The School holidays always begin with indefatigable optimism. The children will be each other’s best friends, we will all play children’s charades and Skip-Bo together, harmoniously, with the resounding echo of familial synchronicity ringing in our ears and hearts.
By Day Two, I’ve brought forward Wine-o-Clock from 5pm to 4pm. Winter holidays are the worst – the kids whinge and whine about it being sooooo coooooold outside, but refuse to wear anything more than a T-Shirt and shorts, or short-sleeve Fairy outfit (in the case of young Inky). Any attempt to put on a coat is met with a reaction so violent, one could only suppose I’d doused their clothes with hydrochloric acid.
By Day Three, wine has switched to whisky. The “children” start fighting over the iPad and I consider dousing their clothes with hydrochloric acid. Just the hems, you understand. Decide Inky is fluent in Clingon.
On Day Four, I am fatigable and have them in outsourced care! A day to myself! Get a call at 11am saying Scout is feeling poorly and can I pick her up? Spend rest of day tending her feverish brow. Referee constant barnies between both girls from 3 til 6. Set up intravenous whisky drip on the desk. Better.
On Day Five, we make a mercy dash to the Children’s Hospital (note to self: If Snoop Dogg tells you (via TomTom) to take Sydney Road at 7am, he’s probably on crack. Oh, hang on…) as Scout’s tummy hurts sooooooo much, only to be told she has a cold. I have so much respect for doctors who take your daughter’s problem seriously while (probably) thinking “Lady, she’s got a fucking cold.” Thanks Dr. Sarah, for not totally screwing up my day. Have breakfast at McDonalds. Enough said.
I love my kids, I really do. I even enjoy spending time with them, but, as is the case with most of my family, small doses. Small doses. My golden ratio of time would be 40% with my kids/family, 20% with myself, 20% with just Husband and 20% with friends (I got the maths right, yes?). In reality, it doesn’t happen like that, but hell, you’ve got to have something to aspire to.
You may hear more about this over the next week. In the meantime, I’ll follow my own good advice and consider some of the Wacky Winter Things to do in Melbourne. If nothing else, I can spice up my sorrows in gumbo.