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Friday, July 8, 2011

School Holidays : Doing Parental Time

School Holidays start at 3pm today, so I thought I would write a post about what I like to refer to as "doing time", parentally speaking.  At this time of year, when the weather is shitty and you're often stuck inside for the duration, it really does feel like doing time.

Some parents look forward to the holidays, relishing the chance to spend every waking hour with their beloved offspring.  Every.  Waking.  Hour.

Me, I craft a Panic Plan / Survival Guide and start stocking up on supplies for when I’m  hiding in the pantry with my vodka  busy entertaining the kids  at Macca's

This could totally be a shelf in my pantry, if only it was wine and vodka


So clearly some idiot male created school holidays.  Breaks between school terms where it is generally expected that the Mother will drop everything to assume all parental responsibility for the entertainment and care of her kids.  Solo.  24/7.

Yeah yeah, I know, that is the whole parenting job in a broad manner of speaking.

Only, I’ve become quite accustomed to handballing that responsibility (at least for 1 child) to a qualified Teacher 6hrs a day, 5 days a week.  Nay, I’m reliant on it.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m quite the average  dodgy  parent, and while I love my three fiercely, I am just not a natural at the whole 24/7 parenting thing.  In fact, if you look way down to the very bottom of your screen, you will see that I have already installed a countdown for when the twin tornado start school.  In a year and a half.  And I put it there months ago.

Early countdown or what?

Anyway, back to the whole school holidays thing.

Here in Oz we get 3 little stress-testing 2 week trial runs, before the mother of all 6-7 week holidays over Christmas and New Year.

#1 Hubby likes to think of it as a relaxing break for me.  But he’s an idiot like that.

We have friends whose kids are all at school full time (the lucky bastards), and so they both work full time.  The mother dutifully takes all of her annual leave allocation over the school holiday periods, in order to spend that much cherished quality time with her three kids.

Her own #1 Hubby tells her she is soooo lucky to be able to do that.  Poor him, he has to go to work every day and sit behind a desk and type on a computer and take phone calls.  Her response is usually something along the lines of "Boo Hoo you sadistic delusional self pitying Bastard".

So here's how our school holidays usually run....

Commencement of school holidays
Example of organised and educational school holidays activity


We discuss all of this over coffee at the start of school holidays.  We laugh, we dream we’re actually in some swanky European coffee shoppe (complete with fancy spelling of shoppe – just in case you missed the oooh ahhhh factor there).  The kids play happily, as we’ve organised activities to keep them industriously entertained.  Activities that required forethought and planning.  In advance.  We’re totally proactive parents like that.  She usually brings home made muffins, and I put together a disgustingly healthy fruit and veg platter for the kids, that we have no intention of eating ourselves since it is so disgustingly healthy, but instead force the kids to eat  so we can be all smug with our healthy parenting ethos.

Do as I say, not as I do.  That kind of thing.


Half way through school holidays


By the end of the first week, we meet again.  Less chipper.  Less vibrant.  This time we refer to the #1 Hubby’s as bastard men who just assume we will happily take sole parental control over the holidays.  While they get to play computer games and talk footy with their mates while hiding in their office’s.  Wankers.

The kids are now eating whole carrots, because we can’t be arsed peeling and julienning perfectly symmetrical pieces of carrot that they’re only going to chew up and spit half out or hide under the lounge cushions.  A bunch of grapes is thrown at them.  Seeded grapes, because we can’t be arsed finding the out-of-season seedless kind - or wasting valuable survival-wine money on the seedless type, since they are ridiculously expensive, all for the fact that they don't have seeds.  Seriously?  What's up with that?

We are shovelling chocolates in as quickly as we can unwrap them.  We need the sugar, and who has the time to make muffins when you’re brokering peace between three kids who are going stir crazy after a week at home.  We’re drinking obscenely large flat white’s, in an attempt to mainline enough caffeine to keep up with the demon children for the rest of the day.

The demon children are watching TV because we haven't organised any activities.  We've been too busy in the corner, rocking ourselves back and forth in the foetal position, to plan anything.  And we don’t have the energy or the willpower to oversee the smooth running of activities by this stage anyway.  Plus, we’re trying to avoid making eye contact with any of them.

We are pissy and apprehensive as we have only just reached the half way mark of the hellish school holidays.


The end of school holidays



Our final meeting is always at the end of the second week of the holidays.  Hurrah…the end is in sight!  Or, at least, it would be Hurrah! - except we don’t want to risk sending the caged animals  kids into a frenzy over any sudden movements or loud noises like cheering.

We’re wearing yesterday’s mismatched tracksuit that we may also have possibly worn to bed overnight.  But neither of us will admit to that, and neither of us will call the other one’s bluff on it, because we’re friends and friends don’t do that.

There’s a grey pallor to our skin, bags under our eyes, and a sheen of sweat on our foreheads.  It’s all very  glamorous  primal.

The kids are eating chips and jellybeans and jumping on anything and everything.  Or, at least, that’s what it sounds like.  They’ve been banished to another room – out of sight, out of mind.

We are drinking wine with vodka chasers.  We’ve passed the point of caffeine by this stage.  Sure, it’s only lunchtime (just, barely), but we’re in survival mode now.  Just.  Two.  More.  Days.

Those asshole’s that we married are off enjoying Friday lunch at the pub, under the vague guise of a networking meeting.  We sincerely and vehemently wish them all food poisoning.

We agree that, in our next lives, we are coming back as men.  Men who work in managerial roles at a vodka manufacturer that has a fully stocked Wet Bar in the cafeteria and a shuttle service to and from work.


16 comments:

  1. Hehehe!  I just wrote a similar post, but yours is much, much funnier and much more accurate...!

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  2. Do children start school when they are 4 over there? Seagull won't be starting until he is 5 and he is only about 4 days older than the twin tornado if memory serves me correctly. He will start 3 year old kinder next year for one day a week, then 4 year old kinder for two days a week the year after that.

    Not that I have to worry about school holidays yet, but it could be worse. At least you don't have to entertain them for 3 months straight like parents in the US do. :)

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  3. Well they used to start at age 4, Kindergarten 2-3 days a week.  But then they went and changed the age system to confuse everyone.  Depending on if your child was born before July or after July - pre-July kids go the year they turn 4, and post-July kids go the year they turn 5.  Twins are January bubs so they, thankfully, go the year they turn 4!  I did lose out with Miss5, because she's an October kid, so I was all primed for her to go at age 4...but no, had to wait a whole extra year (thanks, I feel your sympathy!) until she was 5.  I'm they changed it just to mess with us.

    3 months straight?  I think that would be the perfect time for me to take on a contract job.  In a far away place.  For exactly 3 months duration.

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  4. Thank you so much - but I can't wait to read yours.  Because I like knowing I'm not the only parent who absolutely dreads school holidays and takes stock of the liquor cabinet, just in case!

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  5. Brilliant and true! Though, quite frankly, the wine with vodka chasers are sounding pretty good today, and it's only the midway point...

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  6. It's confusing that every state has a different school system. I'm from NSW originally and am now living in Victoria. It's going to get confusing explaining things to family back home. What is called pre schhol in NSW is called kindergarten here and what they call kindergarten (first year of school), we call prep. WA and QLD's systems really confuse me.

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  7. Fussy Eater's MumJuly 8, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    I am so looking forward to school holidays now. We should meet up during week two. I'm already in my tracksuit so I'm ready to go! Just need to find the bottle opener....

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  8. New follower from FYBF.
    Best holiday post ever. I'm sure you where stalking my house when you wrote this post. :P

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  9. Me 'N my MonkeysJuly 10, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    I to want me a shelf full of wine and vodka! hehe.

    Loving the new look.

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  10. Jess @ Diary of a SAHMJuly 10, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    In the NT we four weeks in the middle of the year, and a week each in the other breaks.
    But to be honest I'm one of the freaks who loves it. :)

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  11. Even the 4wk break?  Admit it, you have a 'safe room' to lock yourself away in, no?

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  12. I am totally prepared to ditch the spice rack and mac 'n' cheese shelf to fit it in!  Thanks for the compliment on my new blog 'do'.  Super impressed with myself for not crashing the entire interverse while fiddling with html scripting etc.

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  13. I think we should all pitch in for a school holidays teacher to take our collective kids during school holidays.  No guilt for us, as it would be educational.

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  14. Fantastic idea.  I'm on the hunt for a pair of slippers that are passable as shoes - so I can wear then to the shops.  Then my frazzled mother image will be complete.

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  15. I've been planing trips to shops that have play areas within close proximity of coffee shops and travel agents.  That way I can dump the kids in the free playground while I inhale caffeine and read about holidays I can't afford.  Tropical, all-inclusive cocktail infused holidays where they have a free kids club.

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  16. hahaha love those pics. I havent had to go through holidays yet cause my 3 are still under school age but im sure my pantry may look like that when they do.

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