Last week was a complete disaster. Our trip to London the previous week left both Jenson and myself feeling extremely tired and the events in Manchester have left me feeling very unsettled. Consequently, I spent three days last week caught in a battle of wills. By Thursday I'd had enough and was so desperate for a truce that I whizzed the three of us down to our holiday home for a 24 hour detox by the beach.
The trouble began on Monday morning when I found my twenty pound note ripped in two.
Lacking any soft furnishings I decided it might be fun to get the soft play down from the loft. This proved too much to handle for the pair of them. So overwhelmed were they by the vast quantity of enourmous blocks that they could do nothing but bicker.
Jenson holed himself up in his den under the table with his Lego. While Wren claimed the tunnel as hers. Consequently this meant that neither she could use the slides by the table area without being whacked by Jenson and Jenson couldn't use the tunnel to crawl through without being shrieked at by Wren.
Lego Club happened but I was feeling extremely tired and went to bed as soon as everyone left at 12 noon, leaving the children to scrap it out. On the plus side, during Lego Club, we witnessed the baby blue tits fly the nest for the first time! Well, I missed the first one as I rushed to get my camera, but saw the second shoot out of the nest like a rocket!
There was the occasional moment where they managed to co-exist together. Jenson had Bunny doing somersaults and riding on the sea saw with best friend Clownie.
Here is the living room post-soft play. Here Wren demonstrates her interest in learning and reading. She has far more enthusiasm than Jenson.
Jenson was keen to make a super hero sticker book. This demonstrates his desire to learn but in a much more applied and practical way.
We made it out to the shops on Monday afternoon as we had to buy the ingredients for our tomato soup that Jenson had requested especially for our lunch guest the next day. Here he is taking Bunny for a ride to the shops on his new bike!
Things improved in the afternoon although I was feeling extremely tired. My enthusiasm for home schooling has wained considerably this week. Perhaps it is the pressure of work or the pressure of buying and selling houses, but it feels like the kids are just getting under my feet at the moment. It feels a struggle to even get up in the morning.
I was determined to make Tuesday a better, brighter and happier day but felt really quite ill, so Jenson tucked me up in bed with Bunny and closed the blinds for me. I surfaced mid morning. It was all about making our soup, or at least it was until we had a knock on the door at about 10am with a special delivery for Jenson from Auntie Lucy! You can imagine how the rest of his day was spent!
So the task of soup making feel to Wren and I, and what a great little helper she was!
Wednesday was another tough day. I was again lacking any form of energy to the point that Simon left me crying into my breakfast bowl at 7.30am as he went off to work. Despite my struggles, I managed to get them to the park in the morning, where again, Bunny joined us. He had fun with Jenson's telescope and enjoyed a story that Jenson read to him. Jenson has become very reliant on Bunny again this past week, ever since London. Coupled with the fact his temper has increased ten fold, I think there might be some real anxiety issues going on.
Jenson was also dead keen to practice on his new bike too!
In the afternoon we went picking strawberries. The children loved it but I was ratty and irritable. They had a little play in the playground but neither of them were listening to a word I was saying so, fed up at being constantly ignored, I bundled them into the car and took them home.
There was some calm in the early ebening as the children read stories to each other in the tunnel while I sank a gin and tonic. I say early evening, I think it was about three in the afternoon.
Thursday and Friday were by far the most enjoyable days of the week. We arrived in Devon at about 1pm Thursday and hit the beach straight away.
Friday morning, after a quick play and breakfast by the beach, we were booked in to look around Woolacombe Primary School. The only way I could convince Jenson to set foot inside the school grounds was on the basis that we were there for Wren's benefit. He wasn't keen and refused to enter any of the classrooms.
We drove back from Devon on Friday afternoon but I felt so ill on my return that I went to bed at 6.30pm, leaving the children to sort themselves out practically. I managed to get them ready for bed and did stories but I could hear them up and about until about 9pm. Simon was in London until late.
The school itself was a breath of fresh air. The Year 1 teacher looked like he should be on a surf board than in a classroom! Speaking of which, they all had double doors opening onto a terrace that overlooked the beach in the distance. There are 200 children in the school, which made me nervous, but I needn't have been. The school is so charming and the fact the old Victorian buildings are squeezed onto a tight footprint makes it feel busy and friendly. The playing areas are extensive and with the beach on their door step I was assured the children spend a large proportion of their time learning outdoors on that beautiful stretch of golden sand. Just a few days ago for example, the kids enjoyed a whole day on the beach playing pirates. Phonics had been given a miss that morning. It was such a relief to hear there was that flexibility within the curriculum I desperately wished there was a place available for Jenson.
There are a lot of big decisions to make over the coming months and there are a lot of balls up in the air. Which ones land is anyone's guess but we're hopeful it will all come together and work out.