Now, to clarify, my little man is still relatively little so at least I don't have the added pressure of entertaining cynical, disinterested in everything, know-it-all, self centred, selfish & just plain mean teenagers. But.... half-term is still the equivalent of swimming in shark infested waters with bloody cuts on your arms and legs. And here's why.
Apparently guilt is not a feeling that exists naturally within the human body's natural chemical makeup. It is an entity that we apes with extra capacity brain power decided to invent because someone, somewhere clearly thought it was a good idea.
As a parent you generally feel guilty about something 99.99% of the time and it doesn't matter how many times people tell you you're doing great, parenting is hard and at least you only half filled the recycling with wine bottles this week - you still feel like a total failure.
Half term is meant to be this magical break from school where children get to spend 100% quality time with a parent of their choice doing super awesome fun stuff all the time and eating yummy scrummy food all week. Those with rich parents will be swanning off somewhere fabulous. The rest of us will be desperately scrabbling around on Woucher & Groupon trying to find money off deals that actually work financially to at least give the kids some kind of treat.
I barely remember what happened last week, let alone what happened in the half terms of my childhood but I do know that much of my school holidays were spent on my grandparents farm in Wales and subsequently upon the Welsh coastline. Very fond blurred memories.
This week I have planned several excursions - going to see the dinosaurs at Crystal Palace Park (free), going to see the helicopters & aeroplanes at the RAF Museum (free), going to one or several of the City Farms (free), going to the seaside on the train (40 mins, train ticket) and possibly doing the old faithful and going to feed the ducks in the park. Luckily for me picnics are a big thing at the moment so if we pretty much sit on any outside piece of grass and I produce a peanut butter sandwich, crisps, pear & flapjack - I'm on a winner. And yes it has to be those four things.
Still it's only a week right? It's not like if I don't tire him out he won't go to sleep in the evening or that even if we're all bone weary at the end of the day he's still going to bounce out of bed at 5am ready to play. 'Mummy - come!' The dulcet sounds of trains being shushed up and down laminate flooring is so loud. It's the downstairs neighbours I feel sorry for. Except they have 5 kids so maybe not.