An active and happy weekend presented itself in the form of the annual school Family Picnic.
With an entire pre-planned Saturday dedicated to this, that’s one less day of a husband-less weekend, where a day of activities must be planned to avoid meltdowns by small people.
We have a house with a garden and pets; the activities are endless; and yet, they never seem enough during a weekend. Surprisingly, making breakfast (with child involvement – this takes twice the usual time), bathing the dogs, dancing to jingly Tamil music in dress-up, 5 art projects (including crayons, paints and cutting) will just about take up half a day, or indeed, just a few hours! You may feel like a whole week has passed; but you would be sadly mistaken.
In any case, I decided that the Family Picnic at a beach house with a pool would be a good day out for all of us (and besides, there would be teachers there! Surely I’d manage some time to myself in the fray).
The pool has always been a challenge for me with one toddler and an almost-child, both minus any floating devices. My husband, who is of the swimming orientation, has decided that they will not learn to swim with floaties, floaters, bloaters, or any such buoyant contraption (unfortunately for me).
Admittedly, this has greatly sped up Squeaks’ swimming ability. However, when I’m with both of them in the pool, it really is like a circus (I’m not joking – it includes but is not limited to – acrobatics, trapeze acts and possible partial nudity):
- They have no fear of water or being submerged, and find leaping into the pool with little (or no) warning the best game ever! ‘Facciamo un tuffo!’and you find them hurtling into the water from various directions, at different times, and I’m expected to catch them to avoid their drowning!
- They both want to go on my back at the same time (tantrums and beating each other up in the water are not fun)
- They think that clinging on to my swimsuit might save their lives, or get me to do more water-related tricks, when in fact it renders me in need of a third hand to try and keep unwanted bits from popping out and being on display for all and sundry to view
- There is screaming; theirs (of joy) and mine (of horror)
So, an extended period of pool time managed to tire us all out and certainly dealt with my aches and pains of the week’s various exercise routines, the catch phrase I would use here being ‘work through the pain.’
There was music and dancing, which I managed to witness in between being drowned by the kids (who were dancing in the water, on me); there was plenty to eat (which I happily didn’t binge on – was actually hungry on reaching home), there was good company, and camaraderie among all present. We got some beach time in with friends at the start of the day (when everyone enjoys themselves the most). Alcohol was on offer; none of which I consumed because of the overwhelming feeling of responsibility one finds when parenting (albeit temporarily) alone.
A good time was had by all, followed by (hallelujah!) a total collapse borne of sheer exhaustion.