Half term tricks and treats 

It’s halfway through the school term so the teachers have decided to take a well earned break and hand our delightful offspring back to us to look after ourselves for a week. Well, six days if you take the Inset day into account (what are they anyway?) Any school holiday brings me out in a cold sweat because it’s tricky enough to entertain an inattentive, energetic four year old boy for the weekend. But a week is manageable, unlike the six weeks of school holidays which most definitely did not fly by. 

So far this week my son has spent two days and nights with my mum having some bonding time and keeping her busy. Mostly by turning her home upside down and shouting demands at her for a full 48 hours (such happy times). We’ve also checked out some of the local attractions offering ‘special’ Halloween activities for kids. As per usual both of them seemed to be more about me trying to give my son a pleasant day out, than the ungrateful little monster actually enjoying himself.

First day out was to New Tredegar House, a stunning old country home near Newport. They put on a pretty good traditional Christmas shenanigans last year so we gave it a go. It was £2 to park plus £8 entry. Of course my son didn’t give a shit about the house, or grounds, apart from two very climbable trees. He just wanted to decorate a Halloween biscuit. We couldn’t find where they were, but managed to explore a great deal of the house looking for them. Even the staff toilets after the boy announced he needed a wee in the house after I’d just struggled up ten steps with the baby’s pushchair, and the loos were back by the car park. Then I was told that pushchairs weren’t allowed in the house. Faced with the choice of letting a strange man escort my little boy to the toilet without me, or leaving the baby and pushchair with his colleague, I chose to abandon the baby and hope for the best. After all, at least he was surrounded by other people in a public place. And had a rusk.

We found the biscuit decorating eventually. We’d walked past it at the beginning. Fucking typical. The biscuit was decidedly average for £10, and I felt like it would have been better to just buy a pack of them from the supermarket and stay at home. 

It’s a lovely place to visit if you’ve got more time and an accommodating youngster. There’s a play area next to the house and huge grounds to walk your dog in. A tearoom is also on site which sells some pretty decent cakes, but I’m not sure it’s always open so best take a back up snack with you if you’re always hungry like I am.

 

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Have your cake and eat it

Decided to treat myself to a bannoffee muffin as a reward for spending the day in public with my children and not losing them (hooray!) or killing them (double hooray!) Made the mistake of trying to eat it on the sly in the car on the way home. Figured I’d be ok because they were in the back and I was in the front, right? No.

Me: *quietly breaks off piece of cake while sat at traffic lights and starts eating it noiselessly*

4yo: ‘What are you eating?’

Me: ‘Apple.’

4yo: ‘What’s that rustling sound?’

Me: ‘Apple wrapper.’

4yo: ‘Open your mouth!’ 

Me: *tries to swallow cake quickly*

4yo: ‘It’s cake! You’re eating cake! Can I have some!’

Me: *Hands over piece while mumbling profanities* 

This is the problem with teaching your kids to share, you have to do it as well.

Also, how the hell does he hear a wrapper rustling when he can’t hear me shouting his name repeatedly from the other side of the room?

A shining light in the darkness

I haven’t written a post for a while, because I literally have no time or energy anymore. The baby is six months old. He still wakes three times a night and won’t sleep in the day. Those people who said ‘The second one is easier’ were fucking liars. Yeah, you vaguely remember what to do but that’s it.

Last night the baby woke at 9pm, 2am, 4.30am and for the day at 5.45am. He spent half an hour shrieking with joy and ignoring my pleas for him to settle down, before I gave up. Obviously he woke the older one up too, so by 6.30am we were all in bed listening to ‘Highway to hell’, ‘Thunderstruck’ and ‘Gangham style’. He has very eclectic musical choices for a four year old. And nobody should EVER have to listen to Psy at 6.30am. Except convicted rapists and terrorists of course.

The only upside to being downstairs when it was still pretty much nighttime is that we saw the full moon, bright and beautiful in the sky. I think it was the first time my son had seen the moon in all its glory, and he was suitably impressed. But then of course we had to spend ten minutes explaining why he couldn’t catch the moon, or visit it just yet, and why the sun was made of fire. Hard enough when you’re not scraping by on 5 hours sleep each night. 

Now he wants to ‘fix’ my back with his tools…. I’m too tired to stop it.