Gill got me up as there were rumblings of dissent and talk of not going to school. This all stemmed from asking our more complicated child if he'd like to have a 'leaving party or birthday party combined'? He has been saying for a while that he didn't want any party, but this morning, the last day of school, he said he did want to do something with friends.
So Gill asked him what he wanted to do. This was too much for him, and there were shouts and crying 'I don't know WHAT I want to do' 'so I won't bother'. So Gill made a few suggestions, including going out somewhere, seeing a film, playing in the garden, playing at the Outgang (playing fields in Heslington) and he then shouted that he didn't want to be given suggestions. So we just cannot 'win' with this child. Impossible. Anyway, we between us eventually got to a situation of agreeing that he would invite some of his friends to the Outgang tomorrow at midday. Gill quietly asked me if I thought I could do some Professor Fiddlesticks activities at his party, and although I hate his aggressive behaviour and churlishness, I still love him and want to help him have a good time... so I asked him if he'd like that, and apparently he would. But minutes later he was having another paddy about writing some little invites and he threw punches and yelled a lot. God knows what our neighbours think we're doing to him! I just don't want to reward this crap behaviour but I do want to be a nice Daddy.
I took them to school. I came home. We both had a cry. We are wondering where we have gone wrong and are absolutely dreading the summer holidays. We haven't booked a holiday as we cannot face an experience like last summer. And this just punishes our other boy who is mild mannered, quite chilled and relatively well behaved, and gets ignored when the other one takes all our attention. Parenting is soooooo difficult!
Before lunch went to the tax office and asked about a couple of queries in our accounts, and was asked to chat to someone on the phone for 'technical advice' and it all seemed quite simple. I'm going to submit my income tax stuff electronically this year, for the first time. And possibly the last as we are going to get an accountant to do it next time! To not have that hassle will be lovely!
Then went to the Hazel Court/James Street skip site with a load of cartons for recycling, some more batteries which surfaced, and some electrical stuff including low-energy lightbulbs for the 'weee' collection. Then to St Nicks where I bought two dalek compost bins which folks have returned, for a tenner each, one of which will go to a lady in Windmill Lane who asked if I could get her one. Both went on my cycle trailer no problem. Then came home and had lunch and phoned up the tax credit people and re-applied for that over the phone.
Then did some washing up and washed my walnuts which have been in brine for a few weeks, and left them to air-dry in a cardboard box. Next stop, getting pickling jars ready, and assorted herby/spicy vinegar. I might co-pickle them with some early nasturtium seeds.. or even flower buds (which is what capers are, so I don't see why I shouldn't give 'nasturtium capers' a go!)
Did emails and blog, got ready for my last day bringing two boys home from school!
As soon as I arrived at school and my occasionally horrible child came out, he said, 'Dad, forget about this morning' so I replied 'why, what happened this morning?' with a smile and he gave me a hug. I collected quite a bit more end-of-term recycling/reusables and then the boys said they wanted to go to the Outgang with all their friends, so I told them they could but when Ulrich said it was time to go, they must cycle home together and be careful using and crossing roads. An hour after I got home, Ulrich arrived with his eldest son and 10 mins later, both mine arrived home happily and safely. Ulrich and I picked a load of loganberries, raspberries, redcurrants and a few gooseberries and then he went to collect his youngest from another friend's house.
I went to the Hull Road Planning Panel meeting for 6.30 and we dealt with 4 applications, one of which was really difficult to deal with as it was changing a student house with 5 bedrooms int a 'House of Multiple Occupation' with 8 bedrooms, and we all felt it was a bit crowded... but couldn't object on any planning grounds we knew of. Interesting! Home for 7.45 and had pizza, home grown potato salad with chives and some olives donated by Ulrich.