Monday, September 24, 2012

Holidays at last!

I love the first day of school holidays. We have two weeks stretching out in front of us and a list of 101 ideas that the kids want to squeeze in! We seem to have created a tradition of sorts for the first Monday of the school break. The kids emerge from lie-ins and get to slob about in pj's eating breakfast in front of the tv. Sounds perfect? Not for long! Once they are all fed I ask them to all work together as fast as they can doing a big tidy-up and cleaning blitz. The reward afterwards is a trip into the local town to a cafe where they can chose something sweet and I can have a coffee.

They start in their rooms and sort through all their school paperwork that has built up all term, file away important stuff and bin obsolete notes. Next they vacuum their rooms and help with a variety of house chores that normally are done by me each Monday while they are in school. Some jobs challenge them to learn new skills and gives me an opportunity to show them how to do things they normally take for granted.

One Baynham child (who shall remain nameless) made me crack up laughing. When teaching her how to clean the washbasin in the bathroom I told her to get stuck in and use some elbow grease to make it shine. She looked up and genuinely asked. "Where do we keep that?"

Gareth wanted to help get the wet washing out of the machine so Rhiannon could hang it on the line. He found it a challenge to get those last few socks but he managed!

It can be hard for me as a perfectionist personality to watch other people do my jobs in a not-quite-so-perfect way. I know that the washing was hung on the line a bit all over the place but in the end it was dry so I guess that's the important thing. I have to admit I found myself re-vacuming some of the rooms that Gareth had finished but if I don't let them try then they will never learn.

The cleaning blitz only takes a couple of hours and by lunchtime the house is gleaming and ready for them to invite friends to play or sleep-over during the coming holidays. The cafe always is a hit and the staff there make such a fuss serving them that it puts us all in a happy holiday mood.
Next stop is the local library to stock up on a tower of books each and then home to a calm clean house and the sound of nothing but the turning of pages over the afternoon as each kid sinks into a soft chair or beanbag in a shaft of sunlight and starts the relaxing that school holidays were made for...

3 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. Wonderful~ it will all payoff in later years when they are "talented" in taking care of their own homes!! Where do you keep your elbow grease? I think it's a legit question!!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful tradition!

    Have a great holiday!

  3. You are SO smart to have your children clean like that!! I really dropped the ball on that when it came to regular cleaning responsibilities. They do things like take out the garbage and cut the grass but I did all the other stuff mostly. I stopped doing my 19 year old son's laundry when we came back from holiday and he had decided to stuff the laundry closet to the point of not being able to close with dirty clothes that he had in his room for probably months. I told him I was done doing his laundry. Quite liberating, actually!!! : ) xoxo

    ~ Wendy