Ah the summer holidays, the torturous home-schooling is over, it’s time to relax by the paddling pool and visit a few places.
Well that’s what I had planned! Unfortunately, I still had three meals a day to prepare, extra washing and hunt the socks. (Why do I have 20 odd socks? Is it the Sock Monster?)
I also became the proud mum of a walking toddler. The time it took for my little baby to go from standing to walking felt like an eternity. I actually didn’t think he was interested in walking because he could escape from any room just by speed crawling.
However, he suddenly and confidently started walking and running within the space of a week. After my huge moment of Mummy pride I then had to try and capture this amazing progress on video to share with my friends and family across WhatsApp. I’d seen plenty of friends proudly show their child taking their first steps and I couldn’t wait to see my friends comments pour in with admiration.
So, I tried placing him at the end of the room, running to the other side, fumbling with my phone ready to video and……he’d be standing right in front of me. He was so fast and I was so slow I missed it every time. After several weeks of trying I gave up. Instead of receiving tons of admiration I was receiving tons of demands for a video of him walking.
I felt all hope was lost and I would miss his little wobbly walk. However, my little boy being so helpful started helping me around the house. This was the moment I’d been waiting for; I had taught him how to unload the plastics from the dishwasher and I would capture this all on camera.
I started filming as he wobbled over to the dishwasher, removed a plastic plate and placed it in our open plastics cupboard. I quickly cut the camera and started posting it to family and friends. I ignored the fact that the other two children could be heard in the background arguing, hopefully they wouldn’t play the sound and this would be my little one’s moment of glory. The comments of admiration rolled in but I couldn’t read any of these just yet. My little boy had emptied the contents of the plastics cupboard whilst I’d been sharing and so I had it all to pack away again!
Time does not stand still here and although chaos is the norm during the summer, there is one thing I have been dreading ….. the school uniform shop. Thinking about uniform shopping, is much easier than doing it and the first step was to encourage my children to find their PE kit.
After two weeks of asking and then begging the children, I finally gave in and took on the task to look for it with them. The Sock Monster had clearly decided to sabotage the PE kit too, one child found their PE kit bag empty and the other found only half of their kit.
Once the majority of kit and uniform was found, it was time to try it all on. Sizes sorted the old uniform was bagged for the next sibling or the charity shop ready to go. But no…we are not ready to go to the shops yet, I have to open the bags of uniform given to me by my friends from their children. These were lovingly packed and were now stacked in my hall in neatly folded heaps. Why the hall? My little one wasn’t sleeping well, so I was closer to him and in between the other children’s bedrooms. This did not work as well as I had hoped, whilst running to care for the baby, I was falling over the piles of clothes and the children’s doorways were disappearing behind huge uniform mountains. If there was a Sock Monster stealing PE kits, he would be crushed by the sheer weight of the uniform.
Despite the chaos of what I had created, I did manage to sort all the clothes and make a list for the uniform shop. Hold that glass of wine, I am only one supermarket shop away from completing the mission.
The next day came the uniform shop, I had my hand sanitiser, my mask and three well behaved children. What could possibly go wrong? Well the first problem was I had to search for all the sizes.
But would the store make me buy clothes I’d touched whilst searching for a size 7-8 non-iron, pack of two, short sleeve shirt? I had to be careful. With the shelves stacked high, I had to jump up and down to see the sizes, this took several attempts to identify the right items. I then removed the clothes from the rail, using a coat hanger from another purchase. The plan worked well, I did look like a complete idiot but I did not have to buy anything I didn’t need. The kids were really helpful, kind and friendly as usually.
Once home I carefully balanced the shopping in my arms to the door, I would make this a quick unload, whilst juggling the keys. My son then declared in his loudest voice, “Mummy’s weeing!”. The builders over the road had a good stare, from their angle they could see yellow liquid pouring from between my legs. As I stuffed everything in my arms, I had grabbed an open bottle of orange juice, upside down and soaking myself completely. Note to self: Get the kids to carry their own drinks bottles.
Louisa Nevard also produces the Mum’s Guide to St Neots online and on social media at: www.mumsguideto.co.uk/st-neots.