To Do list

When we started on this long summer break from school and clubs and routine my kids and I made a To Do list of essentials that we wished to, well, do.

I am wedded to my To Do lists. I could not run my daily, usual life without them. A typical one during term time looks like this:-

To Do


  • CELLO!
  • get chicken out of freezer
  • Put on slow cook sausage casserole
  • birthday cards!
  • clean 2 bathrooms and kitchen
  • Bank accounts and money
  • 3 pm bung jacket spuds in oven (highlighted in pink)
  • Leave to collect Youngest
  • Homework!!
  • Feed youngest 4.20
  • 4.45 leave to collect boys
  • Feed boys
  • Youngest to Beaver Scouts 5.50
  • Homework!!!
  • Drive eldest to football 7
  • collect Youngest 7.30
  • collect eldest 8

These are just things I might otherwise forget in my day to day racing around. I wouldn’t actually not collect my children but having the timings written down just allows me to slot in jobs without temporarily ‘forgetting’. The daily tasks don’t get listed; laundry, washing up, admin, making beds and all that jazz. That would just be silly. And give me writers cramp.

In the bottom corner of my To Do list sheet (which I write weekly on a Sunday evening) is my Larger Projects section. This tends to be a mere repetition of all those bigger jobs which I never seem to get round to. Currently, if I remember correctly, it has on it

  • Tax returns x2
  • PUT PHOTOS IN ALBUMS (the whole of 2015 is outstanding)
  • Upload photos to Flickr
  • Tackle BT bill.
  • Sort filling cabinet and shred/ bin stuff over 2 years old. Certainly guarantees and instructions for appliances I no longer possess.

This is is actually quite a short larger projects list. It is probably because the moving house process made me do a lot of those projects I had been putting off. But not all.

I temporarily discard these lists during the school holidays and it is a blessed relief. I do feel a little as if I have left the house without my knickers on but I think sometimes one does need to live life on the edge. To keep ones own edge…

So we agreed a kind of ‘macro’ To Do list.


  • swimming at fun pool (done….twice)
  • cinema for Inside Out and The Minions (big tick)
  • Shaun the Sheep hunting in Bristol (done)
  • a day at one of our favourite woodland parks to build dens (tick)
  • Bike ride into town (done with friends an added bonus)
  • Costa Coffee trip (not done this yet… well we did do it on Birmingham station when we missed our connection but it was a takeaway and quite ‘fraught’- it wasn’t really the relaxed cafe experience the kids were after)
  • Loom bands (Youngest and I enjoyed making Belle and Elsa, Eldest made a catapult….)
  • Rebuild Tolkein Lego (Eldest hasn’t really stepped up to the plate here- I have made in roads though, a Hobbit Hole and Lake Town)
  • Knebworth House- without the house- just with the giant slides, adventure playground and dinosaur trial. (done in the rain)
  • birthday sleepover (just recovering)
  • Hosting play dates for all (have managed boys but not Youngest. No doubt that will be brought up in later years)
  • National Trust farm place near here (again with friends yippee)
  • meeting up with cousins and loads of other friends who we don’t see enough of (this has gone quite well).

Then I spoiled it all by adding a few things

  • shoes
  • school clothes and sports kit
  • hair
  • teeth
  • stationery
  • learn to tell the time (youngest not me…)
  • music practise
  • times tables

Some of that boring stuff has been accomplished. Some has not. When they are back at school and life resumes its normal hectic pace I will kick myself for allowing them to slob in front of Wreck It Ralph instead of grilling them on their 7 times table. But for now we are revelling in the freedom. Let’s put that on that ever growing list.

  • lie ins
  • too much TV
  • too much video gaming
  • being in PJs until obscene times.

We have done other stuff too. Trampolining has featured strongly. Middlest has devoured about twenty books. We have been to a wedding, an outdoor brass band concert, Youngest has built Blott houses, Eldest catapults and cross bows. We have flown kites and we have waited in for a lot of furniture…

Also on the unwritten imaginary list;

  • fighting
  • tears
  • slamming doors
  • screaming
  • insolence
  • whining
  • complaining
  • saying ‘I’m bored’ every five minutes

I would like to say this was a child only list but I have been guilty of a fair few of them.

So that appears to be our recipe for a nearly perfect summer. In the week remaining we have to sort out stationery and I think that will also cover off the Costa trip. We also have another friend in the diary and we are off camping for the weekend with more friends.

When next Wednesday rolls around I am hoping for an unqualified To Do list success. That rarely happens in my usual day to day life (although I do at least try to make sure all my kids are home by bedtime) and will be a ‘good feeling’.

I am not looking forward to returning to my usual more mundane schedules. But hey as I say to the kids

“If it was a holiday every day it would stop being special”.