They’re here again. The school holidays. Two weeks of freedom from early wake-ups (theoretically of course. My kids are still up at 6, but we could stay in our jammies all day if we wanted), lunch box packing, treks to school and treks home again. Of course, B1 has started the holidays by throwing up all over the floor, but that’s pretty manageable.
Going from 13 years of school to four years of university to a teaching career, to SAHM has meant I’ve never had to work the nine to fives, 6 weeks annual leave, of an adult, so spending school holidays with my kids is awesome. And I love hanging out with the kids, going to movies (we have to go see Toy Story 4 – even though I felt they’d pretty much wrapped things up with number 3 and it could ruin everything), going to the park and having pancakes for brekky.
So, long live the school holidays. What would we do without them.
On a Monday my youngest usually gets a stomach ache. Is his stomach really aching? I think so. Is he sick? This, I’m not so sure on. He could be but he’s not running a temperature. He could be getting sick. Or he could just be anxious about going back to school for another week. Whatever it is, his tummy hurts and he doesn’t want to go.
But he has to go.
Cue the tears.
There’s nothing quite like leaving you crying child in the care of others to make you feel like a monster. What’s more, even if you assuage your guilt by reminding yourself the he is A. Not actually sick B. Safe in the care of highly trained professionals and C. Probably stopped crying within thirty seconds of you turning the corner, a general feeling of unease settles on you for the rest of the day. Because, in effect, you’ve gone against every natural instinct you’ve got and are not there to defend and protect your distressed child.
Parenting. The gift that just keeps giving.
I’m a morning person. Morning, in my opinion, is the best time of the day. It’s also my most productive part of the day. I achieve more between eight and ten in the morning than I can in the whole of the afternoon.
That said, before I had kids my mornings were much more restful. When I was in my last years of high school I was up at 5 to study and complete homework. I would turn my tiny heater on, pop my ear-buds in, and work away. This continued until I started to share my bed full time, then I found the other person under the doona wasn’t keen on loosing his living hot water bottle. And besides, it’s nicer to sleep-in when someone’s giving you a cuddle.
Now, when I drag myself out of bed at 6, there’s already two little people up. They seem to start the day like horses start a race. There’s no time for a gentle cup of tea and a perusal of the paper. They have questions, demands, they’re hungry and simultaneously too sick to go to school.
And on the weekend, they watch people play Minecraft. I miss watching actual cartoons, with characters and a storyline. Now I get to watch (usually) young men explain how to make a portal to the Nether (did I spell that right? If you’re interested, you need lots of obsidian blocks and a steel and flint). I know you-tubers like Poet and MC Naveed. Theoretically I could go sit somewhere else but I like to be with my kids (especially on the weekends) and I like to know what they’re watching, because not everything on the internet is suitable (I know. I was shocked too).
But, it does make mornings much louder and prone to zombie attack then they were when I was younger.
I suppose, though, the day will come when they’ll want stay in bed until lunch and I’ll have my mornings back to myself.
I’m not sure I’m actually looking forward to that.