Well its felt like a long month since I've blogged & I think I kinda left things hanging...
I didn't intend to have a month off blogging, it just sorta happened as I prioritised my time over the last busy month.
Everything is good.
But at the end of last term I was definitely feeling pretty frazzled. Its a hard slog as any parent knows, the school runs, the pickups, the homework, endless gorcery shopping, birthday party shopping/making, meal preparation, clothes management.... The list goes on.
The kids had indeed been doing so well with our routines but we all got a little complacent. Who am I talking about complacency with 5 children 7 and under? I know, ridiculous. They are little children!
But what I mean is, we were doing pretty well following along our routines in the broad alotted timeslots. And this makes for a happy mum, getting to school easily on time, getting a park, happy kids, laughter in the car.... All good stuff.
When we are late, a little panic sets in, hats get forgotten [no outside play = sad kids], library bags get forgotten [no borrowing = sad kids], parking becomes an issue, safety walking from faraway park becomes an issue with a 2 year old [going on 10 year old who thinks he doesn't need to hold hands anymore "I do it myself"] and well you get the general idea.
So this one day near the end of term was just one of those mornings best be forgotten. Or remembered so it doesn't happen again? I'm sure it will 1000 times over.
Anyway.... the kids were happy, chatting, laughing, squabbling over something, being bossy... the full range of things that happen on any given day. On this day though, they just weren't listening to me. Some of the squabbling continued. Buddy was pushing buttons sitting on the wrong chair, one of the twins had a melt down because she couldn't sit in her favourite chair, somebody else wanted vanilla yoghurt not strawberry, then Buddy fell over & started crying whilst simultaneousy another spilled their entire cup of milk all over the chair cushion and the floor.
I did indeed cry over that spilled milk. Ugly crying.
I guess I was tired, possibly hormonal, I had a sore throat [probably from too much sergeant major], wasn't feeling the best, kids wouldn't listen & I was suddenly very annoyed that I have to keep a tight regimen to get my kids off to school & kindy so that school & kindy can have them for....
IN THE DAY!!!!!
I get left with 'lets go go go!' in the morning & then the grumpies in the afternoon. These are MY kids, I want the best hours for me! Kinda selfish but sometimes it really grates on me. Education! Pfft. [Lets ignore the fact that we place HUGE importance on education in this household for a minute].
Anyway, all of this was on my mind as that milk dripped from the cushion cover & spread further & further out onto the floor. There at the sink, washing strawberries in my lovely red colandar, was me sobbing.
My children for the first time that day, heard me & rushed over. The little darlings, they all threw their arms around me in a big huddle & all said, 'what's the matter mummy, what's the matter?' Instantly I felt better. And I made a split second decision to march them all upstairs again. Well, after mopping up the milky floor and chair. Grrr
A big bold brave decision!
I was going to let my kids play truant for the day! Some may find that naughty, shocking, brilliant, *insert your reaction here* but in the interest of family togetherness, life being too short, creating fun crazy memories together and rebelling against routine, we got changed into casual going out clothes & jumped in the car.
There were squeals of excitement and shock! 'Where are we going mum?' times 5 could be heard in our big gold bus.
"Kids, we are doing fun stuff today, movies, lunch on the beach, ice cream, all that stuff. NO school today!!
It was a great day. As it happened, Madagascar opened at the movies that day so the kids picked that to go see. It was fine, they were all happy, every last little popcorn muncher, happy. After that we grabbed some lunch & ate it down at Semaphore beach. We went for a little toe paddle in the water and then we got ice creams on the way home.
One of my Quickflix dvd's also arrived in the mail that day, 'Where the Wild Things Are.' So when we got home, we all snuggled on the couch together & watched that too. Buddy fell asleep, every one else was calm.
It felt good. It felt necessary on that day. It was a fun day that my kids still talk about sometimes. I hope that memory stays alive.
Its not something I plan on doing even every year - having a family day off, but I am sure when its just 'one of those days' in the many years to come [I have a 2 year old so I won't finish school day routine for another 19/20 years - OMG? Really?], there may be times when for the sake of 'taking time out to live life' is more important than one day at school.
PS. I'm not exactly sure if what I did was legal? But if any legal/nerdy/qualified person from the truancy division of the South Australian education department happens to stumble across this post, its all lies. All of us were sick on this day and we certainly didn't want to spread germs to fellow students so we stayed at home, in bed. All day. No popcorn. Just chicken soup & water. Promise. Sort of.