The school holidays are coming to a close, and parents everywhere are already drunk with excitement at the thought of little Tarquin and Bella returning to school, after school care, and out of sight quite frankly.
The holidays always start out well-intentioned.
I myself always have a long list of things we’re going to do, everything from learning to surf, right down to abseiling the Sky Tower with my three kids strapped to my back, while learning to make sushi.
But the reality is, that you tend to run out of spare money on the second day (Sunday) and so you just grant the kids an extra nine hours’ screen time…
that’s great Big T, I love that you’re on Mathletics like this, good choices, boy
What an absolute joke; you know full well he’s spent the last five hours watching a group of 15 year olds swallow chicken eggs whole, shell and all, then go to the ED to get X-rayed to see if the whole egg is still intact. It’s the whole reason you became a parent.
By the Friday of the first week, you’ve done precisely nothing of significance with them. You scroll through the endless Facebook posts of families who are hiking in South America somewhere, cooking flax over a gas stove so that the kids can weave school satchels for local school kids, and you look around your own house which is strewn with bedraggled children who had an ice block for breakfast and now have literal rectangular eyes.
You make a mental note to ring up the bank on Monday to download off the mortgage to get plastic surgery on the eyes before school starts again, but then you forget because suddenly there’s three different public holidays embedded within the school holidays and you need to quickly buy eight metric tonnes of chocolate and also book dental surgery instead of eye surgery.
Suddenly it’s the end of the second week, and the hellscape of your home includes new Lego that you couldn’t really afford and two-week-old lunches still sitting in school bags that you won’t know about until Sunday night.
Inside the boxes is detritus that can no longer be identified, but you know in your heart that as the lunch was made on the last Friday of term, it’ll be pretty well-preserved: Twisties, the empty suckie foil and half a muffin, so full of sugar, that it will still be around in a landfill until 2079.
All up it’s been a success in that you didn’t end up in triage or blow out the broadband. Or maybe you did but what’s another $500 on the Spark bill?
Monday of term two rolls around and after you’ve had to quickly sew a makeshift uniform for one child since the original is lost forever, you silently, smugly pull up to the curb outside school, your petrol gauge on empty, and one by one they alight.
We’ll miss you so much, mum
Then smugly, knowing you’ve gotten away with the most disorganised bit of chaos ever, you stop by the coffee place and neck precisely five double-shot flat whites, then head home with a mini-digger on the top of your people mover to help clean the lounge.