camping · Uncategorized

Week X-10: Half term in lockdown

This week has been different to the last nine.  It’s technically been half term.  Unlike the Easter holidays, that followed so quickly after a massive shift in normal, when we didn’t actually change anything, just carried on with the home schooling mayhem, we’ve taken a break.  Or rather, we haven’t done any official school work.  It’s increasingly looking like I will get an actual break some point in September… maybe…

We started with a return to the only campsite open.  The garden.  We started pitching whilst Kamikaze was having a nap, but didn’t finish before she woke.  We’re still figuring out getting the first two air tubes up; once these are up it seems to go quite smoothly, but these are remaining a headache.  I don’t know if that’s just the first bit always is with a lot of tents or whether there’s some trick we’re yet to figure out.  Anyway, she wandered down to the bottom of the garden and then commenced screaming.  She’ll get more words at some point, but even without an extensive vocabulary she made herself very clear.  We were not getting the tent up fast enough and she wanted to go inside!

There followed three nights of not enough sleep.  It’s just what happens under canvas with excitable small people.  But somehow I still feel better after that than being in the house.  We’re not so much going stir crazy as have gone stir crazy now.

Not home schooling hasn’t really meant lots more time to sort anything out.  I really don’t know how people with small children are actually doing that (though I know some are!).  Maybe it’s just the age mine are or maybe it’s the intensity with which they go through life.  The primary germ factory have said it’s half term and to take a rest.  Evidently they do not have small people of the variety that exist in this house because we may not have done official learning but they’ve definitely still needed substantial amounts of occupying!

We had a go at a new activity with hama beads, which they thoroughly enjoyed, and made a start on Christmas decorations for family out of the beads.  No it doesn’t feel strange making Christmas decorations in whatever month it is now, because I have no idea what month it is anyway!  Even Kamikaze could join in under supervision, but unfortunately her sensory-focus is always sound and she liked the noise of them pouring onto the table.  Thankfully her fine motor skills are also pretty exceptional and she can pick them all up and put them back on the tray.  Where they are then ready for her to repeat the exercise 😉  There should be some good home learning using these though as we can do patterns, counting and pictures of whatever the topic is and no one will be arguing with me about whether they have to learn anything.

I’ve struggled with the decision about hama beads.  In a world that needs to reduce plastic use and a household that predominantly uses reusable nappies and wipes, and is starting the switch to non-plastic in the bathroom it feels counter to other decisions.  Lego was never a question like that.  Who has ever thrown Lego out?  It gets passed on, whether down through generations or sold.  The hama beads aren’t really like that on any level.

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We also did some cake decorating.  If there was to be a food hygiene inspection here it would probably yield a negative score.  With all five of us at home all the time the place is definitely not as clean as it could be, but the kitchen (…and bathroom…) is somewhere I’m more fastidious about than other rooms, so it’s not that that would affect the score so much as just what happens when you put a 2, 4 and 5 year old in a kitchen.  They really do have no concept of why they shouldn’t put their finger in the mix, lick it and then promptly put it back, or alternate between eating the sprinkles and putting them on the cake, with the same fingers.  Even sending them to wash their hands every time they did it didn’t seem to deter them.  Our baking sessions always start the same, wash hands and no eating or licking anything until I say so.  They always end the same too, with me having given up with the stuck record and, in the case of this particular edition, hoovering up more sprinkles than were even in the house before we started.  Have to admit they look good though (caterpillars if you can’t work it out 😉 )… and no one has suffered food poisoning that we know off…

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Our other major exploit for the week involved the garden.  We have a large garden with a large eucalyptus tree at the bottom.  Several branches needed to come off due to the sheer size of them really.  Our next door neighbour also has a large conifer she wanted down.  The small people were fascinated to watch this process (as were the big people to be honest!).  As branches keep coming down and the tree surgeons bounce between tree limbs and make it look effortless getting up the trunk with their rope pulley and chainsaw.  Completely riveted.  But not in a way that meant I could leave them to it and get on with something.  Kamikaze in particular, had that glint in her eyes, and as Gerald re-enacted the scenes left me wondering how long before she tried any of it on a more personal level.  Gerald came close to falling out the window as it was…

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With how hot it’s been, they’ve also been in the paddling pool and we changed our chalk picture at the front of the house too.  But every time I’ve tried to sit down it’s not taken long before I’ve heard “mummy… can we…” and once again the possibility of a rest has disappeared…

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