This morning, as I bundled all three kids plus shopping into my car after a particularly fraught ten minute run around Tesco for lunch supplies, an older gentleman pulled up next to me and waited to get out of his car. (We shall gloss over the fact that this man had just parked in a designated parent & child spot . . . ) I chivied the kids along saying “Come on, hurry up so this gentleman can get out of his car, he’s waiting for you.” and he motioned that he was in no rush, and that it was fine before trotting out the classic line of “You’ve got your hands full haven’t you” – one which I’ve actually not heard in a little while! I replied that yes, indeed I do have my hands full and that mostly it’s fine but perhaps not in the supermarket in the summer holidays. He nodded, smiled and said “Happy days“.
The last couple of days haven’t felt like happy days. They’ve felt hectic and stressful. The kids have bickered and I’ve shouted at them. I’ve done more washing and ironing than I can actually fit back into everyone’s drawers yet the washing baskets are still full. I’ve cleaned and tidied and stayed up till 1.30am this morning trying to find time to do the work that I usually get done whilst everyone is at school. I’ve taken Ben to his swimming lesson, cleaned cat poo off shoes and hosted a full on play date for five – which, whilst loud and manic at points, meant I actually just got to spend the afternoon chatting with one of my best friends.
We’re two and a half weeks into the summer holidays and my patience is wearing thin. With multiple camping adventures, a road trip to Dover, several day trips and a child on crutches; the last couple of weeks have been fairly intense and I need to find a bit of time to recharge my brain before I explode.
But he was right wasn’t he? These are happy days. I’m fortunate enough to be able to spend the full summer holiday at home with my children – to be able to organise play dates, day trips and full on week long adventures should I so choose. And yes, trips to the supermarket are definitely not my favourite way to pass the time with three over excited children but they’re just part of the story that is our summer. A summer of (mostly) happy days.