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La La La La Lahhhhh.
That’s me with my hands over my ears trying desperately not to hear it’s school holidays again.
Don’t get me wrong. I have great kids, but I am not a great mother when I have all three of them without respite.
I despise feeling as if I must have them programmed and scheduled into mind-bending vacation experiences for the entire break. However, entertaining for a spectrum of ages spanning one to ten years is like trying to feed an Englishman, a Chinaman and a Frenchman in a Lebanese restaurant. Someone is always unhappy.

In the normal scheme of a school term, I will rant and rave from 7.45 to 8.55am at which point number one son is safely at school and number two son is ready to be launched through the kindergarten door.
In holiday world, ranting and raving may continue on until 8pm in the evening.
In normal world, three loads of washing are done and house tidied by noon when baby sleeps.
In holiday world, the revolving door of play-dates and activities means one load of washing might get under way but will remain in the machine for three days. Consequently it smells like damp dog and needs washing again.

The house remains in a state of permanently crummy disarray and the baby catnaps in the stroller or car seat between ferrying her brothers round the neighbourhood. In normal world, there are routine eating breaks. In holiday world, the kitchen is apparently always open and food carted from room to room. Popcorn husks jam computer keyboards, Chinese crackers stain carpets (after getting wet with baby’s dribble) and pretzel salt ends up feeling like a sandy annoyance in the bed sheets.
Dare I say it, I think school holidays affect us all. Especially the elderly.

Holidays tend to beat the sense of entitlement that a good proportion of the rinse-set possess, out of their bitter wrinkly faces. On school breaks they meet their match, in the pimply over-indulged youths who wear their sense of entitlement like the latest fashion. No longer is the shopping centre a place for the posting of letters or drinking of tea. It’s now over-run with skateboard-crazed, mini skirt-wearing teens, who don’t move over when the built up shoes of a senior cit pitter patter toward them. I for one, take some pleasure in this battle. It’s usually me their pursed-lip sneer is focused on, when my children are loud or I’ve left my shopping trolley parked in the middle of the aisle to avoid the baby swiping the shelves . Holidays distract from persecuting the child-rearers.

There is a certain sense of guilt that accompanies my attitude to school holidays so I pull myself together and try harder…… Then I hurriedly try to put them into the local vacation care but by then it’s all booked out. My tardy planning is just like superannuation. A false saving that means my kids and I have to learn to be together. Probably for the best.

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