December 18, 2013 by talkaboutyork
My Holiday Challenge plan is not going to plan. It appears that although children like to do what they want to do, they do not like having to be responsible for it. It had all started off so well too…
Child 1, upon hearing that he had a whole day in which he could decide what we would all do, immediately sat down and wrote out his day. I have copied it directly from the ipad notes on which he typed it, including the info he found on the website he used for his research on pricing (to ensure he stuck to his £35 budget) and a descriptor about what we would be doing:
Need to be dressed at 9pm and get ready to go to xscape .but have a big breakfast because of there will only be packed lunch (1sandwich 2 lollies and 1apple).
‘Put on your 3D glasses and tee off into another dimension! This classic family adventure has a whole new look. Xplore presents two heavily themed courses brought to life with ultra-violet light, strange sounds and special effects!
Rid the kids of boredom over the Christmas holidays and play 4D Golf with the family. Family ticket prices:
Search for Atlantis (6 holes) – £9.99 per family The Mummy’s Curse (9 holes) – £13.99 per family Both courses (15 holes) – £19.99 per family
after that get home and chill for 2 hours. Then we will go to candy hero. Come home and watch a movie (preferably comedy or action). Then we can play games and hopscotch then we are free to do what we like!!
Although I wasn’t massively excited to drive 40 minutes to play mini golf followed by a visit to a sweetie shop and then probably an afternoon of board games/screens, I was willing to go with the plan especially as he included hopscotch.
So this morning I got up, fed them and had a shower. I asked my son what I should wear i.e. were we still going to stick with his plan or did I need to wrap up warm for something different.
He seemed to enjoy telling me what to wear and it was all on track. I then asked if he had got the post code of where we were going so that I could put it into the satnav. He looked it up and while doing that I asked him to check the time it opened. Apparently it was 11am. So we didn’t need to set off at 9 after all. Which meant they spent a bit longer on screens. Which segued into apathy.
I was then contacted by a friend who said she was going to the cinema if we fancied joining them. This is where I went wrong. I should never have offered an alternative! I told my son that if he still wanted to stick with his plan, he could. But that if he wanted to change plans and join his friends at the cinema, he could do that too. I did not mind. It was entirely up to him. He ummed and aahed about it for a while but decided that he did want to go to the cinema and that as our budget would be stretched, we’d have to buy our own sweets/popcorn in advance instead of buying it there.
But then the wheels fell off. All of a sudden the decision to deviate from his plan seemed to throw him. But sticking with his plan also seemed rubbish as we hadn’t left at 9am, as per his strict itinerary. We seemed to flick flack between each option until eventually he declared that he didn’t care what we did and flounced out.
By this point the entire morning had passed by, a cunning ploy by them to simply play on screens while they made up their minds.
Eventually we went to the cinema. We even had enough budget to buy a large popcorn between us as we had run out of time to go somewhere else to buy cheaper stuff. But my child declared that this was no longer ‘his day’ and that I had forced him to go to the cinema (I really, really hadn’t). And that he would be having ‘his day’ another day.
After the movie we came home and they wanted to play poker. A nice healthy gambling habit in the making. We did that for a while but I have had enough. This isn’t either of ‘their days’. It is simply a day that hasn’t gone to plan yet it has still cost me £35, the children have still spent too much on screens, they are still not using their imaginations or entertaining themselves and they are still fighting.
So they have now been instructed to amuse themselves for the remainder of the day – without screens. And without my involvement. They are busy shooting each other with nerf bullets as I type which will result in a fight, but for now they are not relying on me, a screen or money to keep them amused. Small victories.
Tomorrow we have a day off as they play with friends. Friday we return to THE PLAN. I shall keep you posted as to whether that is any more successful. I’m really starting to think it wasn’t such a cunning idea after all.
Learn through my mistakes parents of the world.
(A whispered update: they have stopped killing each other with Nerf guns and are actually creating their own cartoons, sitting at a table drawing! Someone get the smelling salts and lift me off the floor!)