Exhibit A – See that photo to your right? That’s how Sam sees me. A multicoloured, big nosed, stick wielding crazy lady who has petrified red hair and clearly likes her Champagne. The resemblance is uncanny.
This version of me was made at vacation care today. The kids have been there all week with the highlight being a day at Currumbin Sanctuary and the lowlight, well, I’m guessing it was the day they made the kites that don’t fly. It’s a necessary evil but to be quite honest, to me, it looks kind of cool. They have a cinema area, pool table, fooz ball, massive playground and on most days, awesome activities to partake in. Yet my kids loathe it. Especially Maddie. Oh except for the day they had the chocolate fountain and fairy floss machine. She was pretty keen to get there that day.
I swear to god though, school holidays seem to come around quicker than a Ben Cousins drug scandal. I notice it particularly more now that I have to pay school fees every term. No sooner have I paid one bill, it feels like the next one lands in my inbox. I mean, jebus, we are over half way through the freaking year! Excuse me why I have a total Nanna moment here and ask “Where the hell has the year gone?”
As I said above, my kids have to be palmed off to Vacation Care with Phil and I both at work and even though our bosses are awesome, I think we would be pushing the friendship if we asked for a combined 14 weeks off per year. So it’s what we do.
The problem is that, we as parents, feel almost obligated to make sure our children are entertained at all times. Not only that, we take it as personal affront if our children tell us they’re bored. We throw Wii’s and DS’s at them and in some instances, iphones. Oh yeah, we pull out the big guns. (Note: my children do not have iphones. In fact they will not be getting a mobile phone until they can pay their own bills*). And even though I pull out the old chestnut “Well if you’re so bored, I’ll get out all those games and toys you own and give them to someone who wants them”, I still have this insipid urge to want to make them, well, unbored. Yes, that’s right, I just made a word.
I read recently this is basically a problem of my generation. Certainly wasn’t a problem of my mothers. For 6 solid weeks every Christmas, bar Christmas Day, we had to entertain ourselves. That meant lots of running around the streets, swimming unsupervised, turning into lobsters due to lack of sunscreen, trading Star Wars cards at the local shop and talking to imaginary friends under the mango tree. Idyllic really, now I think about it.
Sadly we can’t just shove the kids out the gate in the morning with the blind faith they will return on sundown anymore. I mean what if someone takes them? What if they get hit by a car? Imagine the headlines: Mother just left them to their own devices FOR AN ENTIRE DAY!
What did she think was going to happen?
Actually I did take the first week of these holiday off to spend with the kids. Turns out the older they get, the harder it is to agree on what makes a top day out. To Sam, a great day entails going to JB Hi-Fi, going to the Sushi Train and returning straight home to have a Myth Busters marathon – alone. Maddie however would prefer to see a movie, at a movie theatre, preferably about pasty vampires whilst simultaneously taking a stab at breaking the Guinness World Record for M & M consumption in a two hour period. Jack, well Jack is like a wild animal. As long as he gets to run around and dominate someone weaker, he’s pretty happy.
So it was a case of each of them getting a little bit of what they wanted. Sam his Mythbusters, Maddie her Eclipse and Jack,
Please read these two hilarious blogs about School Holidays at Sharpest Pencil and Mummy Mayhem. They inspired me to write about about this topic today. But before you do, maybe tell me about your fondest or even your worst school holiday memory.
*I reserve the right to change my mind and cave into peer pressure when she starts High School