Off we were skiing for Christmas. Ok, off we were to the French Alps because I had promised myself that I would have a snowball fight with my children on Christmas day at least once in my life. The skiing part was a ruse to convince my husband it was an excellent idea.
It was my first time. I thought I'd give it a try. I gave it a try. I didn't like it. I don't see the point in putting slippery things on your feet, only to stand on a slippery surface. Don't want to sound all sensible and boring, but seriously? Give me a couple of tennis rackets to strap to my boots. Talking of boots, what sadist came up with modern day ski-boots, or as I affectionally called them, the painful coffins of claustrophobic hell attached to my feet. No no no and a thousand times no.
Being new to the whole going to somewhere colder than here was a brave new world and I couldn't believe how much stuff was required for a standard family of 5. Ski jackets alone seemed to take up an entire bag. Being the utter psychotic control freak that I fondly refer to myself as, I was preparing the packing in November (and I mean more firework night than dark at 3pm November).
The bedroom floor started to resemble an exclusive jumble sale run by a woman with OCD and being someone who is pretty damned good at spacial judgement, I looked at the suitcases and I looked at the bedroom floor and I realised that we could have a problem.
Much pondering and possibly some sucking in of breath in an 'it'll cost ya' kinda way ensued. The actual clothes were put away first. I had been told by the seasoned ski season friends that the beauty of chalet living was to dispense with normal clothes and to lounge in thermals. I, naturally, matched my pale grey thermals with my oversized pair of cream cashmere cable knit socks. You know, so I looked all hygge. But this was in 2007. Suck it guys. I've always been way ahead of my time ;).
Next to go were the imaginary gifts I had planned on buying for the children. Father Christmas might be able to pop over to fill some stockings, but he aint gonna be dropping off anything that mum is going to seriously consider leaving behind because she's tired and can't be arsed to try and fit it back in to a bag that is now full of smelly thermals. No way.
And so, as is my way. I came up with something that took me bloody ages to work out, sort, create and then execute. I created a pack of 'IOU Vouchers for my Very Lovely Children'. I pulled a favour from my lovely printer and had him print up three copies. And I packed them. All together, they took up less room than my cashmere cable knit socks (man, I miss those socks - moths).
So a pack of cards, each one promising a treat. If memory serves, it was just over one treat a month and they included: a midnight feast; an ice cream after school; a packet of crisps (don't judge me...); a trip to a photo booth; a trip to the craft store where they could go nuts and buy stuff (veto on glitter). And yeah, I was stupid to date them. I mean, really stupid.
I remember the tour of London on top of a bus had to be cancelled because one of them had thrown up the night before. I remember it rained on the ice-cream after school day (like 7 and 8 year old kids give a shit what the weather is like - it's ice-cream!) and the day of dressing up really smart so we can go to the local posh restaurant was a really bad hair day for me - still it ended up being a lovely evening. As for the price of the theatre tickets... Seriously. I could have bought a second hand car for the price of 5 tickets to The Lion King that I bought 6 months in advance and weren't 'best' seats. Ten years on and I'm still incredulous. Just thinking about how many notebooks I have to sell to get close to buying a single ticket is eye watering....
And so the idea for the IOUs - Versatile Vouchers for Very Lovely Children was born and I was sensible enough to brief an up and coming graphic design called Ian to do his magic on the designer and they have, I am told, done an excellent job as reward cards over the years. Whichever way you choose to use them, they were, as is usual with the stuff at 2littleboys, created as a result of needing them for myself... not that I'm selfish or anything.
I SO won the snowball fight on Christmas Day 2007.
Do pop over to the MotherShip site if you'd like to buy a set of your very own IOU Vouchers.
Do share away or pop over to our social feeds: