Tomorrow they go back to school and I am in two minds. One is punching the air and going: “Yes! Yes! Yes!” while the other really doesn’t want it to end at all despite the fact that they drive me barmy!
They whine and fight and use me as some kind of home base – or at least Bog Boy does. He knows that when his brother is coming up to thump him if he can get to me he’ll be safe.
I read the newspaper at the table and then before I know it I have him hurtling towards me with his elder brighter in hot pursuit yelling something along the lines of how much he hates his little brother.
Bog Boy takes refuge in my arms huddling himself in as close as possible and while I try to calm The Boy down I just know Bog Boy is NOT helping.
Instead from the relative safety which is me, he is pulling faces and winding his brother up yet more.
Frustrated beyond his elder brother glares back and finally burst forth about how unfair it all is and how HE, pointing furiously at Bog Boy, always gets away with it.
“It’s not fair you always take his side.”
I point out that since I don’t know what is going on I can’t take anyone’s side.
The Boy’s voice shoots up higher
“It’s all his fault! He never does anything I say. It’s not fair!”
Calmly I ask what is not fair, what has happened and I remind him as he pitches forth that he needs to calm down and tell me everything.
He glares and then starts to say that his little brother lost at Table Football and that because Bog Boy lost it was his turn to say what they would play next.
“I wanted to play cricket but HE said he’d only play if I bowled but it’s my bat! And then he cried and ran to you!”
“But he HURT me mum he did …LOOK!”
I have an arm thrust at me and I can discern nothing but have an idea what has gone on.
“Bog Boy if you lose a game and you agree to play another you must go through with it and Boy your brother is smaller and younger than you do NOT hit him.”
I am wailed at, obviously my answer to their problem has not been greeted with joy and amazement but then it never is.
“Well boys what are you going to do?”
“Nothing,” comes a sulky reply from my side.
The eldest starts to snarl something. I quickly step in.
“Perhaps you’d like to help me then outside?”
There is silence and then a grudging OK.
“How’s about some weeding!”
Their faces drop.
“I’ll take you to see Puss in Boots…!?”
Their faces light up
“…BUT only if you help me outside.”
There is a short pause before they agree and happiness reigns for half an hour as we indulge in a bit of communal weeding. I reckon it's good for the soul. Bog Boy quits soonest and wanders off. The Boy mutters it's unfair but I bribe him with the fact that he'll get a BIG packet of sweets while his brother will only get a small one, so he stays with me. I tell him about the difference between weeds and plants. I show him the baby lupins and aqualiega and we talk.
I tell him that he's bigger than his brother.
So I expect him to do more. The Boy thinks about this as he weeds and then says that he reckons weeding makes him as big as a 13 year old.
He is growing up but that still doesn't mean he views his brother in a grown-up light. I won't push it.
I am taking them to see Puss In Boots
A last holiday treat.
AND I’ll be sitting in between them.