A young boy with a copy of Little Miss Chatterbox. All of the letter Ts have been removed from the photo.

Ah, the summer holidays. Six weeks to fill with entertaining activities to keep kids occupied and parents sane. I’m failing miserably at both. Having just gone freelance, I’ve had to hide away and work as much as possible and it also means that we can’t afford a holiday or as many days out as we’d like. Also, Xander is a fully fledged ‘threenager’ now – and therefore at the polar opposite of the age of reason – so our proverbial plate is full. The natives are therefore restless and doing what they do best to express how bored they are. I get the feeling that Dylan and Xander are somehow relishing this. Here are some of the things they’ve been doing to slowly drive me mad…

Bedtime battles

We’ve always struggled with this time of day and it has been even worse this summer. They take the start of the bedtime routine as a cue to go all a bit Lord of the Flies. They run about, shout and generally act up for about two hours before finally settling down. And they’ve taken to calling me ‘Evil Face’ and ‘Keith’.

More T, boys?

Why do my once-well-spoken sons suddenly sound like the cast of EastEnders? They’re deliberately dropping their Ts and it really winds me up! Don’t get me wrong, I love accents and enjoy hearing Dylan experimenting with the different ones he’s heard on TV, but wish they would enunciate properly!

What a waste!

Why use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when you can squeeze from the middle of the tube, getting it everywhere? Why use one piece of toilet paper when it’s more fun to chuck an entire roll down the pan? Why turn the tap off while you’re not using it? All questions that form the manifesto that is my sons’ attitude towards resources.

Thinking inside the box

At the start of the holiday, we bought the boys a sandpit and some football goals to encourage outdoor play and exercise. They’ve played with them once each and proved that age-old cliché about kids enjoying playing with the box more than its contents to be absolutely true. That was money well spent.

Changing their story

It’s been difficult striking a balance, but we’ve made sure that we make time to play with the boys and read to them every day. The problem with the latter is that Xander insists on changing books after we’ve started reading them. I still don’t know what happens at the end of Moo-Cow Kung-Fu-Cow…

What have your kids done to drive you round the bend this summer?

  1. Iris Tilley says:

    Can i just say please read your post cos it will make you laugh giving you some kind of relief. Its a great post mine have all left now but theres lots of reminders of how it use to be

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