If you do that one more time…

3 Nov

I think I’d probably be quite an irresponsible parent if had no worries at all about uprooting our family to travel the world for nine months.  We’ll be giving up school, work, renting out our house, all of these things are fraught with potential problems and I’m a planning type, who likes to think through every possible scenario before it happens.

One of the things that I worry about is how we’ll manage spending 24 hours a day together for nine months.  Steve is used to spending most of his daytime hours at work and the children are used to being at school and nursery all week.  Like most families, sometimes we get on well, sometimes we fight.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to separate the boys as they try to gouge each others eyes out because one of them has the precious red power ranger/bear flag/blue train/knight’s sword/helicopter (delete according to phase of moon) that his brother can’t live without.  I’m sure I’m not the only parent who looks forward to the children’s bedtime some days.  In fact, thanks to Twitter, I know I’m not.  So how are we going to manage in a small hotel room without killing each other?

Well last night I had a bit of an epiphany.  I say a bit, because I haven’t sorted world peace, but I did realise something important.  The more time we spend together, the better we get on.  This half term we stayed at home for the week, endured one sick bug and three disgusting colds, occasionally venturing out to visit the playground or spend half a day at the local children’s zoo.  Whilst at home we watched a lot of TV, but we also baked, stuck leaves on paper, built train sets, read stories, played Jenga, dressed up and constructed Lego towers.  The bunk bed was very busy being a cave, ship and desert island, sometimes all three at once.  And do you know what?  We all had a really lovely time with hardly any arguing.  On the whole, the children really enjoyed each others company and spent hours being pirates, dogs and castaways.

Contrast this with yesterday afternoon when I picked up the eldest two after their first day back at school.  Within minutes they were fighting over who got to hold the dog lead (we are currently dog sitting), because of course they couldn’t possibly hold it together.  We got home and there was yet more arguing over who got which Halloween sweet, who was kicking who on the sofa while they watched TV, which was the only thing they wanted to do, who got to sit where at tea time and who got the blue plate.  By bathtime a very tired five and three year old were having a full on fist fight over the red power ranger (the moon must be in it’s first quarter) with tears and screaming galore, refusals to share a bath and plenty of shouting from me.

I’m not a fantasist, I realise that spending nine months travelling with my family will not all be easy.  But I do think that it might be quite fun.  After a busy day at school, they were tired, grumpy and bad company.  After a week spent together they were friends.   Well that’s one less thing to worry about.


3 Responses to “If you do that one more time…”

  1. Maternal Tales 03/11/2009 at 7:43 pm #

    Aaah – I like the sound of that (not the yesterday bit, but the other bit). I want to coem too. Please. I haven’t eaten cake in a week so I might fit in to your luggage after all!

  2. Wife of bold 03/11/2009 at 9:19 pm #

    Your soo lucky and sooo brave – it sounds like the perfect adventure your children are very lucky, although i think i’ll say a little prayer for your sanity once you reach the four month stage 🙂

  3. angelsandurchinsblog 03/11/2009 at 10:28 pm #

    We went away for a mere three weeks earlier this year, and it was fantastic. Made me realise how much the children often fight for our attention because (oh dear) they get so little of it usually. And nothing beats a pirate ship bed, whether it’s a bunk at home or hotel one that you don’t need to remake yourself!

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