Brace Yourself. School Holidays Are Coming.

Yesterday was day 1 of school holidays. I was working from home as I had taken a days leave to photograph at a birth, but it all happened so quickly that I was home by 8:30 and decided to just work from there instead of heading into the office.  Every year Carter’s school closes for the full month of December, and like every other parent out there, I shit myself. 30 days is a very, very long time for a small human to be at home. Lord, coming out of a long weekend with a kid feels like a scene from Braveheart.

This year we have had to hire full time a nanny just so she can watch him for one month of the year (most expensive salary, ever, right?). She started with us a few months ago and is absolutely fantastic, so I am feeling slightly better about leaving him alone as she’s great with him, and he simply adores her. But still, she could be Chicco the Clown made of actual ice-cream and he would still get bored after a month.

Yesterday was hectic. I take my hat, and all other items of clothing, off to stay at home moms. As for creche teachers? My god, they should be paid in Bitcoin and rainbows. Apart from trying to work and get my job done I was also trying to entertain a very busy, very active and very bored toddler. We filled his pool and swam, we cleaned the big pool we swept and mopped and scrubbed. We puzzled and read books and made dinosaurs out of playdoh. I took him to the shops to get baking ingredients and then we mixed and battered and rolled and cut out intricate Reindeer shapes and then decorated those and then we showered together because we both looked like a unicorn had sharted food colouring on us and then we cooked supper and ate fruit and fed the birds and played with the dogs and spoke about ‘Chippy’ our Elf On The Shelf and built pillow forts. And then it was only 6pm and I felt as f I had been a.bus. What made it even harder was that his usual 2-3 hour nap just did not happen, so that felt like another eleventy hundred hours to fill.

And flip, after he went to bed and I cleaned and got back to my study and worked some more, I reflected on what a flipping fun day it was with my son. Fun, but not something I can repeat daily. Sorry, new nanny.

So now, back at the office until Christmas I’m in a slight state of anxiety about how I’m going to fill his time until 2018. I know I may sound like one of those moms who’s kid cant entertain himself, but its more just trying to keep his busy brain and body stimulated enough so that he’s tired enough t fall asleep at night. The biggest issue is that I’m not home and Kelly, our Nanny, cant really do much with him apart from in the house.

I popped over to the Crazy Store earlier and bought my body weight in arts and crafts supplies, playdoh, paper, paint and pencils. But let’s be realistic, that’s going to cover him for 2, 3 days tops.

Help, moms. What are your holiday solutions for keeping kids busy? Would love for you to share them in the comments section, and perhaps you will also be helping a fellow bewildered mom with some fun activities to do with their kids (or, for someone else to do, because, grown-ups have jobs) over the holidays.

PS – No moms were harmed (too much) on day one of school holidays.

‘Honest Dad! All I said was school holidays!’


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  1. Oh boy! George is trying to crawl and we’re still getting used to solids (he’s more ready than I am) … and even when he’s trying to roll and worm himself with great determination, I realise this kid is going to be BUSY! I keep joking that he’s going to make me skinny by all the running I’ll be doing, but I’ve not even thought about this dilemma! I wish I could offer you some gems, but instead I’ll be bookmarking this for the future! xx Good Luck xx

  2. Yip, hats off to teachers and stay at home moms, but the wonder of being with your kids and playing, making, doing things with them is such a privilege.

  3. My kids are also at home now with their nanny – and gosh I feel bad now – I dont really stress about what they do 🙁 She draws, picnics outside with them, rides bikes, reads and of course watched TV. Off to the crazy store I go 😉

  4. Playdough is a winner!
    Not so sharp scissors and endless amounts of paper keeps mine busy. When they get older, you just add pritt.
    Make a felt Christmas tree and cut out little ornaments for him to decorate and redecorate.
    Teach him about gummed paper that he can lick and stick.
    And get one or two goto movies that absolutely captivated him. That’s when you can get a bit of work/cleanup done. At his age, mine loved Dolphin Tale and Mary Poppins.
    Toilet rolls and paints – just ones that are cheap don’t seem to stain much
    Stickers. Peeling them off and putting them on papers to make a story was one of our best. Now that my girls are older they still adore cutting out images from magazines to make books from.
    Salt dough is also a cool version of play dough that you can bake and then paint and glitte the hell out of.
    Oh, and water play – never gets old. Pouring from one vessel to another. My word. I don’t know why they love it so much, and then at least it’s just puddles to clean.
    Painting with water onto the inside of old cereal boxes is cool too; again just water mess

  5. Holiday time is CRAZY TIME!! But we try and make the most of it – it is a lot easier when you have two because they have instant friends. Our age group also allows us a few play dates so we get an hour or two off… Good luck mama x

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