Ok, if you have come here expecting some review of nightlife written by some young person not sat in their pj bottoms at 8pm on a Saturday night, let me stop you now! This is no snappy magazine exploration into whether house parties are the new clubs. (Are they by the way? What is nightlife like now??) Nope this is a genuine look at the benefits of staying in the house or going out of the house when it comes to small children.
Personally I find both stressful. I’ve heard people talk about spending the day at home, I know they have done it, duvet days, movie days, whole lovely days in pjs. It sounds blissful. We have even tried it, we really have. I lay out the idea, it’s well received, I plan a few fun crafts maybe, make some cakes, snuggle up and watch a film.
The trouble is, it never works. Firstly, small boy does not want to be doing crafts, he wants to bash things. He is jealous that our attention is on the crafts and so he bashes them, or his sister, or runs off with her prize toy, guaranteeing the result of a blood curdling squeal of outrage and the blurred form of furious big girl out for revenge.
Also, we just can’t stay in pjs all day, after too long the weetabix sets solid and there is no movement possible…oh wait, hang on, is that maybe the solution to my previous problem?!
Baking, nightmare, squabbling over who gets to do what, trying to shove each other off the counter or push each other too close to the mixer, then an actual physical tug of war over the spoon to lick, even when there are two, each with the exact same amount of batter on each.
So a film then, we have a shelf groaning with disney dvds* and a subscription to netflix but there is never anything they can agree on. If I chose, both cry, if one chooses, the other cries.
Attention span lasts approx 3 minutes for small boy once a film is settled on, before he is attempting back flips off the sofa back and landing on big sis, who is furious and emits several high pitched whine like noises a minute and even rustles up some fake crying for good measure. Until she decides she has a better game and they rip all the cushions off the sofa and practice their leaps.
My warnings of imminent hurt go unheeded….until someone gets hurt. Finally at the end of my tether, (not hard, I started out somewhere near the middle!), the decision is made to have a change of scene.
Which brings me neatly on to….
Dun-dun-duh! (Ominous music you get in films like when they are hiding in the kitchen in jurassic park and the dinosaur is hunting for them, tense!)
I often wonder why this is so damn hard, maybe it’s me, but I’ve always been told I’m so chilled, I was even once told I was so laid back I was horizontal, how can something so many other people seem to glide through turn me into such a teeth gnashing, snarling, stress head?!
Often we go on the bus. The bus stop is around a 3 minute walk from our house. No matter how much time I give us, we always end up legging it the last bit with a kicking indignant small boy under one arm, hot and flustered. The main issue we have now is that big girl is faster then him. She is older, bigger but he is furious about it. They start running, she is faster, he stops dead and refuses to move at all. Is she helpful? No, she will dance ahead and crow about her running prowess and how much quicker then him she is.
This is a tactic she also employs as a form of torture in any instance where she is getting to do something without him. It usually involves saying bye to him multiple times and explaining where she is going and how much extreme fun she will have until he cries. This does not take long, she will then leave satisfied! Having no siblings, I find this very concerning behaviour. I have been reassured on several occasions that actually no, it’s totally normal and an enquiry into whether either of them have put the other in hospital yet usually follows. Eek!
Once off the bus, between attempting to stop small boy from jabbing every passer by in the knee caps with the plethora of sticks he keeps about his person, and keeping up with big girl’s seemingly endlessly stream of consciousness peppered with questions that must be answered within 4 seconds exactly, (and woe betide if you try a fob off answer to buy any time, she already knows the answer, it’s a test, she just requires more details, far, more, details!), sometimes she will even count!
So I get wherever I’ve decided will be least hellish, (I’m always wrong!), totally flustered, inevitably without something vital, like drinks, snacks, phone and have to spend a fortune on over priced cartons of juice. Then around 5 minutes after we arrive, it will be nap time, and small boy will behave like a very small belligerent drunk until I get him home to nap. And then we’re home again!!! 😀
* Disney films, they are not that nice! Huge emotional trauma for big girl when she spent the whole film under the illusion they would find Nemo’s mother and siblings at the end without me realising. The look on her little face when the credits rolled ripped my heartstrings clean out! She also had a total breakdown when the ugly sisters tore Cinderella’s dress off, I wanted to cry too at her sadness! Bambi is never coming out of the wrapper! (Sorry if there were any spoilers there I know it’s not Game of Thrones but there may be a few of you who had a burning desire to keep the plot of Nemo a secret!! 😉 )