Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Summer Staycation: January is a round tuit

We’ve stayed home these holidays. It means I’ve had time to do the things I haven’t had time to do during the year, knowing that once school starts we’ll be crazy busy once again. So, January is when I can get around to all the jobs I’ve said I’ll do when I get around to it.

I have steam cleaned the kitchen floor (Cyberguy found a steam cleaner in its box on the street - only the fabric cover was missing so I wrapped cloth nappies about it, held them with elastic bands, and Bob’s your uncle), vacuumed under the beds (and learned that even when I’m lying flat on the floor with the vacuum cleaner a child will say ‘Muuum’), cleaned out the kitchen cupboards, the pots and pans and cookbooks, done the mending - what a relief to get rid of the pile of mending - but I haven’t finished all the darning, yet. It all should make the school year run more efficiently.

And it means a chance to catch up with friends. Now I know that the local school friends use this time to see other people, and I have to remind the children that we aren’t their number one priority at the moment (in fact, we might just be handy locals to hang out with). So we try to see the friends who aren’t in our usual schooltime loop. Like last year I’ve organised three open house sessions on weekends, so that people can drop in if they are available. Because it is hard to keep track of who is where during the holidays - most people go away sometime - I figure this is an efficient way to do it. If people can’t come, at least they know that I’m interested in socialising with them. And it means that we clean up the house really well every week.

We’ve been hanging out at the pool. The children are nearly old enough that they can play in the big pool while I swim laps. I’ve been waiting for this for nearly twelve years. They are old enough that they can play in the kids’ pool and I don’t have to get in with them, as I have done for about ten years. But if they are in the big pool, Banjo can only just stand up in the shallow end, and I need to watch her. Matilda can now swim laps. I’m keen to join her.

And we’ve been having playdates. The kids now organise themselves and I can do other things. I used to plan the playdates and set up activities for them. Now they can even cook with their friends with minimal supervision. They’re at a lovely age. They’ve settled into the holidays enough that a game can go on for hours, and be taken up the following day.

I’m planning that we can do a few excursions before the holidays are over, because they really haven’t done much. These are the children who, when I suggested one holiday that we go to Luna Park that day, said no, they were busy playing in the backyard. But they’ll need something to write about their first week back at school, other than listing the books they’ve read, so we’d better go somewhere and do something.

So how about you? How are your holidays going? Do you schedule activities or just go with the flow?


Jill in a Box said...

I'm very impressed by your darning! Anyway, these hols we have done some scheduled activites and some going with the flow. Today a 'drawing club' was set up on our front step and other kids in the street came along and joined in. It turned into a 'cutting everything up' club. This is the first time I have had to manage school holidays, and I am very surprised that it's gone quite well!

sister outlaws said...

The drawing club sounds good Melita! We've been doing a bit of everything - jobs around the house of course, gardening, painting, spring cleaning cupboards and yes, I too tackled the mending pile! - but we've made sure we've done fun things too. The museum had a show on for kids, "Tiddilik", the pool, the children's farm, visiting Nan and Pop...off to the beach for a few days tomorrow for flying kites and paddling...