Friday, 30 November 2012

Woohooo!!! Only 5 more days of lunchboxes to pack!

Woohooo!!! Only 5 more days of lunchboxes to pack!
30 November 2012

This morning as I dropped the kids off at school, I had a very happy thought indeed.  Only five more days of lunch boxes to pack.  Yippieee!!!

The lunch box thing is extremely tedious.  Sooo dull and boring.  Every day a nice healthy sandwich, some fruit and a bicci too.  Yet it takes time and finding variations are challenging.  At the moment it’s rolls with lettuce and cheese and even that is not simple.  Amber has no butter, just lettuce and cheese.  Luke has very little butter and mainly likes the white and very crispy bits of the lettuce with lots of cheese.  And Cole uses his roll as a vehicle for as much butter as possible – easy on the lettuce and cheese.  They’re all so different.  Amber never finishes her lunch, there’s always gruesome bits left behind or she takes pity on a friend and shares everything out, not eating much herself – conveniently I tell you.  Luke’s lunchbox comes back squeaky clean – not a morsel left to be found.  And Cole’s lunchbox always looks as scrumptious as when it left home in the morning.  The Ritalin affects his appetite, so he usually never even opens it up.  Still I can’t find it in my heart to send him to school empty handed.  Ever hopeful that today is the day he might just get hungry.  Occasionally he nibbles on the snacks, but never the sarmie.  He tends to wolf it all down once he’s home in the afternoon, when the Ritalin wears off.  So with him, it’s all big breakfast, to carry him through.

I cherish the holidays with the kids, but perhaps it’s for purely selfish reasons.  No more driving around.  No more hurrying up and waiting.  No more swimming lessons, dancing lessons, extra-maths, cricket, tennis, etc.  Just down time.  However the downside of holidays is the inevitable bickering, as they get bored.  Daily excursions are just not an option – they are costly and take precious time too.  Because though they might be on holiday, sadly I’m not.  In fact, now is my very busiest time.  In the Jumping Castle business, summer is King and I give in to a virtual plethora of little sayings.  I have to strike now while the iron is hot.  Make hay while the sun shines.  You get where I’m going with this.  The winter months are dreary, so I have to do my thing now.  So to keep them busy, we have the odd friend over and they go to friends too.  Their bedrooms are filled with toys.  We have dogs to play with, a lovely garden and a little inflatable splash-pool we put up every summer.  It’s not huge, but it serves the purpose to cool down and the kids and adults have lots of fun in it.

The flipside of the holiday coin is the long stretches of time.  Time in which I don’t get much done.  It is not really fair for me to be in work, work, work mode.  Yet I can’t relinquish my computer to them for games all of the time, when I need it for myself.  I don’t like them on the TV lots either.  It feels horribly disloyal and selfish and awful to say this, but sometimes the very best part of my day is when I drop them off at school.  When I have a bit of unadulterated time to do my stuff.  It’s not like it’s fun stuff I’m doing – it’s just stuff.  I don’t spend my childless mornings lounging about reading a book, painting me nails and going for tea.  I work.  Mainly Jumping Castle stuff (phone calls, e-mails, admin, etc.), a bit of blogging if I’m lucky and time allows, grocery shopping and such.  These are things that take way longer with the kids in tow.

We have certain words in our house that we don’t use.  So, I suppose more aptly, we don’t have certain words in our house.  Obviously swearing falls in this category, however us adults do have our flaws and occasionally indulge – we’re human after all and parental perfection is severely overrated.  Then we also don’t do “hate”, “ja” and “bored” or “boring”.  The hate thing is obvious.  And then for some or other odd reason, I don’t like my kids saying “ja”.  It just sounds terrible to me.  They absolutely always say “yes” instead of “ja” – I know it’s quirky, but there you go.  We don’t even think about it and I trained them from little  – none of us do “ja” unless we’re speaking Afrikaans.  They probably do it out of earshot all of the time, but at least refrain in my presence.  But probably the biggest no-no of all is the b-word.  We all have moments when we don’t know what to do and I know that technically that qualifies as being bored, yet my kids have no excuse.  They have each other to play with and entertain, toys, puzzles, books, music, instruments, pets, outside, etc.  The sky is the limit.  Every so often they’ll say to me “I’m the b-word” and then I simply remind them of all the options available to them and shoo them away.  Sometimes when you are the b-word, alone time is just the best.  A long gone fond memory of before I had kids – alone time.  Now, they even NEED me when I’m on the loo.  Nothing is sacred and very little time and space belongs just to me.  In fact is there any?

So for now, in the back of my mind, I’ll stock up on some standard replies and answers for when they come to me and say they’re the b-word.  Amber loves baking and making salads and treats in the kitchen – so that’s her sorted.  I just need to make sure I have an ample supply of baking gear.  Cole’s little heart goes pitter patter when you give him a few lengths of wood, some nails a hammer and tell him to go for it.   And all Luke needs is technology – his Blackberry, a computer, his Playstation or the TV.  The trick however is steering him away from technology.  But at the moment, he’s trying to earn a bit of bucks to pay back his debt for his latest PC game – so he’ll be doing chores.  He spent a fun-fun-fun afternoon yesterday varnishing our outdoor furniture.  The b-word dilemma – all sorted out.

Roll on only 5 more days of school – I’m just so ready for the holidays!

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