Thursday, 26 April 2012

Back to the routine....

"Mummy, I think I need to spend more time at school," announced Littleboy 1 plaintively after getting off the schoolbus on his first day back. After three weeks, he was upset that he had forgotten several things about the school routine - for example, the need to put his chair up on the table when school finishes, putting his homework book in his folder and other stuff that I suppose he normally does on auto-pilot.

I felt exactly the same, I told him. Isn't it strange how, after a break, everyday things suddenly don't come automatically? Driving the car (I didn't drive in England this time as mean old rental car companies now charge per driver, but got used to other people driving on the left after the first week, when it seemed really scary); how my cooker works; the computer system I have to access for work.The first time you do these things again, your brain doesn't quite recall the process. Of course, after the first day, it all comes flooding back, but it's amazing how many things we do are just ingrained.

I've also found it very hard to shrug off the jet lag this time. I wake up early, then am ready to sleep by 9pm, and spend most of the day feeling sluggish and in dire need of caffeine. It hasn't helped that Littleboy 1 suddenly seems to have developed a fear of the dark, and keeps coming into our bed in the early hours because he's 'scared'. (This follows his over the top reaction to the CBBC show Horrible Histories, which terrified him so much in England that he wouldn't go to bed on his own for two nights. Friends tell me it's a good programme, and I'm still not sure what exactly scared him so much, but it seems to have been the catalyst. Littleboy 2, meanwhile, watched the same thing and was completely unaffected - he'll probably be a horror film enthusiast when he grows up).

It's good, though, to go away for three weeks. It makes you appreciate where you live afresh, and take comfort in your daily routine, even if you were getting bored of it before. I remember coming back to London after a four month backpacking trip in 2004, and just being delighted that I could walk around without having to fear someone might be trying to con me or nick my wallet (we had had a few experiences in South America). It's absolutely beautiful here at the moment, all the trees suddenly in leaf and the grass suddenly bright green and lush. Azaleas and cherry blossom are flowering, and joggers seem to have emerged from their winter hibernation to pound the streets. And it's a relief to be back in our own house, despite the kindness of family and friends in putting us up, because staying with other people when you have kids is always more tiring than being at home. Both boys seem so pleased to be back at school, seeing their friends and teachers again (whereas before we left, they were ecstatic at the thought of no school for three weeks). It's a cliche I know, but a change really is as good as a rest.

7 comments:

Potty Mummy said...

Totally agree. The summer holidays are hurtling towards us like a freight train at the moment and whilst it will be nice to spend some time with family, the thought of 6 weeks living out of a suitcase and moving around week on week is not something that I relish. Between you and me, I'm already looking forward to getting back here - and there's something I never imagined myself saying!

Iota said...

East, west, homes is best!

Nota Bene said...

Always good to come home after a holiday...and sometimes that break in the routine can be a good thing...chance to do things differently...

AliBlahBlah said...

I think we must have been in England the week before you went over ther because we had spectacular weather , and now I've returned to California to non stop rain showers! At least the girls are getting a chance to wear the hats I knitted for them, although they're getting a little soggy in these Pacific storms!

Metropolitan Mum said...

Am jealous at the sound of your spring - I am sure not to be the first one to tell you that it has been raining on end and that it's supposed to go on like that for more than a week from now. Urgh.

nappy valley girl said...

PM - Six weeks is a long time not to be at home - I'm not surprised you have mixed feelings!

Iota - that sounds like a real homespun American proverb - but it's right!

NB - Yes, although it's all too easy to slip back into old habits after a few weeks too...

Ali - yes, everyone kept telling us how nice it had been the week before. And when we got back to NYC, it was wet and everyone told us how hot it had been while we were away...

MetMum - we experienced the beginning of that, and I hear it's just as bad still. Hope it cheers up soon.....

About Last Weekend said...

Oops sorry thought I left a comment last time I visited, the spring has sprung but not in my head...Loved this part of the park when we were last in New York but still have not seen the blooms this time of year...