It’s that time of the year again. The paddling pool is out, we risk being late for school every day as I attempt to apply suncream to one small octopus-eel hybrid masquerading as my youngest daughter and conduct a ten-minute search for both children’s sunhats, and husband was hosing Anna down in the garden at 9.30pm last night as she was hot, sticky, fractious and totally unable to sleep. I love the idea of summer – salads in the garden, ice-creams in the park, floaty dresses, and trips to the seaside – but the sad reality is that I think I’m just a bit too pasty and British to be able to cope with temperatures over about 22 degrees celsius.
Not to mention the fact that as soon as school is back after May half-term, Anna’s social calendar, and therefore my to-do list, goes stratospheric. Now she’s at pre-school, Sophia is in on the act too. This is what we have in the diary, so far, for this week and next:
- Paddling pool playdate here with Anna’s friend
- Arranging to meet a woman who lives on the other side of Walthamstow so that we can exchange Lego cards on behalf of our children
- School trip to museum, Anna to be dressed in Victorian schoolgirl costume (that will be fun for her on the Tube in this weather!)
- Wear Yellow to School to support Cystic Fibrosis research (remember to take money, and lend a yellow t-shirt to Anna’s friend)
- Cake sale at school to raise money for World Wildlife Fund (need to bake a cake)
- Hospital check-up for Sophia
- Leafletting to advertise Pre-school Summer Fete
- Pre-school Summer Fete (need to bake a cake for the cake stall, and provide an example of our family’s ethnic cuisine for the International stall. Umm, fish fingers?)
- Merton College Family Garden Party (alright, to be fair, this is actually mine and husband’s social activity. The theory is that we get to catch up with some of our oldest and closest friends while our respective offspring play contentedly together in the ancient and beautiful garden, continuing our wonderful friendships into a second generation. The reality is probably that we manage to exchange no more than three interrupted sentences over the course of as many hours because our time is occupied with attempting to prevent our respective offspring demolishing said ancient and beautiful garden and/or each other. However, there will be Pimms.)
- Trip to opticians to have Anna’s new glasses fitted
- Another playdate
- Anna’s friend’s Eid party
- Primary School Summer Fayre (need to bake a cake for the cake stall, take in a bottle for the bottle tombola, a chocolate item for the chocolate tombola and sort out some books and bric-a-brac for, yes you’ve guessed it, the book and bric-a-brac stalls).
I’m also being ceaselessly badgered to arrange a time for another of Anna’s friends to come round so that they can hold the Fairy Queen tea party they’ve been planning in minute detail. And, on top of all this, those pesky children still insist on being fed. Every single day. At least three times.
However, there are also advantages to summer. We are eating every meal outside, which greatly reduces the hoovering. The laundry dries really quickly. If you ignore the plethora of primary coloured plastic with which it is littered, the garden looks lovely. And yesterday, in Mega Mummy Win of the Week, I got Sophia engaged in water play which involved her repeatedly filling a beaker with water and then pouring it over my feet and legs. Sheer bliss.