The house is quiet. Little Miss C is finally back at school and her brother is upstairs napping. At my side is a cup of some special tea that the bloke in the local health food shop convinced me to buy this morning. For the first time in about three weeks I'm as close to feeling calm as I have ever done since having children. The Easter holidays are over and despite there being some highs I have to say that boy was that tough!
And now I've managed to speak too soon. Master C has magically woken from his nap a whole hour earlier than usual and despite not going to sleep until gone 10 last night and is now screaming at my side. It seems the tough bit isn't over yet…
So, returning to this now that both kids really are asleep…
It's been a bit of a funny old Easter. Master C managed to have two ear infections back to back which meant several trips to and telephone calls with the GP, plus trying to get him to take antibiotics three times a day – which is always fun. At the same time, and possibly related, there was another new tooth and a need to constantly throw all his cuddly toys out of his cot at bedtime and then scream until they are returned to him. This latter phase is still ongoing and meant that last night's bedtime took nearly three hours! Let's just hope that this phase doesn't carry on too much longer.
At the same time as all this he's also started coming out with proper words and we're now lucky enough to be hearing "elephant" or "dog" or "aeroplane" shouted out during the day and normally when he's seen something he recognises. It's lovely to see this language really starting and as LMC was such an early talker it also seems like such a long time since she went through this phase before. Just having that bit of communication is lovely and he's also mastered a couple of Makaton signs – mainly "more", "thank you" and "duck" – and bringing all this together it's starting to show more of his little personality too.
Talking of LMC, I think she's actually found the school holiday quite difficult. She likes routine and loves going to school, so the news that she had two and a half weeks off was met with tears. Most nights she's hopefully asked if she can go to school the next day and looked so disappointed when we said not. As a result of all this we've had several tantrum and melt-down moments and to be honest we're not all that good at dealing with them. Definitely something we need to work on as parents.
In that way that things always happen at inconvenient moments the start of the holidays also coincided with our car starting to make some strange noises. One trip to the garage suggested a possible turbo problem, but that it should be OK for a while longer. A further appointment was set up to try to get to the bottom of it, but before that could come around I had the misfortune of driving along the M25 (with the whole family in the car) when it suddenly lost any real power that it had. Finding yourself with your foot flat to the floor and being unable to get it to go faster than 45 miles an hour on a busy motorway whilst trying to overtake is not something I want to experience again in a hurry! Not only has it cost over a grand to sort out we also decided to hire a car so that we weren't totally stuck at home for the Easter weekend. Yet more money, but totally worth it to be able to get out and do stuff together.
We might not have been away on holiday this Easter, but we've manged quite a few day trips – Mountfitchet Castle, Bekonscot Model Village, Whipsnade Zoo (twice), a vintage car show, a yoghurt tasting in London and a couple of good family walks. Lots of nice family memories have been made – and a fair amount of chocolate eaten too, especially by Master C – but at the same time it was a bit of a relief to be getting back into a routine today. It's certainly made me realise that I need to get my act together for the summer holidays. I fear six weeks might seem rather long if I don't plan it well!