The Summer Holidays!!!: A Guide For The Parent Who Just Wants To Throw Everything In The Bin After Week Three

Oh boy! The Summery Holibobs is again within us! I love the summer hols. Always have. I still do as a parent. I mean, yeah, I now have childcare issues, but I’m totally up for the hols! They’re brill! They can’t last long enough!

Except of course they do. Oh, we start out with the best of intentions, but then everything goes to bullshit. By the end of it, everyone – you, the children, the neighbours, your work colleagues, the dog – are pulling out fingernails in an effort to pass the time.

Here is how the summer hols unfold:

mums-together
“Gin is great! Yes! Let’s do gin a lot! We need gin! What are you doing now? Dreaming of gin? Christ, yes! Me too!”

END OF TERM:
Woo! Yay! The kids all have big parties, everyone is running around the local park on the last day, you (should) buy presents for the teachers and teaching assistants, you swap phone numbers with the other parents and promise to share the parenting and childcare over the summer. Hey, why not come on over for a playdate? Great idea! I’ll call you!! Parties, presents, end-of-term barbecues and discos! It’s a whirlwind of social activity. And then the holidays start and then…

Aw…shit… what the hell do we do now?

WEEK ONE!
It’s the first week of the hols. The possibilities are endless!

Day One – Go to the park! Yay! The park is fun!

Day Two – Go out to the beach! Woo! Beach!

Day Three – Go out to the zoo! Animals!!

Day Four – Go into town to do some shopping to the chorus of whiny children who’d rather
be at the zoo or beach… but I have some things to do… uh… OK, we’ll go to the park on the way home! *sigh* YAAAY!

Day Five – go out for the day to a big city, like that London for example!

Day Six – Grandparents have come over to see the kids (and I’ll sneak off to do belated weekly shopping/catch up with chores). HOORAY FOR GRANDPARENTS (even if they tut at the state of the house – DISCLAIMER: The grandparents in my family do not, and I thank fuck for it)!

Day Seven – Where to go? Why, the zoo quite a bit further away! Wow, this is getting expensive… And the cinema in the evening to catch the latest yelping day-glo thing with sassy characters and life-affirming songs in it? Er… OK! And loads of sweets and popcorn and a cheeky burger afterwards… I’ll have to check with the bank manager, but OK!!

O6hhqy
“Oh, it’s animated, it’ll keep the kids happy…”

WEEK TWO!
Still plenty of energy left? That’s the spirit!

Day One – Er… I could do with a day at home… this is tiring… but OK, PARK IT IS!!

Day Two – Actually, I really ought to be getting on with organising the builder to come round to give us a quote for the work that needs doing before Christmas… but FUCK IT, ZOO AGAIN!!

Day Three – No, I really need to have an at-home day today. No really. Sorry kids… look, the park is full of syringes, condoms, and slightly threatening older kids, plus the sound of students snorting Nitrous Oxide and giggling is a bit much; and the zoo animals look a bit shabby. OK, we’ll do some COOKING!! Yay! Fun baking!

Day Four – No… no more baking… we need to sort out the… and I really need some me-time… and I really ought to start packing for next week… and… OK, let’s do some painting… OK, let’s do some baking!!! (oh God, bollocks to baking)

Day Five – House is a bit messy and FUCK I forgot that the generic-schoolfriend-probably-called-Georgia is coming over today even though I arranged it in the melee of the last week of term!! Hey kids, let’s do a fun thing called TIDY UP BEFORE GEORGIA GETS HERE. Fine, well, I’ll call Georgia’s Mummy and tell her we can’t see Georgia today… OK. You’re getting on with it. Good. That’s good. Yes, that’s good tidying! No, you can’t stop after five minutes… fuck’s sake, they’re here three minutes early and the house is still- HI GEORGIA!!! HI GEORGIA’S MUM!!! PLEASE IGNORE THE MESS AND MY MANIC GRIN!!! Yes, leave the kids with me and I’ll… oh, you’re gone already.

[five hours later]

Bradford-on-Avon-8
Well, at least you’re giving Georgia’s Mum the chance to go grocery shopping. That’s a good thing, isn’t it? It’ll get the kids out of her hair and one day, she’ll return the favour. Won’t she? Of course she will.

BYE GEORGIA!! BYE GEORGIA’S MUM! Into their posh car they go… Hmph! youcouldhavecomeearliertopickthemupbutnooooo. Kids, no, not pizza tonight… OK, pizza tonight then. Sheeesh.

Day Six – Look, can we just watch a DVD or two today? Look, it’s raining. No we can’t go and splash in the puddles on a magical walk through the woods. I have two weeks of backed-up laundry and housework to do. Yeah, well, Georgia’s Mummy hasn’t invited us over, so we can’t. *sigh* fine. Museum. No, not the boring one.

[three hours later]

I’m sorry! I thought the other museum was the boring one! Please don’t be cross with me, I thought you liked farm machinery!

Day Seven – We REALLY need to pack. No. Today is packing day. I know packing is boring, but we have to do packing. Please pack. Pack sensibly. No, don’t take your fairy costume. Because we’re camping and… OK, take your costume then. I couldn’t care less.

WEEK THREE
HOLIDAY – that sodding fairy costume. In a tent? A tent that turned out to be mouldy because we didn’t dry it out after last years’ holiday? On a campsite? And the rain? And the other tourists. Ugh!

FamilyHolidays
Seconds later, dread Cthulu awoke.

WEAK FOR (week four):
Just hanging in there! Ahahaha! Haha! Ha.

Day One – back from hols. Tired. No, let’s just stay in today. Mummy and Daddy are tired.

Day Two – Still tired. Must do laundry. Must dry out tent.

Day Three – Laundry still not done. Tent not dry. Mouldy tent it is! We won’t care until next summer. Spouse back to work. [weakly] Yay. Baking. Yay. Painting.

Day Four – No, I really MUST go shopping. I know it’s boring. I need new underwear for starters. And I need to replace that fairy costume that I might have accidentally left out in a rainstorm and it all got muddy.

Day Five – Georgia’s Mum posting smugness on Facebook that she’s packed off the kids to a residential summer camp for a week. When are you taking my kids, Georgia’s mum?? WHEN?

Day Six – Fine. I’ll take you out. Anything to stop you from bouncing around everywhere. Let’s go to the owl sanctuary. Why? Because Harry Potter likes bloody owls and shut up. That’s two good reasons why.

Day Seven – SPOUSE TAKES CHILDREN OUT TO GIVE ME SOME ME-TIME! Fuck yeah. Sofa. DVD. Computer. Youtube. Why do I take the time I have on my own for granted the rest of the year?? I PROMISE TO MAKE EACH DAY COUNT. What do you mean kids home already?? What do you mean I’ve slept the whole day on the sofa??!

WK 5
It’s a question of survival now.

the road
I…I… literally cannot remember how many weeks are left. One or two? T-T-TWO??!

Film festivals are cultural events, right? And we need to expose our kids to culture, yeah? Well, Days 1-4 are a film festival in our house. Shut up.

Days 5-7 are a computer game festival as well. Shut up again.

WEEK 6
Pffft.

Day 1: neuh.

Day 2: Whuh?

Day 3: STOP FIGHTING, YOU TWO!

Day … er… is today Wednesday or Sunday? I literally haven’t a Scooby anymore.

Ice-Cold-in-Alex-images-366c7ae6-f71a-4a6a-843b-2a9db9cd641
“So how was your summer?” “Hell. Hell is summer. Do you not know this?”

Day 5: It’s a schoolfriend’s birthday party! Everyone’s there! All my Mum-friends are there too! Plus a Dad-friend or two! Go and play, kids! I’ll natter! Natter-natter. Coffee-coffee. Oooh, a cheeky glass of Prosecco/gin! Holiday comparisons! Gosh, you look knackered. Yeah, we’ve not seen many people. Georgia came over to play back in week… God, so long ago now. Oh, Georgia came to you as well? And you? And you… hang on, where is Georgia, is she here? What, STILL? Oh, Mauritius? What, the whole family?? Oh. Oh right. And she’s back…when…? Ah. Right. So Georgia’s mum basically… OK. Are we all agreed? COW… Yeah, I know. Fuck Georgia’s Mum, the smug weasel. And next week they’re back to scho-… WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN, “TEACHER-TRAINING DAY”???!! Since when? But I don’t read, or remember the details from, the letters from school! Especially during the bloody hols!

Day 6: Grandparents, again. I love them, again. They lift my weights, again. I’ll have to be as good as, or better than, them in 30 years time. Christ, I don’t know if I can make it past the end of next week.

Day 7: THIS HOUSE IS A MESS AND YOU’VE BEEN BUGGERING ME ABOUT ALL SUMMER!!! *weeps*

BONUS HOLIDAY DAY IN THE FORM OF TEACHER-TRAINING DAY!:
Oh God, for the umptieth year in a row, I haven’t managed to do all the things I planned to do, or see the people I wanted to see, over the summer hols. And what do you want now? The Zoo?? Fine. Zoo. Again. Third time in less than two months. And every fucking school in the district is off as well. Zoo packed. Queue. Zoo-queue. Stuff it – No zoo it is…no, *sigh* stop crying. Hey, you know what would solve this? Day trip to IKEA!!!

HURRAH FOR IKEA!!!! HURRAH FOR MEATBALLS!!! HURRAH FOR THE BJURSTA!!! GNARP! HEMNES! BILLY! MALM!! MAAAAALM!! LOOK AT THEM ALL IN THEIR FUNNY SWEDISH UNIFORMS!! Hey, do you think they have to learn Swedish as part of their job? Tell you what kids, let’s ask them… OK, let’s not ask that question to any Ikea employee ever again. Yes, he did look sad and angry at the same time, didn’t he? He clearly needs a summer holiday.

IKEA_Centennial_Spring_Games_Event_Team_caphoto9384
All of these people are happy. Look at them smiling. Why would you spoil their fun with a jovial question about whether or not they have to learn Swedish as part of their job? What kind of monster would do that??

And then…

… back to SCHOOL and…

“What the shitting fuck do you mean: ‘holiday homework’ “??

(Let’s hope Georgia’s mum forgot as well. Kid-dumping cow.)

Bradford-on-Avon-31
So much hate, Georgia’s Mum.
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