Juggling with Melted Balls

We’ve reached the ‘Holiday Hump’ in the Neat Freak Household.

As in everyone is in one and not only are some of us counting down the days until school starts, it’s now officially okay to mention this fact in hushed tones to parenting friends on the same wavelength.

After all nothing makes you feel more guilty as a mum than to hear someone say they are embracing the sheer joy of every single precious family moment, while you’re ‘cooking’ (hiding) in the kitchen furtively watching Gilmore Girls on the Kindle.

(The iPad is of course being monopolised by pint-sized family members.)

And nothing makes you feel better – or perhaps it’s just me – when another mum tells you: ‘I cannot bloody wait until September 5th!’

Anyway the mood has soured a little more this week with the arrival of soaring temperatures.

Now don’t get me wrong I like sunshine as much as the next person, but personally I prefer warm to sizzling, and slowly melting while fighting with Mini-me over the need to slather her in sunscreen at 8am isn’t my idea of a good time. Or hers.

Bless hubby though, he bought me a lovely family calendar for the kitchen – you know so I can keep on top of four peoples’ schedules like an (unpaid) PA and (most importantly) his beloved West Ham fixtures.

I may have slightly overreacted when I noticed that it was made by a company called ‘Organised Mum’, with a fetching logo of a smiling mother juggling a large number of balls.

‘FFS!’ I texted BFF. ‘Are men incapable of writing on family planners?!’

To my mind it’s the same flawed pigeon-hole thinking as those ridiculous toy manufacturers who assume that all girls like pink dolls and would never want to play with racing cars.

Now clearly men are not incapable, and the other half would probably happily take charge of the family schedule.

It’s just that I have nicer handwriting and actually know important dates that don’t involve a team of overpaid footballers doing battle with Scunthorpe United, or whoever it is they are playing this week.

No it’s the Holiday Hump coming into play.

That and the fact that hubby sent me a ‘helpful’ email itinerary for departing on our much-needed cottage holiday earlier, along with a delightful text reminder to pack everyone light layers…

All too soon I, and all the mums I know, will be back to having to stay on top off a multitude of dull daily details, such as whether there are enough clean socks to last the week, what inanimate object Mini-me has chosen to talk about in show and tell (‘No! Not another Shopkins!’) and when I need to start stapling silver foil to something for the probably quite likely occurrence of ‘Space Mufti Day’.

And that’s a good thing – after all it means we’ll all have survived the summer holidays in one piece.

It would just be nice if someone could turn down the heat a little and remember to chuck a super-sized bottle of Gin for me in the car tomorrow along with the rest of the packing.

Parenting in a heatwave

So is it just me or has it been rather humid today?!

Seriously, if I want to be roasted alive I’ll go and live on Mars…

Grumpy levels in the Neat Freak household tend to rapidly rise with thermometer levels if I’m honest.

As my dad is part Indian people always tend to assume I’m a sun worshipper along with my sister. She thrives on weather hotter than living inside a microwave, and during her teen years used to oil up and lie out under the midday rays rotating herself occasionally a little like a rotisserie chicken.

Yes one of those slightly annoying types who breezes around looking cool whatever the temperature gauge says in one of her sparkly summer frocks.

Not me. I used to come out in a charming combination of prickly heat and hives. Brilliant when trying to impress teenage boys on a campsite holiday let me assure you…

Anyway, I’ll try to stop moaning, except to say that parenting in a heatwave isn’t much fun. And here’s why.

  1. The kids don’t sleep, so neither do you.
  1. Fans can only do so much. Like push hot air around an already sweltering room.
  1. Your ‘waitressing’ demands go on the rapid rise. Now you have ice cubes, ice pops, ice cream, iced drinks and copious straws to add to the never-ending list of requests.
  1. Sweat patches and stripes around the middle region (lovely!) tend to be larger when hefting around a large, lazy one-year-old.
  1. Public transport of any kind descends into total chaos. Meaning hubby is uber-cranky, and so are you. And while we’re on the subject why don’t rail tracks ‘melt’ in other countries?!
  1. There’s no chance of a rest when feeling light-headed.
  1. You are not even ‘allowed’ to watch Wimbledon. And why would you want to when you can enjoy your third Night Garden of the day?!
  1. You are constantly worried that the 13 layers of sun-cream you have coated your children in will be insufficient, they’ll burn and turn beetroot and you’ll become one of those ‘neglectful mothers’ vilified and shamed in the Daily Mail.
  1. You cannot under any circumstances get your child to wear their sunhat. And the ‘game’ of retrieving and trying to put it back on their head every 30 seconds ISN’T FUNNY ANY MORE.
  1. You haven’t got the energy to take the kids to the splash park. So you throw jugs of water over them in the garden and weep at how rubbish you are.
  1. You know you should be drinking water, after all it’s only 11am, but all you want is a gin and tonic.
  1. You hate all your summer clothes. They don’t mix with ‘mummy tummy.’
  1. You know you really must stop complaining. After all as soon as it’s freezing outside you’ll be praying for summer again…