Before the summer holidays started, I sat down and had a little talk with Belle about the impending six weeks, and exactly how we were going to manage the whole work, fun, childcare balance. As much as I didn’t want to, I explained to her, I was going to have to do some work, and as useful for me as her week away with Gran was going to be, we needed to come up with something else too.
“Don’t make me go to Clifton College holiday club!” she wailed, a look of panic on her face.
“I won’t make you go there again,” I reassured her, “I promised didn’t I?”
She looked relieved.
“I don’t want to go to the holiday club at school either,” she pleaded, “they just make you decorate keyrings all day.”
“OK,” I said, rapidly running out of options. “How about sports?”
We were quiet for a moment, both thinking about the disaster of the two-day football camp the previous summer. Belle, as you may have worked out, is not a fan of the whole ‘wrap-around-care’ concept. For her, holidays and after school are for watching all the television she has been kept away from during school hours.
“Well then,” I said, laughing hysterically inside at the very idea that she would agree, “the only other option is a residential camp, where you go away for the whole week with lots of people you don’t know.”
“I’ll do that one,” she said, and turned back to MI High, the conversation apparently now over.
Well, that was a shock.
So, tomorrow, she’s off. Monday to Friday, sleeping in yurt dorms, wading through swamps, meeting red squirrels, and tagging crabs. She’s only going to be about an hour away, but I am so proud of her. She’s getting pretty excited about it, and this afternoon has been sorting out what she wants to take, and zealously labelling everything with her rather lovely personalised stickers, provided specially for the occasion by This is Nessie. This is Nessie do a whole range of gorgeous personalised stuff, so if you are a stationery geek like me, they are well worth a look.
In the morning, we’ll be up early, and by 9.30am I will be child free for five whole days, as Bee is away next week too, doing some very grown-up work experience.
Five whole days!
I’ve never actually been alone in the house for that long. What will I do? Who will I talk to? Looking at Belle’s programme, I’m quite jealous. I quite fancy a safari scavenger hunt. Bonfires, marshmallows, yes please.
Maybe I’ll book myself in…