I went to Cornwall over Easter. I didn’t even mention it, did I? It was my first extended time with the boys of Himself as a step mum (or whatever we call people who aren’t actually step parents but are still expected to play a role in keeping two children in one piece to return to their mummy). And his parents. Because we don’t seem to do things by halves…
(Before we get any further I’d just like to thank the people who offered advice last time I mentioned this topic from a Mum’s perspective on being a step Mum. Just to be clear though, I am very aware the boys have a Mum (she and I talk. We are both grown ups), I’m not trying to be a Mum and I neither am I trying to make any decisions about any key aspects of their life – other perhaps than making them wash, dress and get off their blimin’ phone / iPad long enough to hold one conversation a day. I know my place and the contents of this blog are, as always, just about trying to raise a smile or two… <steps off soapbox> )
So yes, I went to Cornwall with Himself, two smallish boys and two parents. There were a few moments unlike any holiday I have ever had:
The Smaller Boy really did start asking ‘how long til we get there?’ exactly 7 minutes after we left home. And continued to ask roughly every 10 minutes for the entire 5.5 hours were were in the car.
This view from the cottage:
Trail running on the coastal path that involved arms for climbing as well as legs for plodding (and stunning views that you had to stop to admire, or risk falling off the cliff).
Running to Lands’ End. For those not aware as my colleagues in the US weren’t, Lands’ End is a real place.
The discovery that two boys can keep themselves entertained for hours with a spade and some sand:
The bumble bee that I shared a mint imperial with for over an hour:
Having to explain to Smaller Boy what the poster on duck mating season actually meant. Exactly what it meant.
The joy of watching Smaller Boy learn to tie his shoe laces. And promptly ‘practice’ at every possible opportunity:
Going on a course – even on holiday:
And learning to make a pane of stained glass (and in the process discovering that it’s entirely possible to poke your tongue out in concentration for a full day):
Watching Bigger Boy climbing a huge rock to do a bit of flossing* at the top:
*Flossing is a dance thing you do with your arms at speed. Adults should not attempt this as they will just look like a fool through failure / through trying to be cool. No, I can’t do it.
There were the gale force winds and driving rain you’d expect in Cornwall. There were also some short burst of blue skies, which we celebrated with a drink (even if at this point I was wearing a thermal vest, three jumpers, a coat, scarf and gloves).
Top tips for other non parents going away with boys:
Never, ever, ever go out with two boy children without a bag of snacks. They turn into evil monsters without a constant supply of food.
You can take a huge pack of ham with you, as specified by Smaller Boy for ‘all his sandwiches’ Smaller Boy will then announce at the first sandwich interlude that he hates ham now.
You don’t need to replace the ham with nine tins of tuna. Three would have been enough.
Kids really do drive you to alcohol. Even if (especially if?!) they are not actually yours.
But actually, I’d do it again. Maybe. One day :o)