Monday, October 15, 2007


The Most Boring School Holidays. Ever.

The kids are back at school today. If asked to write about their holidays, their pieces would probably be titled along the lines of "My boring school holidays.'

I confess that either side of our 100 mile ride, their two weeks off were a bit of a non-event. I'm feeling a bit guilty about it (as only I can) but this time round I just couldn't find the energy to make their stay-at-home holiday particularly eventful or entertaining. Mind you, I don't think there is anything wrong with kids learning to entertain themselves. In our house, being bored is not allowed. And neither is inviting friends over if your rooms aren't tidy... so noone got to invite any friends over. Unfortunately this meant a bit too much sitting inside with either internet, TV, or (in Zoe's case) a book. I did let Alison and Zoe take themselves to the beach a few times.. time to let the apron strings out a little... though it did mean I worried the whole time they were gone.
I didn't get round to taking them to the movies, or iceskating, or anything 'fun'. But I suppose they will survive.

The first week I was a bit sidetracked with getting things in order for our ride (I'm not sure what the excuse for the second week was - getting over it?) I did a couple of very short rides on my bike when I shuttled cars back and forth to the mechanics, (and haircut appointments!) I also had a massage one day and a chiropractor appointment another. Needless to say all those 'me' things ate into each day, leaving no time for entertainment. (Besides which they could have gone shopping the day I went to the chiro and they chose not to!)

For these holidays Cait agreed to cover for someone's morning paper run while they were away. This involved six early mornings each week - 4 days there were only about a dozen houses to deliver to, but Saturdays and Wednesdays involved delivering to every house over a route of a couple of blocks - all supposed to be done by 7.30 am. Despite the fact that paper rounds don't pay much, I didn't think it was a bad thing for her to learn some responsibility, and to actually earn some money for herself. Plus I relished the opportunity to see her get herself up at 6.30 each morning! Ha! School day get-ups will be like a sleep-in from now on!

So much for great ideas - she promptly got sick on that first Monday, and Alison took over for pretty much the rest of the week. Theoretically this could have gone off without a hitch (lessons in responsibility still apply) except for the part where she enlisted a friend's help on 'the every house' Wednesday delivery, then lost the map (which had the house numbers for the specific deliveries on the other days)... It all ended ok - the friend had accidentally taken it home BUT neglected to let her know; meantime Ali had spent more than half an hour walking the streets looking for it, and another half an hour listening to us ranting and raving about Responsibility. The Consequences meant not being ready to go to the movies in time with the above friend - I hope that friend learnt a lesson as well.

So Cait had come down with some lurgy - sore throat, cough... which ended up with a visit to the doctors and a course of antibiotics. She used that as an excuse to do the Sloth Thing for many days, and while she wasn't sleeping in she assumed a position either sprawled on the lounge, or slouched in front of the computer, sporting headphones, and watching episode after episode of Jonathan Creek. For some reason this irritated me a fair bit - probably something to do with having to yell to get her attention. I get pretty cranky when any of them sit there for hours... even though I do it myself. Nothing like a hypocrite for a mother...

Happy days. But hey.. we were going camping on the weekend! It was something for them to look forward to?! Surely!

I spent the Friday on the computer finalising certificates in anticipation of everyone finishing the ride, plus thank you certificates for the support drivers. And doing up maps (which some appreciated at least - I tried not to be too put off by those who didn't worry about where they were going. I suppose the idea was that we kept together, but even so, I know that I like to know where I'm headed!) Why did I leave doing all that till the day before? Who knows.

Our very short Brooms Head camping experience could probably warrant a post of its own (if I ever get round to it... maybe I'll get a few photos up some time, though it was basically characterised by a northeasterly wind buffetting the campsite on the Saturday afternoon - and getting up at sunrise, packed and on the road before 7 am!) The older two girls made friends with other girls their age who were riding in the support vehicles, so it wasn't all bad. Plus it doesn't hurt them to be helping out their parents for a change. (Thinking many netball carnivals here!) Life isn't all about them.

After that, still nothing much happened the second week of the holidays. Caitlin was back on the paper run, but Alison took up the coughing baton (and is still running with it a bit..) The weather was rather morose (with moods in synch) but at least from my point of view there was a let up in the requests to go to the beach.

Marc went away for work for two nights, but I impressed myself by getting up insanely early on another morning and driving into town for a 6 am/25km community bike ride. I probably won't manage that one during term time, seeing I am a SAHM who doesn't work because she wants flexible hours so she can be home to get her children off to school!

They all got a bit lucky towards the end of the week and got invited to friends' places - although Alison had to endure accompanying me shopping around for a new washing machine on Thursday, and Caitlin got to come with me on Friday to get the car air conditioning overflow pipe fixed. (It was dumping water on my foot whenever we went round corners! Bearable for me, but not ok for the carpet. ) At least she also got to go shopping for some clothes.. and I actually didn't mind the one on one time with her.

They had their last paper round on Saturday morning (though they have agreed to take week about on another one with a friend), and so Marc and I were back on our tandem for our 7o-something kilometre return trip for the community ride.

Cait and Marc had Touch training on Sunday morning, which meant the whole family couldn't go on a 46km BUG ride that sounded good. [We now need to be training for the Gong Ride which is now only in 3 weeks time! Did I mention we are doing it again this year with the kids? Guess what we need to be doing a lot of over the next few weekends?] He suggested Alison and I ride a tandem together (even though I intend to ride with Caitlin ) and so we did - Alison bribed with the fact that there was another girl her age going to be there- on the back of our old tandem, in fact - and me bribed by the fact that she'd probably pedal harder to keep up with the other girl!
I don't think she had a bad time; and I enjoyed the ride anyway.

When you write it all out, it probably doesn't seem that bad after all, and it probably wasn't.

Except that if you made it to the end of this post without falling asleep, you are probably as much in need of a 'life' as I am!

The End.

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It didn't sound all that boring - your girls are old enough now to do some entertaining and organising for themselves, and they are starting to.

I think you just gave them the lessons that we all learned in our youth - holidays were all very well for children, but for parents life just keeps on - so you learn to fit in to their daily life.

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