Apparently, the cost of keeping a child entertained over the six-week school holidays is estimated to be a whopping £1,000 plus and I can quite believe it. A couple of weeks ago, I took my boys to an aquarium near Chester. It was a nice enough and an interesting enough place to visit but tickets, parking and drinks for the three of us cost close to £50 and after an hour the little ones had had enough and wanted to go home. So not the most impressive bang for my buck (apologies, I spent a fifteen years working for an American company … phrases like this, unfortunately, come a little too naturally to me).
But what to do in lieu of those expensive days out?
Well, fitted kitchen retailer Betta Living has put together a Kids In The Kitchen guide aimed at inspiring parents, with twenty different activities that can be done at home for very little, if any at all, money. It’s an incredibly comprehensive guide with activities to suit all interests and all ages – you can take a look here.
I’m sat writing this with a beer by my side. It’s the final night of our holidays before my husband has to return to work in the morning. Return to work until his next break which, apart from a day here and there, is not until Christmas. Only July and already one eye on the festive season. Reason enough for a beer, right? Because thinking ahead to December is both awful and exciting, isn’t it? Is it wrong to admit that I’ve already bought a couple of Christmas presents though? It seems silly not to buy a few things for the boys while the sales are so good.
But back to our holidays. We had a really great time in Scotland. The house was perfect, the weather a little less so, the boys … hmmm … well, with one refusing to go to bed until 11pm and the other waking up at 4am, sleep didn’t really feature a whole lot while we were away. Still, even with our eyes threatening to close at any given opportunity, it’s such a fantastic part of the world that we couldn’t fail to be completely blown away by the country and have a really nice time. We will definitely return.
Sunday is … an idyllic morning spent in Chester, wandering along the river, marvelling at the bluest of skies, choosing which of the riverside cafés to have a delicious cup of coffee in, and watching the boys laugh and run along the cobblestones jostling to be first on the beloved swings in the nearby park.
Five years ago, during this very week, I stood in a hospital in Zürich and blinked back the tears as the consultant pointed to a darkened spot on a scan of my brain and confirmed the presence of a tumor.
For those of you that haven’t heard this story before, please don’t gasp in shock. While yes, it was a tumor, it was one of the good ones (if there’s ever such a thing). More specifically, it was a prolactinoma, a benign tumor, sitting in the pituitary gland just below my brain. Not life-threatening but potentially putting an end to my chances of ever having children.
Five years ago, again during this very week, I stood in the kitchen of our apartment and took my very first tablet. A tablet with the ultimate power. A tablet, the first of many, that would determine whether our lives would be blessed with little ones or whether we would remain as a family of two.