The pox, the summer and a trip to Nanny Fran’s

Our trip to the Lake District may have heralded the start of the summer vacation for the Baguettes but August is a long month and all three were not due to return to school until September.  So, with Ezra peaking in terms of his chicken pox going to places with lots of other children would have just been bad manners therefore he was quarantined at Bagnall Manor.  Nevertheless, just because Ezra had the pox it shouldn’t mean that Éowyn and Amélie should miss out.  Lucinda saw that the local leisure centre had a week’s worth of trampolining lessons.  That would be ideal for the girls.  They both enjoy trampolining and Amélie used to attend trampolining lessons weekly before she started school, so to break the monotony for the girls they were signed up for the classes.

The trampolining lesson lasted an hour and Lucinda thought that would be good exercise for them and hopefully would wear them out as well as a way of breaking up the day.  An hour’s worth of trampoline with children taking turns would have certainly been good exercise however an hour’s trampolining lesson when the only children to turn up were Éowyn and Amélie was fantastic exercise.  It was the equivalent of a private lesson for a fraction of the price.  The girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves and thus were happy to go back every day that week.

Another week down and all of Ezra’s chicken pox spots had scabbed over and therefore was no longer infectious, that should have been a time for celebration that at long last the Baguettes can hit the town.  Unfortunately, despite having chicken pox previously, albeit an extremely mild case, Amélie succumbed to the disease, and arguably more seriously than Ezra.  Poor Amélie, she did look forlorn as she settled into the sofa, with a towel wrapped around her naked frame because her clothes were rubbing the spots.  Another week or so of quarantine for the Baguettes.  Poor Baguettes, but poor Lucinda too!  I could escape as work was extremely busy gearing up for the Olympics; the start of the Premier League season and the countless other things that are happening, Lucinda had to stay indoors, (or in the garden) on what was turning out to be an OK summer.  Where Lucinda was hoping to take the Baguettes on day trips it was replacing with refereeing arguments and telling Amélie not to scratch.

It was during this period that we decided (well Lucinda decided) that we would decorate the girls bedroom.  We invited the girls to tell us what they would like and they both decided on an underwater theme with mermaids.  Lucinda wanted to separate the girls clothes (they had been up to this point sharing a wardrobe) to prevent arguments over which dress belonged to whom and who was wearing which top.  An order was put in for wardrobes and chest of drawers from our favourite Swedish furniture store and Lucinda bought paint for the walls, ceiling and woodwork.

While Amélie was still infectious (and Ezra came down with slapped cheek – yes it is a disease) the girls’ room was emptied and they camped out with Ezra.  I was preparing for the impending season and Lucinda was refereeing, being nursemaid and painting their bedroom.

It was in this mælstrom of emotions and infections (and an absent father) that Éowyn became upset. Lucinda asked her what the problem was and she said that she was missing her friends and wanted to go back to school.  Six weeks of holiday is a long time when you are only 7 and especially when you can’t see your friends because your siblings are unclean!

Ezra, too, was no immune to this emotion and for a boy who is usually adverse to kisses and cuddles became, for a week or two at least, more affectionate.  He is usually very good at going to bed, indeed he often asks to go to bed, but during this period he would lie down and you would tuck him in as usual.  Then five minutes later he would creep out of his bed and ask for another goodnight kiss or simply say that he ‘needs more cuddles’.  How can you possibly refuse?

The second weekend of the season saw an opportunity for me to have a couple of days off work.  This coincided with Nanny Fran offering to look after the Baguettes in West Bromwich.  This gave us the perfect opportunity to finish the girl’s bedroom. So while the Baguettes were being spoilt (in a nice way) by Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz with trips to Funky Monkey’s, the cinema, Birmingham town centre and Sandwell Valley farm, Lucinda and I were putting up curtain rails and mirrors, building wardrobes and chest of drawers in addition to putting the finishing touches to the decoration including the mermaid stickers.  Have a look at the photos below to see the final masterpiece, before the toys moved back in and the girls had even stepped foot inside.

It was hard work and not exactly the relaxing weekend we were hoping for (I am working the next five!) but we could not have done it without Nanny Fran collecting the Baguettes and bringing them back allowing us to concentrate on the task in hand.  The hard work was worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears (I lied about the tears) when the girls came home.  We made them close their eyes before they entered the room but when they opened them (it was like a poor man’s episode of D.I.Y. S.O.S.) and their little eyes lit up and they gave us big cuddles I’m not sure who was happier, them or us.

Once the excitement of a newly decorated room had worn off the girls and Ezra were fit to busting to tell us all about the stories of their adventures with Nanny Fran and Auntie Liz.  Éowyn and Amélie thoroughly enjoyed the shopping trip to Birmingham (getting used to shopping trips a little too young!) while Ezra was most happy about the trip to Funky Monkey’s and meeting a Stormtrooper at the Disney store.  Unfortunately, Éowyn is now too big to go to Funky Monkey’s (too tall, even though she is still in the age bracket) so Auntie Liz took her to the cinema to watch Swallows and Amazons (set in the Lake District and we had seen some of the locations on our holiday, including the secret harbour on Coniston water).  It didn’t quite go to plan as Éowyn got freaked out by some of the trailers before the film had even begun and although Auntie Liz managed to persuade her to wait until the film began by five minutes in she was so freaked out they had to leave.  This is from someone who was happy to sit through Star Wars: The Force Awakens, surely far more scary than Swallows and Amazons.  My only thought is the fact that Star Wars is obviously fantasy while Swallows and Amazons is set in a familiar world and so she was unable to separate the fact from fiction.

A couple of days after her return from West Bromwich Éowyn was crying about something completely different.  As mentioned earlier at the beginning of the holiday she was upset because she was missing her school friends and wanted to go back to school.  This time she got herself upset because she didn’t want to go back to school because she was enjoying being off too much.  You can’t please some people!

Enjoy the photos and stand by for more updates in the next few days as I try to make amends for a dearth of updates over the last few months.

Peace and Love