We spent the other day discovering Haarlem, a truly beautiful town full of hidden green squares and houses covered in plants and flowers. We queued up to watch a bridge turning to let a sailing ship in, ate ice creams and found the beginning of the Camino de Santiago. We located a vegan cafe and had chick pea chips for lunch which are much better than you might imagine on biodegradable plates. Yet even so the big excitement of the day was going to the supermarket to get different flavoured coca colas for a soda challenge.
Daughter three and only son have totally bonded. They are sharing a room and, even though they share a room at home, they are living a bit of a love-in. Daughter three read an entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid book for only son the other night while only son did some word searches.
Only son explained to the Dutch woman on the check-out the entire details of the soda challenge and, because he was worried about the unhealthy nature of the soda challenge, he and daughter three ran round and round to make up for it. This was followed by a long session from daughter one on why it was okay to occasionally drink something unhealthy.
Only son’s concerns about healthiness are mainly linked to daughter two who is on a bit of a healthy eating mission. This also extends to drinking. Daughter two carries water wherever she goes. She is currently sharing a room with daughter one, who complained that daughter two was keeping her awake by drinking water too noisily. This was after daughter two had complained about daughter three’s heavy breathing.
It’s hard to keep everyone happy. Harder still when the age range is so vast and half the team want to hang out in city centres going shopping and being sophisticated while the other half want to dive bomb into swimming pools and run round and round like whirling dervishes all day long.
So the parents try to cover both bases and end the day somewhat knackered and out of pocket.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.