When I found out I was pregnant with the twins I found people desperate to give advice. Some was really welcomed, short cuts…. I like short cuts, anything to make my life easier I say but one piece of ‘advice’ really stuck with me… ‘You will never leave the house again….’. Hmmmmm really??? If it was as bad as they say this could really be a problem. We are an outdoors adventuring family equally as happy in a field with a tent as in as in a 5* All Inclusive resort based holiday. Wherever we venture it is all about experiences. Surely life doesn’t stop just because you have 4 children?
So, the twins have been here 8 months and shock horror we haven’t just managed to cross the threshold into the big wide world we have set out to grab life with a great big bear hug! This post isn’t about me saying ‘look at us, we are a superfamily’ far from it, the house is a tip, there is a list of jobs we should be doing at the weekends and our office needs fumigating. If a friend came for coffee he or she would have to dodge the obstacle course of dirty clothes, toys, high chairs and maybe the odd discarded rice cake or toast crust before they made it to our sofa. Then they are faced with finding a sliver of said sofa which isn’t going to leave them with sticky marks on their clothes which could be anything from baby sick right through to blue tac, needless to say not many friends come for coffee……..
This is a post about how we view part of our job as parents, we believe we should cram their tiny brains with as many experiences and memories as we can! Those who know me will tell you that whilst I am more than likely to forget a birthday or anniversary, (my Husband has to remind me of my own wedding anniversary every year and even then I get the date wrong) I will have an entire year of activities planned out for us as a family to enjoy. This year features so far 2 camping trips, 2 festivals, 2 weeks away in Majorca and lots of odd activities for the children to enjoy. I even have the pantomime booked and Christmas dinner sorted!
We are not rich by any means. Rather than fancy cars, personalised number plates, the latest iphones and Apple technology we have old bangers for cars, battered android phones and I only recently relented and let my Husband get a flatscreen television after our old box television started to die. Even then I found a second hand one, most of our clothes are preloved or from the cheaper end of the high street and in my house if it ain’t broke it doesn’t need replacing let alone upgrading. So, all the cash I would have wasted on something like the latest hoover which purports to make my life sooo much easier goes on camping trips and festivals – plus I am saving the enviroment so there!!
I am sure we should be planning the kit we need for these trips with a more serious head but last night found my husband and I ordering a pull along wooden cart complete with canopy and cushions to transport the older two children around the festival sites at night and strings of solar powered fairy lights to decorate the cart. We had a long discussion about what colour the cart should be and opted for natural wood so we can customise it ourself. I will be ordering the flagpole for the back of the cart today and bunting for the tent next week. I am sure we will eventually talk about cool boxes, bedding and repair kits, we always do….usually about an hour before we leave…. Some would say we are irresponsible but really will the kids remember an amazing storage solution we sourced for our trips or the fact that Mammy had the tent decorated like a circus top???
We have a plaque counting down the days till we leave for Majorca in the kitchen and the big ones revel in changing the numbers. On holiday we will live in the pool or the park, each day probably similar to the last but we will all be together. We will have three meals a day together, I will catch a child jumping from the side of the pool around 1578 times a day, we will watch whatever tacky entertainment on offer and probably find ourselves doing the conga or time warping a few times and it will be bloody brilliant. Some have said we are mad flying with 4 small children to a foreign country… we can’t wait!
The memories won’t just be of the holiday sort, there will be the times when it is pouring with rain and rather than resort to an indoor activity, we throw the doors open and let our small brood dance in the garden. They will get soaked and cold but we will dash for the camera as before and click away whilst they make their ribs sore from giggling. Again some may say irresponsible but guess what? They have never got pneumonia or hypothermia yet!
I was watching Downton Abbey a few years ago when my eldest was a baby, in one scene the butler, Carson, said ‘The business of family is the making of memories’ I actually wrote it down and have it tucked away in a draw. It kind of sums up exactly the type of family I want to raise, the kind of Mam I want to be and has really stuck with me. We are having an extension built next year to accommodate our growing family and the plan is to have these word plastered across our living room wall.
Now must dash, we are off on a bear hunt en route to get some late lunch and Daddy is currently wet wiping our eldest son’s fleece top as apparently ‘it will do one more day’…… see anything but superfamily!!!