School bags and coats piled and ready to go
Children, Work

The last day of holidays

This is the story of the last day of proper holidays before going back to school and work.

  • Here is dad back at work, up and out by 7.30am.
  • Here is mum with a headache before the day begins (or was last night’s gin measure too big? Or played too much on the Switch after the kids were in bed last night?).
  • Here is large boy, homework done, lego almost built and precocious OU course at 60%.
  • Here is small boy, filled with cold, disturbed by a bad dream in the wee small hours and having done no reading for 2 weeks.

Mum has a huge list of things to do today including going for a run but this sore head makes bed too tempting and she goes back to sleep when daddy leaves the house – the boys safely hypnotized by TV. Thoughts of shopping and lunch out and ironing and washing and present wrapping and all the other crap, banished for another hour. Well that was the plan, but buzzing phone notifications got the better of mum and then the headache got worse (must wear glasses for screen), so up hunting painkillers at 8.30am it was. Probably best before the boys get too hungry.

Nothing so simple as breakfast right? Hell no. Large boy scoffs his toast and marmite and goes to find more lego to build (from where?). Small boy has half his cereals, complains of being cold and having a sore tummy, goes for a huge poo. Lovely. Mum then deals with large boy begging for friends to play and stories of minecraft antics and small boy recounting his nightmare – while trying to make coffee and catch up on blog and Twitter goings on. At last, Mummy starts the to do list and sorts the holiday photos into a suitably glowing facebook post (after much swearing at Windows’ insistence at ordering by filename not date), then decides to get dressed. Foolish mummy. Getting dressed rarely starts with finding clothes, no it is interfered with by distractions like opening other people’s curtains and emptying bins – whereupon the bin contents escape all over the floor and she finds herself picking up other people’s toenails and ear waxy cotton buds from the carpet. Delightful.

Somehow its got to 10 o’clock and mummy still isn’t dressed and hasn’t found the ibuprofen yet. Oh and small boy also needs some calpol to fight the onslaught of snot before leaving the house. Priorities mummy! Clothes first, then painkillers and washing… ah she is interrupted by large boy finishing his OU reading and demanding a print out.

Hurrah, 20 past 10 and mum is dressed, the kids are dressed, everyone’s brushed their teeth, there’s washing on and small boy has been dosed with calpol. Large boy dubiously claims to have put his clothes away and they’re playing nicely, probably. Time for a second coffee and those painkillers for mum; maybe just print that certificate for large boy first and clear the breakfast dishes, and put the dishwasher on having rearranged large boy’s dire plate placement.

Finally at 11am they leave the house and off they go to sort himself’s new trousers with the magnetic clip left on, then the bank and lunch out. By midday there has been faffing about coats vs gillets, sunglasses, cubs uniform (probably size 30″), and the lack of scalextric in the charity shop where mum once found 4 sets of micro for £5.

Half the town also seemed to have decided to go to their favourite cafe so there’s a 15 minute wait for a table for lunch. During which time the kids flail their arms and legs, exchange kisses and charm strangers, while also pestering mum to look up toy prices on Amazon. If only mum wasn’t driving, she’d be putting Baileys in her coffee at this rate.

During lunch large boy regales mum with his plans for building car sized rubber gyrospheres rather than hexbug cars in order to make his millions required to buy umpteen dogs. Apparently they’ll be bigger than a Bugatti Veyron but cheaper and carry more people and go faster. Small boy quietly slowly munches while watching the kitchen and waiting staff or stealing mum’s chips.

Before going home mum takes large boy to look at Switch games. Foolish mum again. This just leads to complaints about not spending all his birthday and Christmas money on a single game. Then to buy a sausage roll for the homeless girl on the corner and to measure the boys’ feet – reminding mum that their school shoes desperately need polishing. Finally, the library and the usual torturous arguments about books – small boy doesn’t want reading books, large boy only seems to choose books not on his quiz scheme or super easy but never anything mum and dad recommend.

Eventually at 3pm they fall back through the door, small boy deigns to read a book and mum puts on the kettle in preparation for tea to accompany the ironing mountain. Mustn’t forget school shoes or the machine full of wet washing though, tea will have to wait 5 mins.

School shoes are found and polished, then mum looks at the sizes – they’re both half a size smaller than measured today, despite buying a size too big at the very last minute before term started in September. Bugger! Mum knew they’d both grown an inch in the last 6 weeks, here’s the related consequence. As though mum and dad have 100 quid to spend on two pairs of school shoes at the beginning of January.

After an hour’s ironing to the tunes of BBC Radio 6 Music things feel like they were coming together. There must be something wrong. The remaining item on the to do list is to go for a run, but a cup of tepid tea needs drinking first. Somehow dad leaves work at 4pm so he can supervise the ever-more-bored boys when he gets in and let mum run in peace. Well once she’s put the ironing away and packed the PE kit and hidden away the definitely too-small shoes.

Wahoo empty roads bring dad home in record time and mummy gets a whole half hour run in – get this! – while he makes and feeds the kids their tea.

The to do list is full of lovely strike through lines. The Christmas decorations can come down tomorrow and its takeaway night too. So after a crazy day juggling 5 or 6 things at once at times its all paid off. Not much left to do before school on Monday really.

2 thoughts on “The last day of holidays”

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