I know everyone in the UK is just breaking up from school, but here in the US we're well into summer already and are adjusting to a new routine here in the Nappy Valley household.
Post Fourth of July, all the summer camps have started - so the yellow school buses no longer ply the school routes, but pick up the kids at their doors and take them back and forth. (This has not been welcomed by The Doctor, who is used to their normal routes and has been complaining that they now stop in unexpected places as he drives to work.)
Littleboy 1 went excitedly off to a new Big Boy camp for the first time this week, clutching a baseball mitt he had no idea how to use and several swimsuits. He's away all day, from 8.30 till 4.30, and comes back happy, dirty and exhausted, sporting badges saying stuff like "I'm a winner". (When I asked him what this was for, he shrugged - I suspect they all got that one, but hey, that's the American way).
We went for a very typical All-American old-style summer camp this year, aware that he won't get this opportunity back in the UK. It's set in several acres of wooded wilderness, and the kids keep their stuff in cabins that look like they were built in the 30s, go swimming twice a day and play baseball, softball, basketball, tennis and soccer. He already refers to his friends as his 'camp buddies' (although this could be because he doesn't actually know their names - typical boy) and I am turning a blind eye to the tales of popsicles, Fruit Loops and ice cream handed out at snacks (well, at least he's exercising).
Littleboy 2, meanwhile, starts his morning day camp next week and has been champing at the bit as I've tried to fit in my work around him this week. Screaming that his tongue hurt as I was on the phone to a PR was a low point - luckily, I knew her well enough to explain. As soon as my work day is finished at 3pm, I whip him into his swimming trunks and we're off to the town pool - which has been redone to look like some kind of Caribbean resort, all undulating edges and an island with plants and a waterfall in the middle of the pool. Really, all it needs is a swim-up bar and it could be Club Med. (But, being New York, of course all alcohol is strictly forbidden. Because that would be too much like fun.)
Littleboy 2 can now swim, but he's still too little to leave on his own in the pool, so we spend our hour and a half of time playing 'swim to Mummy' and I watch him jump off the side several million times before it's back home to wait for Littleboy 1 to arrive on his bus.
Then there's just about time for a cup of tea before I'm starting to cook supper and prepare clothes and bags for the next day. If The Doctor gets home early, one or other of us might have time to go off for an evening swim by oursevles - the serenest hour of the day. But by the time the boys are in bed, I'm ready for bed myself. And thus I suspect it will continue, until we head off on our Canadian roadtrip in late August.
Whoever said the summer holidays were relaxing?