So my children have this week made their Christmas lists.
I know what you're thinking;
"OMG, are you mad? It's August what are you doing woman?"
But, when you have children like mine it's best to prepare yourself for the shock well in advance of the event. And sure enough, as expected, their lists consisted of an amalgamation of interesting things which they haven't a hope of getting.
These lists included; an ipad 2, a laptop, hair straighteners, a £150 doll, an x-box live one years subscription, a 42 inch TV and most surprising of all was...
But, this moped came with the specification that it wasn't to be a second or third hand Moped, it had to be brand new!
Yes son, keep dreaming was my immediate thought when I read this one.
I seem to have gone drastically wrong somewhere. My children are living under the false impression that my husband and I have an abundance of money endlessly floating around our bank account (I bloody wish!) just waiting for them to think up unusual and novel ways to spend it.
They seem to believe they are millionaire kids and can have what they want whenever they fancy it.
Oh to be a child and live in blissful ignorance, what a wonderful life!
So last weekend, my very kind in-laws came to stay and told my husband and I that we were, without question, going out for the day together whilst they look after the children.
Not being one to argue and deciding that this was an offer we couldn't refuse, last Saturday morning we found ourselves in the car leaving Grandma, Grandad with instructions to collect our daughter from Ballet class, if they take the puppy to collect her, we usually take him to the pet shop and get him a 25p chewy stick, then they need to take the dog to the groomers for his haircut. We left praying that all three children and one puppy would not behave in a way which would put off kindly Grandma and Grandad from ever offering to have them again.
So with fingers crossed and feeling like convicts making a jail break, my husband and I set off, quickly before they changed their minds, for a day visit to the National Trust Stately Home, Ham House, close to where we live.
After forgetting that in London, 10 miles could take an hour, we eventually got to Ham House and had a fantastic time looking around the house and gardens.
Once we had dragged out our visit with a trip to the house shop, we decided that it was time to go back and see if the children had managed to drive Grandma and Grandad insane yet, and if not, what did they do so I can copy.
Getting back, however we discovered that all was quiet. Our daughter had been picked up from ballet, the dog had been to the groomers and had been to the pet shop. But, instead of buying the dog a 25p stick as we suggested, Grandad decided that he deserved a great big, expensive chewy bone.
Needless to say, we are very grateful to Grandma and Grandad and they can't have been put off too much as they're back again this weekend to babysit.
Have you ever been a reader?
One of those people who prefer to spend the weekend in the library lost in other worlds, stories, education and facts?
I'm talking about the kind of people who spent their teenage years in the library reading rather than going out, (in other words 'geeks').
Well I will admit it, I am one of those people.
I was the girl at school sat in the corner with a book and not much to say, who looked ever so slightly uncomfortable around kids her own age.
I just loved books, all I wanted to do was read and I frequently sat up late into the night, when my mum thought I was asleep, reading my books.
Nothing much has changed, I still love books and still read as much as I can. However, time to sit down and read is now the issue.
Between ferrying children to tap classes, ballet classes and cadets, there's working, making tea, washing, homework, sorting out fights and squabbles, walking the dog and every other little thing that demands my attention, reading my book has now become a luxury.
I would expect there are a few of you out there that can relate to this?
Even if it's not reading, I am sure there are many things you used to enjoy that are a great rarity now you have important things like mortgages, husbands and children?
Let me know what you used to love doing.
What is it about men that means when they have a problem, that problem has to be bottled away, ignored and dealt with in such a way that means grumpy behaviour?
OK, so maybe I’m generalising now, not all men are like this, but it seems that the ones in my life are…
What’s the issue? Just deal with whatever it is and take action to make it better and, if possible, take steps to prevent it happening again.
All aspects of many things can be fixed and dealt with, with just a little structured organisation. Obviously there is always going to be times in your life when things crop up that just can’t be dealt with easily, but in general organisation will always help.
I am a really organised type of person and I find that if I have a structure in place for my writing and my life in general, things just seem to work better.
It’s something I very quickly learnt when I had three very small children, the more organised I was the easier it became to get everything done that needed to be finished urgently.
I have carried this with me throughout my writing life and it has, so far, always been a wise decision.
Now all I need to do it to convince the men in my life that dealing with their issues and organising themselves is a much better way to avoid annoying situations.
But, as always, I’m just the wife and mother and know nothing…
So, we've now come to the end of the boys first week at their new school. And, I think it's been a success so far. My eldest has apparently been a hit with all the girls in his year so is now very happy indeed, as I am sure you can imagine.
He has finally got his timetable and has all the option classes he wanted so seems to be pretty pleased with himself at the moment and, as anyone who has a teenager will know, having a happy teenager is a rare occurrence so I'm making the most of his good mood by getting him to help around the house.
My middle son also seems to have had a good first week, although he came to me this week and said;
"Mum, I want you to write a letter of complaint to my teacher."
"Oh, really Jake, why is that?"
"Well, I've had four pieces of homework in three days and it's not on, I want you to write and say that it's too much to do."
Oh dear, I don't think he's quite grasped that he's now in year eight and will be getting more and more homework as he moves through the year groups. Needless to say, I told him that it was not too much and he would have to get used to it.
Speaking of homework, I have had a really busy week myself and don't seem to have stopped. I think this afternoon I will spend whats left of my weekend relaxing with my book and a glass of wine, before it's back to work bright and early tomorrow morning.
see you again soon...
Tomorrow is the day that my boys finally start school.
After a very long summer break and a lot of waiting around for Hillingdon Council to get around to giving them a place, tomorrow is the day!
I have to admit that they looked very smart in their brand new uniforms and navy blazers. All I can hope now is that they settle in very quickly and make lots of friends, we shall have to wait and see on this front.
In the meantime, I have lots to keep me busy and have been very busy working on some exciting projects over the last few weeks.
I will update you on my current projects and how the boys get on at their new school shortly.
Until then, keep busy...
It's the beginning of September already! Where has the summer gone? It seems to have passed me by in a wave of packing and unpacking boxes. While I was putting together flat packed furniture, with those pathetic little tools they give you that make your fingers sore, the rest of the world was enjoying the sunshine.
And to make it worse, my husband said to me yesterday;
"You know we ought to think about Christmas."
Christmas! Christmas! I'm still mourning the loss of my summer, I can't even begin to think about Santa suits and Christmas presents.
I don't enjoy the cold, I hate snow and hate wind. Summer is the ideal season and it takes me a while to get over the loss of it. I used to have a friend who joked that I was descended from the Snake people and had cold blood that needed sunshine to warm me up.
Besides the loss of Summer, September is the month that brings back the School term. My children are still waiting to hear if they have places at their chosen schools. Although, I say 'their' chosen schools it's not them who have picked the schools. If it was up to them they would pack themselves off to boarding school, Harry Potter has a lot to answer for...
We will have to wait and see if the education authority are willing to give them places at the school I have chosen, or we may have to seriously consider boarding schools after all...
Watch this space...
Having children off on Summer Holidays from school is one thing that can drive a parent mad within a few weeks. Some days it doesn't seem to matter what you do or what you say, they are just determined to be awkward.
Having children that are obsessed with games consoles is not easy. My oldest son would happily stay in his room on his xbox all day if I let him and my middle son is not far behind. I suppose I should put it down to the 'teenager' thing, but he still thinks I'm trying to spoil his fun when I tell him to stop playing xbox for a while.
I think part of the issue is that we have just moved house and both boys are at an age of self consciousness where making new friends does not come as easily as it did a few years ago.
The age old issue of growing up...
I miss the cheeky, happy little toddlers who lined up little cars and trains all around my lounge and peddled their trikes like mad round and round the garden.