Before I had a child at school, I would dread school holidays. Everywhere is soooooo crazy busy and I feel like we actually do less stuff than we would do on a normal day. Since the day George started school a month ago, I have been looking forward to the half term holiday. I have really struggled with him being at school full time, I miss him so much. He LOVES school and is thriving which I am elated about, but I still find it hard. It’s so many hours to be away from each other when I’ve been with him every moment since he was born. To let him go and be with people I don’t know doing things without me is a difficult thing to accept. What if he doesn’t make friends? What if he’s lonely? What if he wants me and I’m not there? What if other kids teach him bad words? I’m sure this is totally normal for all parents sending their kids to school for the first time, but that doesn’t make it easier. I literally get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach on a Sunday night because I know a new week is about to start. For the first four weeks I had tears in my eyes at every single morning drop off. I never let him see me sad, obviously, I don’t want him to know. I want school to be so positive and happy for him, he doesn’t need to know my pain. I’m sure it will get easier, it’s just been way harder than I could have imagined to let him go.
With all that in mind, I was determined to make half term a fun packed week for all of us to make the most of being together. We spent a long weekend in York with the in laws to kick start half term. I absolutely love it up there and wish we could go more often. It is about a four hour journey but this time it took six with all of the holiday traffic. We also had a car sick child which made it feel even longer, poor girl. It was not my finest moment dragging her through the services, past people trying to enjoy their dinner while she was literally caked in vomit. We made it in the end though and promptly purchased some travel sickness pills for the journey home.
We spent the weekend basking in the comfort of Grandma’s house being looked after and spoiled. I don’t know who loved it more, me or the kids! I feel so lucky that my husbands parents are so amazing, they really are. We had fun at the railway museum and buying local fudge in York. We even managed a date night for dinner and the cinema, a lovely re charge for both of us.
On Wednesday I decided to brave the Science Museum, crazy I know. We are only a ten minute drive away and can park close by so it’s not hard in that sense. I just knew it would be ridiculously busy but that is my life now I have a child at school. We got there early and it really wasn’t too bad to begin with. They have a new children’s area called ‘Wonderlab’ which I highly recommend. It’s got so much hands on stuff, the children really enjoyed it. We stayed for literally hours and wore ourselves out, but it was so nice.
On Thursday we went to one of my favourite National Trust places, Osterley Park. They had a pumpkin festival and the kids roasted marshmallows, buried themselves in leaves and squealed on rope swings for the whole day. It was exhausting but lovely to just be outdoors and have fun.
On Friday we went to a pottery cafe where the kids were able to paint little figures and get messy. I confess, I’m not good at letting them have messy play at home. I worry far too much about clearing up and can’t relax about it. This was perfect as it’s all set up for them to paint to their hearts content without any thought for mess. They both enjoyed it a lot and it has made me more determined to try harder at home to be more carefree and creative.
Today, the children are in the Transport Museum with their Daddy while I sip my hot chocolate in a near by Starbucks. We are all tired but it’s that good kind of happy tired.
There is no way on earth I’d ordinarily have packed so much into one week but when that’s all you’ve got then that’s what you do. I love having both my children with me and I’m already feeling sad about Monday as life goes back to the new normal.
As my kids were sitting on their coats in the street eating sandwiches in Covent Garden just now, a lovely man stopped me and told me what beautiful children I have. I really have and I’m so lucky.