Oh dear. It’s that time of year again – time for us to compile our annual family to-do list. Just the thought of tackling this has me reaching for the vodka bottle. And, just like the last 2 years, it’s been traumatic. Nothing is more likely to cause a family argument than the four of us attempting to come up with a “fun list”. The whole process is anything but fun. This year saw the WiFi turned off in order to focus minds. One child* was, more than once, threatened with an early bedtime. There were plenty of huffs, puffs and tantrums. And that was just from me.
Those of you that have followed my blog for a while will know that each January we draw up a list of things that the four of us can enjoy together, as a family, over the coming year. It is made up of places to visit, things to try, experiences to be had; some small, some large and some just a bit daft (eg “trying Middle Eastern food” which made it onto the list because we were eating in Jimmy Spices which meant it could immediately be crossed off. I objected. I was overruled. I’m not bitter. Much!).
It can be quite difficult to gain agreement as to what constitutes family fun. And when I say quite difficult I mean virtually impossible. We have learnt over the years that there is little overlap between pink fun and blue fun. But once something is accepted onto the list it’s fair game – it has to be done without moaning or grumbling. When the time comes we have to don our best happy faces and enjoy!
What actually happens is that all arguing and stropping gets condensed into the first couple of weeks of January as ideas get banded about, slapped down and reconsidered before finally being granted family consent. And here it is – our final “fun” list.
I’m a bit disconcerted that the list administrator mistakenly added “camping weekend” twice. That’s simply just not going to happen. There could also be trauma when we get to play one of our 2 jokers -enabling each of us to duck out of an activity when the time comes.
But anyway we did it. The list is done and is now taking pride of place on the fridge. The whole process has left me bruised and battered and slightly the worse for wear but we are still talking to each other. Just.
*Josh. Of course.