August 26, 2019
It’s almost the end of August. Know what that means? That’s right – the time you and I never thought would come... it’s finally, unequivocally, the end of the summer holidays. 
Its The Last Week Of The Summer Holidays – Here Are 6 Things Every Parent Has Probably Done
It’s been a struggle, but we’re (nearly) there. High fives all round. 
But if you’re a parent, you’ll definitely have done at least one of the following in the past five weeks:1. Attempted to take some kind of holiday. Only to realise that a holiday with kids is no holiday at all. And don’t even talk to me about camping. I had the joy of spending the weekend in a tent at the very start of the holidays, in the worst thunderstorms of the year. I stayed awake all night with my head in a puddle and my feet submerged in cold water, wiping the rain from my (somehow still sleeping) children’s faces. And yes, I cried. Related... Let's Stop Kidding Ourselves, A Family Holiday Isn't A 'Holiday' 2. Built a den.Aka destroyed your living quarters. By now, our house closely resembles Dorothy’s white-shingled Kansas house in The Wizard of Oz – post-tornado. Five weeks of no-school and there are unknown horrors everywhere. This morning, when I got up to get my toddler his breakfast, he proclaimed, “Mummy, you’ve got a Coco Pop stuck to your bottom.”
He was right. 3. Had a disastrous day out to the seaside.One that mostly involved spending three hours trapped in traffic, in stifling heat, listening to nursery rhymes on repeat while everyone moaned that they felt sick/needed a wee/were hungry – even though they demolished the entire bag of snacks within five minutes of leaving the house.[Read more: 15 Silly Tactics Parents Use To Get Kids To Do Totally Normal Things]4. Made a weird invention.I can’t take credit for this one, because my husband is the mad inventor in our house (every home has to have one). But he and our daughter spent hours – practically days – making a machine out of dominoes, duct tape, old tin cans, wooden spoons and empty cereal boxes to serve them breakfast at the push of a home-made button (they were inspired by this). 
I’ve since been informed it took 65 takes over three days to make their video – below. It would probably have just been easier to pick up the cereal and pour it out themselves, but I’m not telling them that.  5. Hosted the Playdate of Doom.You know, the type where everything goes wrong. This transcends generations: I remember being left in charge of my younger brother for the day during the summer holidays when I was 14, and he was 10. He had a friend over (mistake), so did I. Collectively, we broke my mum’s favourite lamp, smashed a window and fractured a skull (my brother’s friend’s, and don’t worry, he was fine). I’ve since seen this reenacted with my children, though this time it was a jaw incident on the trampoline – and yes, we did end up in A&E.6. Almost Lost It, But Loved It All The Same.I’ve come close to losing it (my temper/patience/sanity – delete as applicable) a thousand times already, this summer. And it’s still not over. But I’ve also laughed, a lot. I’ve had more cuddles than I could ever have imagined – and sloppy toddler kisses. We’ve enjoyed ‘pyjama days’ without the pressure of the 8.30am school run. I’ve watched my kids making up games and giggling until they can’t breathe, and role-playing a very weird am-dram scenario involving stuffed dinosaurs and roller-skates. We’ve taken walks in the forest, hung out with friends going through exactly the same summer holiday predicament, and spent quality time as a family. It’s really not so bad. And it’s precious, because it’s fleeting – in five or six years, my eldest will want to hang out with her friends more than she wants to hang out with her mum and dad.
Summer holidays: they really are the best of times and the worst of times. And while I’ll be glad to see the back of this one... roll on the next. Related... A Love Letter To The No-Plan Weekend – Why They Remain Unbeatable Channel 4's Train Your Baby Like A Dog Certainly Divided Viewers – So What Do You Think? Keeping Kids Busy On A Rainy Day In The Holidays
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