He hit me. Well, he hit me first. I only hit him because he nutbagged me (don’t ask what this is, I made the mistake of doing so and I can’t unsee it).
What’s for breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/dinner/snack/supper/snack?
I need my phone topped up.
I have no clothes to wear. You haven’t washed my clothes in time for me getting out of bed when I feel like it.
Where is my football kit?
There’s nothing in this house that I feel like eating.
I need a fiver.
Can I…(insert three hundred million possible ends to this sentence, all of which I heard over the summer).
Who has my charger?
He stole my charger.
He lost my charger.
I need a new charger.
He broke my…(insert pretty much anything they own of value onto the end of this sentence. It was an expensive summer).
I need £2 for the pool.
I need £2 for the shop.
I need £2 to meet my friends in town.
I need money for lunch when I meet my friends in town. Why would I eat a sandwich before I go? Then I won’t be hungry for my MacDonalds! Actually, I probably will. Ok I’ll eat a sandwich. And take a fiver with me.
Will is hitting that kid again.
Will is stealing food from the neighbours again.
Will is stealing food from people’s caravans again.
Will is in trouble with the caravan park owner again.
Will is banned from the caravan park again.
Why did you wake me so early?! It’s only flipping 11am!
Ah, the sweet sound of summer! Kids off school. Sun not shining. No work being done because one is expected to tend to the ever-expanding list of demands of teens, preteens and feral 6-year-olds. My eldest is on the cusp of 12 and believe me, in 2017 that makes him a teenager. He came home from school the other day and told me his new school stank of puberty. I roared. He hates the stink of youth. You and me both son.
By the way, if you are reading this with a baby on your lap just take a big whiff of their head right now. Inhale that gorgeous baby smell. That will soon be replaced by the stale smell of sweaty hair - a combination of muck and aged cheese. Sniff that talc-y goodness while you still can.
In some ways it gets easier as they get older. They do grasp on to their independence and run from you at breakneck speed. As long as you feed them a constant supply of funds for food and entertainment, phone top-ups and free wifi you can live a pain-free summer life. Andy learnt this gorgeous truth when I was in Vegas for my 40th. You can have a pretty cushy run at parenting if you let the X Box have free reign. One day they spent 9.5 hours playing Minecraft. Wouldn’t have happened on my watch. Thankfully Microsoft send me telltale emails so I can tongue a bucketful when I get home. 23 hours of gaming in four days?! Are you kidding me?!
Bedtime is a thing of the past during the summer holidays. You never know who is home, who they have with them, how long their guests are staying for and if their parents even know they are out. I gave up asking because you only get embarrassed grunts in return. “Hello new child I’ve never met before. Are you enjoying my home? Do I need to feed you? Do I need to arrange transport home for you? Which of my children are you actually here with as I note they are all in a different room from yourself?” Someone then magically appears and declares that I am SO EMBARRASSING and “just ignore her Joe, she’s not right in the head.” Joe seems perturbed that it’s 6pm and I am in pyjamas (it’s called loungewear Joe, don’t be so judgey). I took to wearing earplugs over the summer because no-one was in bed before 11pm and I desperately needed sleep so that I could get up at 6am to do all their washing and earn all of their MacDonalds and swimming money before they arose at lunchtime with a fresh list of demands.
I tried to entertain them, I truly did. There was that tennis racket fiasco. I took them on lots of adventures that were utterly displeasing to them due to lack of wifi in remote places. There were also countless trips to the beach every week. The entire contents of the house hauled to WhiteRocks so they could ignore everything they insisted on bringing in favour of hammering the shit out of each other at the top of the sand dunes. This got old after a few days so we came up with a better version of The Beach Trip. We still hauled everything to WhiteRocks, still set up a basecamp with the windbreaker and a big bag of food but this time we left them to it. “Hey kids we are going to walk to Portrush for a coffee (wine). Here’s the deal: if you don’t drown, get stolen by a stranger or murder each other we will buy you an ice-cream on our return.” This was the win of the century. No-one died, no-one drowned and they all managed to avoid being bundled into a white van by a moustached stranger with a puppy. Wines and ice creams for all! We also got a little bit of sun and a little bit of exercise in the process. I tell ya, they don’t teach these nuggets at parenting classes!
So, our summer of fighting, whining, complaining and poverty (mine) has come to an end. Replaced with an endless list of new stationary essentials, uniform, money for food in school, money for football camps and training and matches and more food to fuel all of the energy required to be back in routine. I wouldn’t have it any other way. School and Sport you are awesome. Routine, you are awesome (I’m sorry for bitching about you at the end of June). Normal Bedtime you are also awesome. I love all of you with all of my heart.
*Sidenote* Hey Mama! Yes you, over there, blending those organic carrots for your baby-talc-smelling darling. Don’t bother yer ass. In precisely 10 years they will go to Year 8 and exist on a diet of chips with a side of MSG. You think you will have control over this? You won’t. Don’t send yourself crazy over it. What did you eat when you went to high school? Exactly. Now calm down, sniff your baby and enjoy the freedom I have just given your future self.
Well, mums and dads - what’s next for all of us? Now that the teachers are in control of our lives again (thank you teachers, you are also awesome and I’m sorry for all of the things my children will put you through this year). I’m headed back to RinkaDink. I’m using my 6am starts to write. I’m using my quiet evenings to edit. I’m even going to attempt to revive my running career so that I can re-do the Seven Sevens in 2018 and overtake my husband whilst giving him the fingers and throwing an emergency Mars Bar back in his face. Good goals for the rest of the year. What are yours? I’m interested for real.
P.S. I finally stopped spending all of my money on the three turds and bought my Apple Airpods. I regret nothing.