you out of the maze you scream at the top of your voice.
- Here is my work phone. Put it in your rucksack. “Why do I need that?” I reply “So that if anything happens to you I can track you by the iPhone.” Because I’m now a member of Paw Patrol!?!?!?!?
Now that we’re both terrified, off we go into the maze, rushing like mad to get it over with. I have my youngest with me who is oblivious to this all and wants to take her time making choices over which path to take. NOW NOW NOW is the advice I give her over how to make these decisions. We get to the middle pretty quickly and my eldest runs into my arms all a quiver. “Never again” we both agree, even though nothing real happened to her and everyone she encountered was really nice to her. She did gain a good dose of her mothers paranoia which totally ruined the fun.
The youngest is wishing the days away until September so she can start school. The eldest had me buy school supply this week, clearly desperate to go back too. There is another, a step daughter who is 22. She’s unemployed. Perhaps she’ll come to play.
What’s that. She got a got a job!
I’m getting a dog!
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SARAH CANTRILL is a woman on a mission to inspire every young child to become a reader for pleasure. She is the Artistic Director & Founder of STORY STORKS, a social enterprise that delivers interactive story workshops to early years children and their grown ups, that help kids to fall in love with stories and develop their early language skills meaning that they have an easier time of learning to read when the time is right. She is also passionate about helping and supporting parents through the early years and lobbying for a better understanding of them and the issues they present. Occasionally she also speaks up for the kids too!