I’ve never understood people who moan about spending time with their kids in the school holidays. Maybe it’s because I only have one child to entertain, and the luxury of flexible working from home. I don’t know. But I do know that I’ve always treasured every school break we’ve had over the years. Spending time with a 7-year-old is even more pleasurable.
Don’t get me wrong, my son is no angel, he can have some serious devil child moments. He’s not perfect, thank god. He wears me out and I’m exhausted at the end of every, single day. But spending time with a 7-year-old, my son, is so rewarding.
As Monkey was ill for the first week of the holidays, we really slowed down, spent lots of time just cuddled on the sofa, watching films, chatting and reading books. Simple pleasures, that cost nothing and reminded me that we lead life in the fast line way too often. We’re often in a hurry to be somewhere, to do something, with someone. Taking the breaks off for a change was just so good for both of us.
We had a busier week last week, but still quite leisurely for us. Monkey’s at an age where we can have some really wonderful discussions about all manner of things. He has a thirst for knowledge that knows no bounds, especially when it comes to steam trains. I’m going to need to do some serious swatting soon I think, to keep up with him.
Monkey is still a hand holder, not all the time, not if there’s a stick to be held and a field to run across. But otherwise, he’s happy to hold my hand and chat as we walk along together. I don’t have to ask, it’s automatic and I’m cherishing that. It won’t last forever. It won’t be long before he can’t wait to leave my side, leave me behind.
Spending time with a 7-year-old boy has its down sides. He’s obsessed with pooh, willies and farting. They are all subjects of delight for my son. Imagine his absolute relish when he came out of school yesterday telling me a dinosaur had broken into the class (I did see the footprints that morning) and he’d left them a pooh! He’ll be talking out on that one for months to come.
There’s laughter, lots of laughter, joke telling and singing. Maybe not so much in public, but when it’s just me and him, Monkey does love to sing. It’s lovely to watch a child just being, just making their own entertainment and being happy with that. Yes, he does watch TV, not all the time, but after school and before bedtime. But that doesn’t worry me, as he’s rarely actually glued to the sofa watching relentlessly. He never really asks for any gadgets to be plugged in, and I’m holding on to that too. I fear the day that computer games arrive in earnest will be when the conversation stops.
These days Monkey is so much better at expressing himself in words, it’s such a joy. Gone, in most part, are the frustrations when he just couldn’t articulate his feelings. Nowadays I do sometimes wish there was an off switch, or at least a mute button. But then I remind myself of the days when he would barely say a word to anyone. I’ll stick with my 10 to a dozen 7-year-old version I think.
Monkey went back to school on Wednesday. He wasn’t too happy about going, but he went, without a great deal of fuss. He got a couple of treats in class that day for beautiful handwriting. I’ve seen it, it’s fab. Sadly doesn’t translate at home too much, but it’s good to see he does it when he wants to.
Spending time with a 7-year-old has been a joy this last month. We’re heading to London for an event on Saturday. The train and tube journeys will be fine, he might feel a little overwhelmed at the event itself. I’m hoping that as it;s covering something he’s tried at school, that will help. We’ll see. There are still so many steps to take in this growing up malarkey.
I notice Monkey’s face changing, him getting taller, almost by the day, he’s growing up in so many ways. It’s exciting, scary and so rewarding. No one can prepare you for the highs and lows of motherhood. For that feeling in your heart that is so intense. The joy of seeing each day pass, of sending him off to bed and wondering what tomorrow will bring him. I’ll never take that for granted and I hope he won’t either. He’s growing up but he’s still so small, he’s still a child, he’ll always be my boy.