Before I send my kids back to jail, I want to make sure I’ve achieved most of my school holiday goals. Checking my list while lying on the couch under a blanket, I’m very happy to report that I’ve managed to attain most of my school hols KPIs:
Cat eating leftovers
Too much sleep
Vegemite toast for dinner
Excessive social media posting
Leg hair I can plait
Water bill low from lack of bathing
Fights with teenagers
Experimental cooking failures
100s of pyjama couture selfies
Growing list of forgotten dreams
Hours wasted talking to cat
Dry winter skin from sitting on top of heater
Kids undereating because of overuse of technology
Washing piled high
Life lived through my children
I know I sound smug, but school can now resume with my brilliant mothering skill set intact
Only 10 days to go until my delinquent children go back to the maximum security prison I’ve chosen for them. Mothers, if you’re looking for something to fill the remaining days of torture, no, I mean happiness, I believe that staycations are currently popular. Or as single mothers call them, staying at home because it’s all we can bloody afford. So my kids and I are on trend. Travelling with kids and pets is just moving the chaos and mess to another more expensive location anyway. Or you could try going on a cheap holiday with another single parent; boozing, gatecrashing other people’s parties at the park for food and losing your children at an unfamiliar shopping centre are standard single mother school holiday adventures.
If, like me, the thought of camping makes you dry retch, borrow a tent from a friend and pitch it in the back yard for your kids or even the front nature strip if you live in an apartment. In summer kids can live in a tent for months at a time. Think about this: the money you save on holidays can go towards a cleaner, so you can continue to be a dirty house mother.
The long summer holidays can often look like this: extra kids, 3 broken eggs, 2 sleep ins, 7 old movies watched 100 times, 3 shopping expeditions to the two dollar shop, 3 weeks, sorry, days spent wearing pyjamas, 8 play dates, 37 cupcakes, 15 burnt offerings, dog eared books, hundreds of sighs and ‘I’m-so-bored’s’, 12 paintings that the landlord will want you to remove before you get your bond back, and one over-medicated, cranky, over-tired mother. On the last day of the school holidays, I will have a picnic to celebrate the end of summer, if you can call a bottle of riesling a picnic.
Keith Richards and Christina Aguilera were born today. And so was my dream husband Brad Pitt. Keith is too haggard from smack, and Christina too shrill, so it’s Brad for me.
Today also marks the start of long summer school holidays. To stave off boredom while watching my children trash the house, I imagine I am a lithe sprite running down a Caribbean beach chased by Brad Pitt. In the midst of my reverie, my youngest hits me in the face with a nude Ken doll. After I threaten to send Ken and his girlfriends to the local op shop she runs away to her giggling sister. Back on the couch it is no longer a daydream, it has become my reality. Brad Pitt is still chasing me, but Jen is chasing him as Angelina aims a shotgun at all of us. Brad wants me bad. He’s only human…
Other people have mongrel children, not me. My children will behave like angels throughout the long holidays, while I tut-tut at the whining monsters of my neighbours.
Children with brushed hair happily eating five course dinner. Happy Mother
Ten hours of Monopoly. In pyjamas until 4pm.
Five hours at Build A Bear Workshop
Seven hours of Lego
Don’t hit your sister
Don’t hit your sister
Baked beans are fine for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Don’t back chat your mother
Stop farting at the table
“This family have taken a vow of silence.”
Don’t hit your sister
“Shut up we are supposed to be having a spiritual experience!”
“Don’t hit your sister”
“Eat your frozen peas”
“Your grandmother would really love it if you went to her house for lunch, then dinner, then breakfast. Sorry I can’t come I have to alphabetise my recipe books.”
“Mum you’ve never used a cookbook.”
DAY TWENTY THREE
“Kids we have run out of money. You will have to get a job.”
“But I’m only nine.”
“100 years ago I could have sent you down a coal mine to support me.”
DAY THIRTY THREE
Mother sitting on couch chewing finger nails down to the knuckle, tearing split ends out and other I-am-at-a fashionable-day-spa behaviour. Television explodes, so mother reads gossip magazines stolen from neighbours’ recycling bins. Happy, happy, most mags were new. Kids locked out in garden, can barely hear their fighting.