August 22, 2013 by talkaboutyork
It is the tail end of the summer holidays and mothers across Britain are most likely moving away from wine bottles to wine boxes with a tap (cheaper, easier access, greater volume, less explaining to the neighbours about the overflowing recycle bin).
You see, a mere eight weeks ago, I was positively salivating at the thought of the school holidays, so sick was I of the relentless, groundhog tedium that is involved in getting two children off to school. Every. Single. Day (including Saturday school and let’s not forget Sunday morning rugby fixtures….) Even as I type this I am starting to get a strange twitch in my face just thinking about it all.
Yet, with just ten days of holidays left, I confess, I am counting down till I can wave them off at the school gate. Their bags are packed. Uniforms ironed. Name tags (mostly) sewed in. Stationery labelled. Rooms cleared. I am ready.
I think my children have picked up on this.
‘Hey kids, why don’t we spend this morning brainstorming what your goals at school this year are going to be? It’ll be fun. We can make a collage. Or a poster. Or something,’ I say with a slightly crazed expression in my eyes. (I am actually secretly trying to get them to do something that doesn’t involve a screen or me having to swim, cycle, run or play cricket.)
Silence. Except for the TV.
‘Boys? Did you hear me? Shall we do what I suggested?’
‘Um, no. That sounds dumb.’
‘And boring. And stop talking about school. It is our holidays and you keep talking about it.’
I know I do. It’s as though by talking about it, it will come sooner and then I won’t have to take out AA membership. Not the car variety.
I have genuinely had a lovely summer with them. I’ve embraced being a kid and just got stuck in having fun. They have enjoyed it too.
But sadly, they don’t show their gratitude for all the fun stuff they’ve done by doing as they’re asked or being helpful around the house, or tidying up after themselves, or getting on well together, or eating their vegetables, or cleaning their teeth, or not singing the same song over and over, or not saying that I’m the meanest mum in the world because I asked them to try on their old rugby boots to see if they still fit, or not nagging, or not complaining that their brother had a lolly two days ago and that’s not fair and that he needs to have one now despite it being 9pm at night.
In fact they show no gratitude at all.
We’ve had words. The words may have included me threatening to lock them in their bedrooms with just a piece of dry bread to eat all day with exits only for toilet breaks and a possible visit from the wooden spoon to their backsides unless they sort their act out. They may also have included reference to the poor starving children in Africa who have so much less than they do.
The number of times I shout a day is escalating rapidly. In fact just two days ago I actually said this to them: ‘I about to swear but I’m afraid I need to. WHY DO I HAVE TO GET BAT SHIT CRAZY WITH YOU BEFORE YOU’LL LISTEN????’
All they heard was ‘shit’ and the rest of my message was lost. Unsurprisingly.
Anyway, just ten more days to go. Pass the wine will you.