- Tell the kids to go away, it's not my job to entertain him
- Hand them carrier bags and tell them to put all of their toys in them so that we can take them to the charity shop as they obviously don't need them anymore.
- Sing "I'm Bored" by Ziggy Pop to them ("I'm bored, I'm the chairman of the board")
- Plan some activities to use our time and have some fun.
The first three annoy the hell out of them, especially the song which drives them up the wall, but the last one is probably a bit more productive. As its their schools Easter holidays, I knew I couldn't sing at them for two weeks, so we tried something we first used in their spring half-term holidays.
To buy myself some time, I drew a grid on a piece of paper broken don into days and mornings and afternoons. I added some appointments and activities we already knew we were doing and then handed it to them to fill in the gaps with what they would like to do.
I was surprised that they discussed what they would like to do and filled in some simple things which we could easily do (as opposed to trips to Disneyland and back to back movies at the cinema).
That scrap of paper accompanied us all week and helped give us some direction during that week.
So for these holidays I pulled our organiser off the wall and filled in anything that we knew we had to do already. I then handed the kids a bunch of leaflets and letters with activities at their school and locally and asked them to find ones that were happening in the holidays and that were not too far away.
Little Lady took the lead and between them they came up with some good suggestions which we added to the organiser and my diary.
This left us with some things to look forward to and some clear days when I knew we would have to find things to do at home or break the day up in some other way (take them for along walk to tire them out).
One of the things that helped is that on weekends and holidays, I often ask the kids in the morning what their plans for the day are and if they would like to do anything in particular. We don't often end up doing it, but at least they got to make suggestions and voice what they would like rather than just being corralled and herded all day without any choice in the matter. It also means that they are beginning to be included in our family decision making. This means that as we go through the day, they are on board with whatever we end up doing.
To be honest, what I am really craving is some nature to soothe my eyes and my soul, so hopefully we can brave the cold (April and still snowing!!) and get hubby to take us somewhere insh'Allah.