Lesson in survival

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ah the school holidays, perfect one day - perfectly ghastly the next....and the next...will we ever learn?

To all the parents out there, are you experiencing school holiday bliss or not so much?

I always go into these holidays so excited. I mean what’s not to love? It is Christmas, it’s Summer, we get to sleep in and have long lazy days. Each year I seem to forget that by the end of week two I am starting to feel a little on edge, patience levels not so good, my voice is getting a little crankier. The kids seem to have taken a pill that turns them feral and makes me question if they even belong to me.

The endless questions, requests for food and sibling squabbles over super important things like who plays with what Barbie are doing my head in. Trying to decide on a movie that all 3 want to watch is like watching a really bad comedy. If only those were my biggest problems in life.

Even though a plethora of new books, toys, crafty items, new apps and even a puppy arriving in the house does not stop the “ I am bored” statement leaving their lips every few minutes. Really guys? ‘In my day’ I had a few dolls, a few books, a black and white TV with 4 stations and no devices. Like they care when I talk about the ‘olden days’

Sometime last year they sneakily introduced lunch dessert into our lives. So now, not only do I have to contend with running a café for 3 kids with different palates for each meal, I also have to introduce a lunch dessert menu. Why didn’t I say NO the first time instead of indulging my little treasures to believe this is normal.

Who sits in the front seat of the car has also started record breaking “its not fair” scenarios. If someone’s day falls on a long drive to Melbourne or away on holiday then World War 3 is starting. I try to do some negotiating. “how about you all get a 3rd each” Nope that’s not fair to the person who’s day it is. The only way to solve this is to let the puppy have the front seat 7 days a week.

I thought keeping up with housework and laundry during the school year was a challenge, it has reached epic proportions. We currently have no couch to sit on from the amount of clothing they are going through. Miss L seems to think our house is a Paris runway show and changes clothes no fewer than 4 times a day and manages to get something smeared on every single item. I have decided to just give in, take deep breathes and make peace with the mess.

I start feeling guilty that I have a secret countdown of how many days it is till school goes back. Shouldn’t I be enjoying every available moment with my kids?  On a visit to Westfield, it took all of about 3 minutes to realise that most of the population is struggling to keep control of their offspring. I bumped into one school Mum who was dragging  her 5 year old  child having an epic meltdown along the ground to keep up with the other 2 who were running ahead. In every single aisle of Big W I heard a Mother at the end of her rope. Multiple requests to not hit your sister, stop pulling clothes off the rack, no we can’t buy new toys, please get off the ground, stop climbing on the shelves.

We give each other a nod in understanding that this too will pass and normal life will resume on the 30th of January, not that we are counting.

This column ran in Saturday 25th January 2014 GT, in the Geelong Advertiser.

On a lighter note, we did have a fabulous Summer holiday. So great to spend time with my babies. It did go very fast.

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