They’re here! The summer holidays are here! Don’t panic, put down the gin, we can do this! Deep breaths.
It is 10am on the first day of the summer holidays in our house and Belle is sat in front of the TV eating toast and jam. I suspect this could be a sign of things to come as I spend large chunks of the holidays juggling work and child care.
I am envisaging a lot of conversations that go something like this:
Me: Turn the TV off now and do something else. You don’t need to watch a fourth episode of iCarly.
Belle (groaning): Can I go on the laptop?
Me: No, I am working on it.
Belle (sighing heavily): Well can I go on the iPad then?
Me (exasperated): No! Go and do something that doesn’t involve a screen. Build a fort or something.
Belle (sarcastic): A fort? This isn’t the Middle Ages you know. Do you want me to go out in the street and spin a top?
At this point she will stamp up to her room and lie on her bed playing on her iPod touch while I pretend not to realise so I can buy myself an extra half hour of work. Not ideal.
The summer holidays are tough though. We’re bringing up a generation of kids who don’t really know how to entertain themselves with something that doesn’t have a USB cable attached to it in some way and to suddenly ask them to amuse themselves for a month and a half is a bit of a challenge. We have myriad books, comics and activity packs, but does painting with a toothbrush really constitute a two hour activity for ten year olds, as the books might have us believe?
Perhaps I am being too hard on myself. It’s not like we are spending the whole six weeks with me sat at my desk with my back to Belle, expecting the highlight of her day to be making me lunch. We do have a lot of fun activities and little holidays planned, it’s just that on the days when I’m not laying on top notch entertainment, I would quite like Belle to be able to keep herself busy and for me not to have to come up with new ideas for her every twenty minutes.
Is that too much to ask?