Remember those balmy days of your past where once the sun came out you’d be in a beer garden sipping down 90’s drinks with gay abandon before you had even phoned in sick?
With kids in tow, hot weather becomes infinitely less pleasant. Here’s how to survive parenting through anything above 18C…
Approach sunscreen with a sheepdip mentality. No point trying to be nice about it. Catch your galloping offspring unawares in a headlock as they frolic past you on their way to leave the freezer door open (more on this later) and then aim for 2-5 vigorous seconds of full body application of factor 90. Doesn’t matter if you get it on their clothes – as you probably found out from the toddler days, sun cream does ruin anything it touches, but then – so do children, so those pricey Boden t-shirts aren’t lasting as long as you’d hoped anyway.
Dress for the weather, and when I say ‘dress’ I mean just let them run around in their pants. What’s the point of putting on clothes when you’re not going to get arrested for not doing so? I’d happily hang out in just my pants given half a chance, and when I say hang out, I mean this literally.
Damp places. You might think you need to procure a paddling pool, but the same amount of arguing can be created by simply allowing your kids to throw buckets of icy cold water directly at each other. Paddling pools bring with them the ever present threat of your offspring drowning each other the minute your back is turned, and inevitably by the time you’ve located the hose, inflated and filled the bastard it will be December and everyone will have long since lost interest.
Bare faced lying. My children, who are 8 and 6 still resolutely believe that when the ice cream van plays its tune it is because they have run out of ice creams. Ain’t nobody going to tell them otherwise, over my dead body. You might also know that all ice cream sellers are in league with the devil, turning up on your road as they do at 7pm on a sunday night when the very last thing you need to do is deal with two further hours of begging followed by a twenty quid spend. Nip that shit in the bud while they are young enough to still believe anything, that’s what I say.
Splash parks. You know the kind – the concrete council run car parks with fountains, and bewildering opening hours almost certainly guaranteed to never coincide with sunny weather. I’m reasonably confident that our local splash park harbours chlamydia in its damp, litter strewn fringes. Your kids will love it for all of 5 minutes before the bigger boys come. The people next to you on the grass will be smoking drugs. Everyone has neck tattoos, including the children. Not to be attempted by the middle class.
Freezypops. Buy a thousand of them from lidl and voila – instant adoration from your offspring. During summer, I like to make sure that I have a freezer full of expensive meat ready to be thrown directly into the bin when you realise that your kids left the freezer door open yesterday morning after having a freezy pop for breakfast.
So there you have it. Best to stay indoors and pray for winter. Failing that, get on the iced drinks early, and hope it rains….
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