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During the holidays there is so much more of everything…. Laundry, washing up, mess, and noise.

So much noise ALL THE TIME. 

It’s halfway into the summer holidays. I have no idea what day of the week it is. The house is a total shit tip and I’ve given up trying to get the dirty washing in the basket, I just open the bathroom door and lob the clothes into the general vicinity of the basket and shut it behind me.

The bathroom is about 50% laundry now. It’s ok. I’m not expecting guests. 

In these few weeks I have totally come to understand the sentiment of all parents out there that have muttered the words “I can’t wait until they go back to school”. 

I always thought parents who said that were mean. Why have kids if you don’t want to be with them, I’d think. 

Ha! The reality is that no matter how much I and every other parent out there loves their kids and how fab it is to have them at home all day long, there are also so many points where it’s bloody hard. Love and fury can totally coexist.

Those moments when you wish the holidays were over. The total overwhelm, and frustration at your kids for very likely being the most annoying little shits on the planet, and then a massive dose of my mate mum guilt on top. What a hideous human and all round poop to be fed up after a few weeks!

Of course I’m not actually done. If I had the choice to not have them home I would without a doubt choose to have them here (I think I would anyway, perhaps with scheduled breaks). Its waves of both lovely wonderful moments and moments where you want to shout all the swears and hide in a cupboard. 

Oh my daisies and what the actual fuckery is with the bottomless pit that is their stomach? My son will ask for approximately 2 million snacks a day. It is an all day long buffet express in this house.

“Can I have a snack please?” ALL DAY LONG. He can be eating dinner and asking me what’s for tomorrow’s dinner. 

I don’t know how he survives at school. How I haven’t got to the gates to be greeted by a husk of a body, shrivelled from starvation going by the amount he consumes at home. Just call me snack bitch, it’s my new identity. 

I am grateful for the fact that this is the first year that the kids are kind of playing together properly, as opposed to Roo running in and sabotaging Ravey’s games. But even those wins come at a price.

YES, they play nicely…. For about 5 minutes, but now I get the joy of the fights. Full on punching in the face and pulling hair types of fights. And with the fights come the lies. Little people can concoct some elaborate lies and be thinking you will eat it all up. 

Picture the scene. The kids are playing, you think “result, I shall get some boring stuff done like the washing up”. You fill the sink. You wash one measly item and the screaming starts. You run upstairs to be greeted with two kids screaming and bawling, both of which must be the one to tell you what horrors have befallen them at the hands of their heinous sibling. There is a lot of “no he/she started it”. You channel your best rendition of your own parent and give it the whole “it doesn’t matter who started it blah blah blah”. Classic parent move. 

I always try to get them to tell me in their own words one at a time what happened but at 4 years old Roo spins the most hyperbolic tales you ever did hear.

“No I didn’t mean to kick him, I was just walking and I tripped over and his leg bumped into my foot.” 

The other day the cat’s food was emptied onto the floor and she had the brazen front to tell me that maybe I was tired and did it myself. Cheeky bloody mare!

And my kids are particularly feisty little beasts too. The product of two feisty and very strong willed and vocal parents. 

You know what Ravey said to me today? After taking them to the beach yesterday, cinema today and then an impromptu late park trip and pancakes for dinner as requested? I asked him to take his bag upstairs and the little brat said “don’t you do anything around here?”. WHAT!? You are having a laugh! I do EVERYTHING! It was so rude and outrageous that it was also kind of funny. 

But as much as they may drive you wild, it is also a joy to have them home and throw the routine out the window and have fun. Because it is fun, between all the fights, strops and snack requests. And I keep reading those quote memes reminding me “we get 18 summers with our little ones” if we are lucky, before friends and parties and work take over and they are no longer home, running wild and splashing in the paddling pool. Maybe even only 16. 

I try to remind myself this when I’m at wits end and find myself muttering to myself the mantra of parents every summer. “I wish they were back at school”. Because Summers are what childhood is all about. We look back and reminisce those summer of freedom and unstructured play before the world traps us in its institutions and working routines. 

And though in the moment you may be driven to despair, and then you hate yourself for feeling like you hate it all, it does, at the very least, make you feel grateful when those little cretins go back to school in September.

September, when suddenly, all the stress and chaos and frustrations of the holidays fall away, and you’re there, taking photos that first morning back. Thinking how fast its all going and how grown up they are getting and in some strange twist of fate as you walk away from the school gates, you find yourself perhaps, actually missing the brutes!

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