Tuesday, 1 April 2014

School holidays - an urban legend

School holidays - an urban legend
1 April 2014

I am the mother of three school going children, and I’ve come to a startling conclusion.  School holidays are an urban legend.  A myth.  A fallacy.  And a farce.

There’s nothing “holiday” about it at all.

This is trickery of the very worst kind.  An awful abomination.  An atrocity.  Unbearably cruel.

Worst of all?  I fall for it.  Roughly four times a year. 

Yes, yes – four times a year, that correlate exactly with school holidays.

I get duped every time.

Before every holiday, I am filled with a sense of wondrous anticipation.  Misty eyed visions, of sleeping late.  Kids keeping themselves occupied.  Harmony and sibling peace in the house.  An air of calm and content permeating my home.  No rushing around.  A break from mom’s taxi.  Days spent lounging around at home.  Relaxing. 

Yip, I’m a bloody fool.  I just got had again.

Cause this is what actually happens:  In the term, you battle to rouse them from sleep.  In the holidays, they miraculously and annoyingly rise early – all on their own.  They’re constantly hungry.  Pointing them in the direction of the cereal, rusks and bread does not really seem to work.  Lots of grumbling.  And yes, I do give in occasionally.  But I refuse to make waffles, flap jacks and pancakes every single morning.  The odd treat is different.  Even necessary.

They eat way more in the holidays.  Permanently grazing – and their standards are high.  They want, no need, sweets.  Popcorn.  Crisps.  Treats.

They go to bed way too late – meaning very little, to no, actual adult time.

And don’t even get me started on their hectic social schedules.  If anything, the lifting increases. 

There are friends sleeping over.  Friends coming for a play.  Soul destroying leisurely walks around the Mall with tweenie girls, who just want to browse, look at stuff and try on clothes they won’t actually buy.  Hockey clinics – which in turn means dropping and fetching.  Teenage chills in the evening – yet more lifting and carting – late at night too.  Girly baking and brewing with the resulting kitchen chaos that ensues.  Exclamations of, “oops, I forgot to put ‘Spray and Cook’ in the muffin tins first”.  Sigh.  Scrape everything out.  Wash and dry the offending tins, grease well and fill with batter once more.  Daily drop-offs to and from the gym.  And so the list continues.  And goes on and on and on.

Which has led me to believe, that I’m a bloody fool.  An idiot!  Next time, when it’s school holidays, I should brace myself for the onslaught.  Because in all fairness, I do love having my chickens and their friends all at my home.  I enjoy the break from the regular mundane routine.  Being busy and watching them having fun.  I must just be better prepared.  Knowing that while they’re having fun, I’m carting three of them around.  Trying to coordinate different schedules.  Without the blissful seven hour reprieve that I’m used to, when they’re usually back at school.

And so, on the first day back at school, what I shall do is this – wave them off.  Pretend I’m looking sad that they’re back at school.  But the second they’re out of the car and earshot, I’ll give a thunderously loud “WHOOP!!!”.  Followed maybe by a “YEEHAAA!!!”.  Then I’ll dash home.  Hop into bed.  Pretend to myself I’ll be able to fall asleep again, for a good twelve minutes.  Maybe thirteen.  Then I’ll get up, schloef around the empty house for a bit.  Maybe make some popcorn, and pop a DVD into the player.  Make a cup of coffee.  That should take care of at least another seven minutes.  Then I’ll phone my mom.  My sister.  Possibly my Grantie.

Before I give up all pretence of utter-holiday-relaxation.  And simply get on with my day instead.

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