The kids are away. It wasn’t exactly planned but its happened and I’m finding it very difficult. I’d dreamt of being able to cook without having a small child attached to my legs. What fun to take a bath without a small child attached to my legs! Imagine taking a walk to the pub without… you get the idea. In reality, I haven’t cooked- we’ve eaten street hotdogs (YUK!) and a sandwhich since they’ve been gone. I did take a bath, but I put too much cold in and couldn’t be bothered to take some out and run it again. In essence, not having the chidlren really sucks.
I’ve spoken to my mum and the big one. I’ve heard the little one babbling in the background and my goodness how I miss those little hands clinging on to my legs! I’m longing to be unable to walk across the kitchen without adopting a silly walk designed to keep the baby upright. I miss his snotty kisses and his scratchy nails. I miss the big one’s full body hugs and temporary sulks. I miss them!
Ok, so part two. These are the resolutions I want to keep, or at least try very hard to achieve. These are the ones I have given thought to and aren’t simply repeated year after year. These are for this year, in reflection of last year and they actually mean something.
1. Say what I think, instead of what I think people want to hear.
2. Cherish what I have, instead of pining for what I used to have and what I think I could have had.
3. Celebrate the quirks and traits that make my loved ones my loved ones.
4. Drop the guilt.
Number four will be the most difficult. Number one will need a lot of work for me but I think I can do it. Number two and three are the easiest but perhaps the most important. Oh, and I REALLY want to stop biting my nails.
I always thought that New Year’s resolutions were made to be broken and so I always half-heartedly made them and then broke them. These days, I still think that New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken- well, most of them are, anyway. With the most difficult year of my life drawing to an end, it doesn’t seem right not to have learnt anything from it or to simply move into the next year without even considering things that I can change, being who I am now. So I’m dividing my resolutions. The first part will be resolutions I can make easily and therefore disregard easily once I get back into the swing of post-Christmas life. The second part will be the ones that I have actually considered and think will make real changes to my life. These are the important ones; one I will try to keep and assess why I couldn’t. These are the ones I won’t beat myself up over.
1. Be more organised. Its no longer acceptable to boot myself and the kids out of the door two minutes before we have to leave, knowing that getting all the bags and bodies into the car will take much longer than that.
2. Eat three meals a day. Ok, sometimes breakfast is not an option (see number 1) and there is rarely time for lunch given the fact I have to prepare at least four different meals before the baby will eat anything and then its nap time. BUT its becoming clear that a crumpet is no fit meal for a busy mum or a working man once the kids are in bed.
3. Stop making excuses. See number 2.
4. Stop biting my nails. Yeah, right.
5. Encourage E to do her homework. Yeah, right. She’s in year one and yes, I know that as a teacher I should be on top of this. But, like I said, she’s in year one for goodness sake! Homework, shomework. What happened to being a kid? Save the homework for GCSEs.
6. Tidy up more. But two kids and a tidy house really don’t go together well. Also, see number 3.
7. Drink less coffee. I will do this once the baby starts to sleep.
8. Stop pining for another baby. Time will tell. Pregnancy makes me sick, labour hurts, newborn babies cry more than the one I have. Be patient. See number 9.
9. Be patient. Hmm.
10. Look at the things I write on the calendar and try to be on time more. Is it still fashionable to be late?
This needs more consideration. If its ok, I will add part two when I have chance to think clearly. At the moment, I have three piles of washing to do, nails to bite and coffee to drink. Oh, and I’m running late for something I’mn sure I was meant to do but its not on the calendar…
Our family always hold a special party on Boxing Day. It goes right back to before I was born as my grandparents were married on Boxing Day and the family always celebrated each year with a huge family party. Over the years, it became the only day of the year that the family got together and the last few were held at the social hall at my grandparent’s residential flats. We even celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a christmas card from the Queen. My grandad died shortly after and the parties were never really the same again.
These days, my nanna is no longer with us either and my mum takes turns to host the party with her sisters and brother. As kids, we used to dread THE PARTY because it meant abandoning our toys for the day and socialising with members of the family we don’t really see much or have much in common with. These days, with my own family, I understand the importance of it all.
Tonight I have played charades with my uncle who is suffering severe reactions to the interaction of drugs he takes for arthritis and drugs he takes following cancer treatment; my cousin who presents sports news for Inter Milan; my cousin who has married a beautiful Thai girl who speaks very little English; my creepy uncle who once- yuk!- kissed me on the lips by way of saying merry christmas; my kids who spent the whole time rolling on the floor, laughing…
In other words, a whole bunch of different people, all thrown together because it is Boxing Day. So I guess that the main reason to be cheerful today is the fact that, for me, Boxing Day brings my family together. AND we get another excuse to eat loads of food and drink loads of wine!