The new puppy meant the school holidays were limited almost entirely to our own house and backyard – a kind of canine lockdown due to the vaccination process still being in train for the little ball of fluff. And because he’s so new to the house, we didn’t want to leave him alone for long periods of time.
Emails from the kids’ school at the end of term 2 recommended particular ways of keeping the kids on track over the holiday period. This is unusual. They haven’t ever suggested holiday homework before and I guess it’s because of the disrupted nature of this year. But do you think the kids would comply? Not likely. Flat refusal was the order of the fortnight. How do you argue when it’s holidays?
There seemed to be too much screen time, especially for our son. I just couldn’t come up with any ideas or motivation to snap him out of it. I mean, it wasn’t all day every day. But it was way more than usual. Our kids are pretty good at digging holes, going for bike rides, imaginative play. For a couple of years now, I have been very content (I might even say elated) with their ability to entertain themselves. But these holidays were different. Even with the advent of the puppy, it felt like there was a quagmire of some sort we were all wading through. Between social engagements (of which I hosted several) we oozed sluggishly between activities.
This morning (with school back and the puppy crashed after his second round of vaccinations), I listened to Chat 10 Looks 3. Briefly, Crabb shared her own post-lockdown blues and Sales chimed in with a similar story. I was so relieved, so unutterably grateful to know that I wasn’t the only parent struggling to keep the momentum going.
But the poem (?) below is a celebration. In the last few days we spent several hours at various “pump tracks” so that the kids could practise mountain biking tricks they are becoming aware of. Our daughter is especially enthused and I must admit to an overwhelming pride in her – not only her achievements on her bike but her strength of character. Watching her determined face and her sensibly cautious approach I wondered if I had half her pluck and self-knowledge when I was her age.
In her Grosby elastic sided boots,
her camo pants and her polar fleece
she rides the pumps gracefully
like a dolphin on wheels.
She battles the harsh physics
of steep hills and back brakes and burms,
her hair a silver comet tail in the westering sun.