Friday, 18 July 2014

Must try harder

There was a progress update session at my daughter's nursery last week. A "progress update" is basically a chance to have a look through the little book they keep about her and to address any concerns we may have. Besides several lovely photos of her having a thoroughly good time painting pictures, taking part in theatre workshops and - gulp - stroking snakes, there were occasional quotes recorded. One of these read "I love my mummy because she watches DVDs with me."

Oh crumbs. Is this the sole one of our shared activities that she can remember and chooses to tell people about? Not the baking, the Play-Doh, the jigsaws, the stories, the endless games of Shopping List, the trips to the park and the seaside? The play dates I arrange, the trampolining at Heworth's famous Gym Club, the weekly swimming session at York Sport or Energise? And of course the people she chooses to tell are those responsible for educating her, with a direct line to social services... Thank you, my child. It isn't even true - I hardly ever watch DVDs with her. She's usually watching them by herself. (This probably sounds even worse!) She does have a lot of DVDs, nearly all of which came from the charity shop. One of them shows a man getting so pissed on cider he passes out. (His name is Windy Miller, and I am referring to a Camberwick Green episode from 1966.) But I usually shove DVDs on only when I am desperately trying to cook dinner, and CBeebies has chosen to show a programme my daughter irrationally dislikes. For CBeebies seems to put on all the things she hates between five and six o'clock - Gigglebiz, Grandpa In My Pocket and Old Jack's Boat - just when I need it the most.

Charity shop DVD about an errant drunkard
I know I extolled the virtues of CBeebies in my original blog post about the reason to why I chose to blog on the topic of "telly and travels". Yes, I have relied on television and DVDs to help me survive at times of crisis when raising my child, but generally if at all possible, we adopt a Why Don't You? (remember that, ye children of the '80s?) policy and switch off the TV set and go out and do something less boring instead. We travel. My daughter just doesn't seem to have noticed yet.

The biggest challenge of my year is rapidly approaching. The six-week summer break. This time last year my daughter still had some sort of afternoon nap most days so there was always a little break for me to recharge a little. Now it's going to be full-on three-year-old-dom from dawn until dusk. I am very, very scared. I know that York and Yorkshire offer us no shortage of wonderful things to do, but I have no idea how I am going to keep up my energy and enthusiasm. It's the relentlessness of childcare that I have always struggled with. And however much I shall endeavour to ban my daughter from doing so during the day, I will inevitably crash with abandon on the sofa each evening in front of the television. But there will be no time or energy to blog about anything that I watch. So see you in September, when hopefully normal service will resume.


  1. I hear ya, sister. You could - if you were a bit odd - spend five hours per day teaching them Latin, and all they'd tell the nursery staff is "Mummy had wine with her lunch yesterday." Thanks, kids.

    1. Caecilius est in horto. Mama est in ebriata.