School holidays have once again come and gone. I coped better this time. Other moms talk about the relaxation of the school holidays, a break from the scheduled life, contented home days….it all sounds so nice. Except that it doesn’t work for Milo. And what doesn’t work for Milo won’t work for me either. You see, a bored Milo very quickly becomes an incredibly naughty Milo. And a mother beset by a tyrannically rude six year old quickly reaches the end of her tether. This time I made a plan for every day that he and I were home together. We were lucky that the weather cooperated, so our plans involved some nice outtings.
This was our Hagley Park day, with friend Stella (and her little sister Nina). The leaves were perfect, sun dappled and dry. The girls hatched out of their egg nest repeatedly.
Japanese maple, in fall glory. I once when I was in college I sent a pressed Japanese maple leaf to my grandmother, and she wrote back wondering if I had sent her a marijuana leaf. The subsequent letter included both a maple leaf and a marijuana leaf (it doesn’t take much figuring to guess which classmates to ask for said leaf). I still giggle every time I admire these frilly maples.
Naomi and Stella tucked themselves away in the tree crevice to hide. The botanical garden has some great specimens.
We basically spent the whole day roving from one climbing tree to the next, occasionally adding to our collection of pretty feathers and leaves and petals while stopping frequently to eat peanut-butter-honey sandwiches.
As we were heading at last to our car we passed an elderly couple strolling along. “Four?” the old lady asked. “Yes, but two are mine and two belong to a friend,” I responded. “Oh, that’s easy,” she gloated. “I had five.” I smiled and nodded, but inwardly fumed. What was that snide comment meant to accomplish? Does it make her feel more respected to make me feel less so?
One day we met friends down at the water-side walk near Govenor’s Bay. Low tide exposed the rocks, and Milo turned those rocks to expose hundreds of little crabs. Imagine the six-year-old’s joy in terrorizing the hapless critters, listening to their frantic scuttling to safety every time he lifted off their roof.
I’m sure we have posted a picture of this rock before, an ancient specimen from the time that the Lyttelton harbor was the center of an active volcano.
We splurged on treats from She Chocolate after our walk, always a nice ending to the morning. The only problem is that it leaves an electronic banking trail betraying to Jeremiah that we’ve been having decadent sweets.
We did get a tour of Daddy’s office recently, and learned that he has a machine that can make him hot chocolates or barista coffees any time he wants at the touch of a button. There are some perks to being an engineer, apparently.
Naomi and I crowned the holiday with a trip to the cushion theater (Oz was playing). Milo was a bit sad to miss out on the theater trip, but he was busy earning player of the day at his ripper rugby match, which brought him great satisfaction as well.
Actually, the real crowning of the holiday was the last rainy Sunday afternoon where I set the kids up with paper mache on the bit of lino that we keep under our dining table, then left to do a bit of shopping. When I came back the lino had been rinsed but the carpet around it bore loads of gluey flour footprints. I knew I should have waited for an outside day to do paper mache. The kids were sent to a much needed early bed.