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Thursday, 11 July 2013

A Summer Plan

In the past week, I have been faced with a stark realisation. The first, that Pip finishes pre-school tomorrow.  The second, that I then have 7 weeks of summer to fill before he starts school. I am not panicking. I am calm. I am swan like. I can do this.  We are going to have the best summer ever. *Mutters ad infinitum whilst silently stressing.*

How am I going to ensure a stress free summer with a four year old and a seven month old?  It’s going to present challenges - one wants to run off in each and every direction, the other can’t run at all, but is desperate to crawl and determined to not sit in his buggy.  I need a plan.  A master plan.

Two of my favourite bloggers recently detailed their plans for summer. You can read them here and here. I thoroughly enjoyed reading theirs, so thought I would share mine. It’s always good to commit to (virtual) paper one’s best intentions; so here it is, my five point plan for summer.  Some things I plan to do for my children - and for myself.

1. Enjoying time with my boys

Organised Activities - I’ve given up on mother guilt for the summer. It’s not going to do me any good, and a hair shirt is far too uncomfortable to wear in this heat. I’ve arranged a number of holiday camps, gym activities and a drama workshop for Pip to do throughout the summer.  There was a time that I might have felt guilty about this, but I’m over that.  Seven weeks of only me to entertain him and he will be bored out of his brain.  All of the things he’s doing are at locations and with organisations known to him and I know he will love them.  It will give me some intermittent (and probably much needed) breaks and leave me revived for the afternoons and days we spend together.

Picnics and Playdates -I’ve surprised myself by being organised enough to doodle the local mum’s with a list of dates we can all get together and picnic at some local landmarks and enjoy a multiple play date.   Chuck all the kids together with a ball and some trees to climb and the day seems to pass quite easily. Plus, I find a group of children is much easier to look after if you’re with a group of mothers.
 
A 'Back Up' List - Invariably there will be days when we will be footloose and fancy free. Sometimes those days are nice to have, on other occasions I am sure I will wonder how I am going to get to the end of the day.  When I feel this way I sometimes find it hard to find the inspiration to get myself out of the rut.  With this in mind I’ve stockpiled a few rabbits that I can pull out of the proverbial hat if I really need to.  A Mister Maker kit with various craft activities, a bow and arrow (child friendly), a box of (new) Lego stashed in the cupboard. And a multitude of yoghurt pots, egg boxes and washing up bottles for a touch of junk modelling.  Freestyle crafting -  that’s my type of creative activity.

2. A change of scene

Summer in London can feel oppressive when the mercury rises.  The lack of open space, the poor air quality, sometimes make it feel difficult to breathe.  I find I start to crave watery landscapes; lakes or the cooling breeze of sea. The desire to desert the melting pavements becomes overwhelming. For one week in August, we’re leaving London and  heading to Dorset;  to feel the sand between our toes, the cold salty water of the sea and catch crabs. The icing on the cake; we’re taking my parents with us. I am hoping their willingness to babysit will mean I get to spend some well overdue one to one time with Husband.

3. Getting Pip school ready

Pip starts school in September. I want to use the summer holidays to ensure he feels happy with some of the things that will be expected of him come September.  Since we moved into our rented place, he won’t take himself to the toilet on his own. He likes one of us to go with him, whether this is the house or a way of still asserting dependence; ‘ I need you just as much as EB', I don’t know. He is perfectly capable of taking himself to the toilet as he used to do it all the time. It’s something we need to work on. Likewise, his knife and fork skills and his ability to sit (relatively) still at the table at lunchtime.  We’ll also be practising doing up all those tricky little buttons on his school shirts.
 
I am also hoping to spend some time quality time alone with him. To relish his company and his pure and innocent take on the world before he jumps on the rapid elevator to maturity once he starts school. I have a couple of day trips out planned for just the two of us. I’m really looking forward to them.

4. Capturing moments with my camera

I haven’t been taking many photographs recently. Pip is going through a camera shy phase (refusing to look at the camera 99% of the time).  As yet, a good photograph of both Pip and EB together has eluded me. The poor light of the rainy spring months and the fact EB was too small to sit by himself until recently, has meant my recent portfolio of shots has  been limited to indoors snaps using flash. I’m hoping to remedy that this summer with some great natural shots using daylight as we enjoy days out. Hopefully I’ll even catch a couple with big brother smiling too.

I also have a photo project I’ve been working on which I’m hoping to find time to format and continue.  More about this at a later date.

5. Summer of Words

With everything going on in our lives right now, I’m possibly slightly insane for wanting to attempt this, but I would love to join up with the Summer of Words linky over at All at Sea.  It’s an aspiration, but I think they’re good to have. We all need something for ourselves. Watch this space to see if I find the time to write a little something creative and manage to link up.

What are you doing this summer? Do you have a plan or are you going freestyle? 

13 comments:

  1. It's funny as I have a similar post in mind now the holidays are almost upon us..... I am very taken with Summer of Words too (lovely idea isn't it) but I need to focus on my other writing, and finish my 100 words story that's not completed yet - maybe I could link that up to SOW too? Anyway, very good to have a plan, and I think you have struck the right balance between playgroups, gangs of mum and children and just time with you and yours... X.

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    1. Gosh, your 100 word story of course! Yes, I'd love to know how that turns out. I think you could definitely link that up to SOW. So many ideas...so little time. Isn't it just the way?! x

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  2. Crikey, you're an organized mum. We always wing it, but do OK with the beach at the end of the road. The holidays always take me by surprise #parentfail, but it's how it's always been. We've a wedding to attend and a few friends to meet up with. The rest... we shall see. Think I might just print off this post tho! Hope you have a lovely one, and am sure you really will :)xx

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    1. I like to have a plan - even if I end up ditching it! Having a beach at the end of the road sounds fabulous. If only...I've got a tube line!

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  3. I have the same rabbits I regularly pull out of that hat! Pip is finishing pre-school... now...?!? TC is in nursery for a couple of afternoons a week & 2 more in September, I would never get any work done if she wasn't there!! I'm an organiser, a writer of projects and lists, not always able to carry them all through but like you I do try :)
    Have a lovely summer, esp. in Dorset, the warm sand between your toes is the best therapy to recharge and rewind xxx

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    1. Yes - Pip has finished already - we have a long summer ahead of us ;0). Wishing you a lovely summer too. x

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  4. Hope you and your boys have a lovely summer before school starts. I'm hoping for good weather so we can spend as much of it as possible out the house. We are just home from a week at the seaside where we had fabulous weather. What a difference it makes. Archie has just finished P1 - they change so much in that first year, enjoy your little boy for the next few weeks. Not that he won't drive you daft. I have 4 weeks to get through before my husband off again. 2 pairs of hands makes it so much easier! Thanks so much for mentioning #SummerOfWords I really hope you do get the chance to join in xx

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    1. Yes, two pairs of hands is definitely easier. Mine has just announced he's going to the US on business for some of the hols though...talk about timing! Will definitely try to join up with SOW. x

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  5. We're in exactly the same boat with Curly Girl finishing pre-school next week and the Summer stretching before us. For the last two summers I've created and printed out a weekly planner with pictures of the things that we're going to do - she likes to see the things we have planned and the days where we'll just hang out. (And the OCD-Mummy in me likes it very much too!!) Enjoy your Summer lovely lady :)

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    1. Ah Bod for Tea, I think we are kindred spirits - you can't beat a good planner :0). Have a lovely summer. x

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  6. Thank you for linking to my post. It's hard to plan for things with the boys at the ages that they are, isn't it. Although not a massive gap between them, it's so vast at the moment when you compare abilities. I'm just planning the next month that we'll spend at mum and dad's. I have ten places that I want to take the boys so that means one in every three days will be spent out and about. That feels about right. Hope you have a lovely summer xx

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    1. Yes, the age gap definitely doesn't make things easy Pip is 4 now and he is quite the daredevil - but I do worry about being able to run after him/ catch him etc when it's just me with him and EB. I have a mental list of places I feel I can manage on my own with both of them and another list of places I can only go with Daddy in tow as well. x

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  7. Well as you know, I have a very loose plan (thank you for linking to my post by the way x) but I have yet to start on any of it yet! The nearest we've got is putting a date in the diary for our trip to Warwick Castle and I've started thinking about colours for The Boy's bedroom! I love the sound of your plans, very sensible to organise play dates in advance and also to get 1 week away booked in. Dorset is so lovely! I hope you keep us all abreast of how things are going and have a wonderful summer together x

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