Without our usual routine; get up, shout at each other, eat breakfast like it is our last meal, rush kids to school (hopefully dressed), rush to work realising I am dressed but haven’t brushed my hair, work, rush to school to pick kids up, referee arguments, make tea, an element of cleaning, put kids to bed whilst refereeing a fight, collapse on sofa, turn brain off and stare at the TV, perhaps grunt at the husband, go to bed … repeat as necessary.
We have rebelled. Some days we haven’t dressed till lunchtime. We have used the Christmas DVD’s as a babysitting service some mornings to gain an extra 30 minutes in bed, Wii’d till all hours, eaten rubbish, played hide and seek and laughed, lots. We have only been out on two family outings and one of those was to the supermarket because we had run out of rubbish to eat. Usually family outings are a stress filled event making my husband wish he’d had a vasectomy 5 years ago.
I’ve reacquainted myself with the 2 year old and realised he has many more endearing foibles than first thought. He likes to sniff everything, not just food and his sister but the kitchen floor and his toys too. He likes to line things up in order of size and colour. He likes to have a conversation about the colour of the sky every morning over breakfast. Most of all he’s happiest when he has more time to explain himself.
The 4 year old and I didn’t really need reacquainting. I am fully aware of her personality traits; she’s just like me with an extra sprinkling of stubbornness from her father. She has become funnier; she’s been telling more jokes (as they can loosely be termed). She’s discovered she loves prawns, beef and cheese (?) sandwiches and telling tales on her brother (granted, he was on the kitchen worktop hanging out of the biscuit/sweet cupboard at 7.30am).
The biggest change of the holiday is that the husband and I have been exchanging more than just one syllable grunts. We have been speaking. That’s right, having a conversation (talk between two or more people in which thoughts, feelings and ideas are expressed, questions are asked and answered, or news and information are exchanged). It’s been an epiphany.
In the past I’ve been excited about the end of the school holidays. Frazzled and short tempered I bid farewell to my children and rush to work for a break. Now it is three sleeps till school/work and I want it to be three months. I want the 2 year old to sniff my apron strings and the 4 year old to tell a joke about an orange crossing the road to buy a jumper (it’s a grower!). I want to keep my new and improved family close.