Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Musical Children

So happy together.  Photos are amazing. 
And no, I don't mean I have highly talented child musicians.  I mean like the game musical chairs.

Every day we wake up, we eat breakfast.  So far so normal.

Then, because it's holidays, someone will ask what we are doing today.  It is rare for anyone to ask the day before.  They all seem to like the surprise.  Then, if I tell them we are having a quiet day, they ask for a playdate.  I resist for a while, enjoying the idea of just having my offspring (who I can ignore when they fight) and then give in to the nagging (it is nice having someone round).

But what to do?  If everyone gets a friend over, that's 6 kids.  It can get a bit hectic.

Sometimes, especially at this, the tail end of the holidays, I send them to activities, which they don't like as much as staying at home, but I don't normally send them to torture chambers, just tennis camp and vacation care at the school which has fun activities like Skater Days, Laser Tag and Wet and Wild Fun.

If I do farm them out, it's in my best interests to pre arrange a friend to attend the same thing.  Or the separation can be tricky.  Especially with my lad.

When they were younger I could send him anywhere as long as Sarah was going.  They would trot off, happy with the novelty of a day of activities.  If possible I would arrange for them to go with friends, partly because of the car pooling opportunities (and y'all know how I love a good car pool) but it wasn't a showstopper if I didn't.

These days they never want to go unless there is a confirmed friend.  Drives me mad.  So this morning when he didn't know anyone at tennis he cried his way there, and clung to me like he was half his age until I tore myself away and told him in a fierce whisper how long I'd confiscate his ipod for if he didn't leave me and go and join the group RIGHT NOW.

Issy stood beside him, equally friendless, yet completely unworried, leaning on her racquet and saying nonchalantly "C'mon Josh you'll meet someone, C'MON JOSH, Mum needs to go."

I did.  I had to work.  A new concept for all of us, which adds a new level of urgency to our departure.

BTW Issy can be annoying but she is also a bit of a trouper.

Anyhoo, I digress as usual.  What I meant to say was, usually when they do return from one of these activities where there is a friend involved, they always ask for a playdate.  It's like a reflex.

This afternoon I collected Sarah and three mates from a cheerleading day and on the way home they tried for the 4 way playdate, and eventually when practicality prevailed, settled to divide into pairs for the final few hours of the day, just to eke out their togetherness.

On the days when we do stay at home, between the kids around the corner and the kids up the road, and the last minute text arrangements, I have ended up with as many as 8 kids at my house, or once or twice, when the stars align, none.

You can't even run into another parent at the shops without ending up walking away with an extra kid. Or them with one of yours.

I'm not complaining, it is a wonderful community, village raising a child feeling, even if it sometimes does get very confusing.  But so far we've all ended up with the right number of kids in the evening so someone must be on the ball.

Oh, I forgot, the sleepovers! All the sleepovers.  I've packed Sarah's sleepover bag about 5 times these hols.  And I feel bad because I've only got the sleepover mattress out 3 times.  Which means I'm in sleepover debt.  If only I could remember who I owe them to.  It's a bit of a blur.

And again.  It's uncanny, and bears almost no relation to reality. 
Joshie, true to form, has no desire for a sleepover.  If he is ever asked, he says he just likes home.

Issy will sleep anywhere.  I hope she grows out of this before she becomes a teenager and develops an interest in boys.

So we are a week out from school resuming and tomorrow for the first time, they are all going to the same place dropped by me, and being picked up by me at the same place.  Unheard of.