The school holidays are a 'holiday' only by name. We feel your pain parents, we feel your pain
As Madonna once sang: "Time goes by … so slowly."
We can only imagine that Madge was referring to the seven-week school summer holidays: a time when parents find themselves eating cold chips at a hellish soft-play in a grey car park in Nowheresville while others spend their August drinking rosé wine and sunning themselves by a pool. Here are just a few things you’ll realise after making it through these hard times alive …
Time is both infinite and crushing
In physics, the Second Law of Thermodynamics states that disorder increases with time. Mums understand this only too well, usually during week three-and-a-half of the seven-week school holiday when they've totally ran out of ideas, the kids have trashed the place and they're in the garden crying and drinking gin from a World’s Greatest Mum mug.
Baking isn’t as great as Mary Berry says it is
On a cloudy summer's day, many a mum has brightly suggested a bake-off. In her mind, she sees floury aprons and wide smiles, happily occupied kids and lovely cupcakes with colourful sprinkles. In reality, the kids wander off after 30 seconds to play on the iPad while the parents are left knee-deep in batter, cursing god.
Your child’s sugar intake will increase dramatically
What’s that? You want a jumbo bag of Tangfastics at 9am? Sleepover snacks, cinema treats, ice-creams … during the school holidays all nutritional boundaries are broken. Forget five-a-day; after a few weeks of summer holiday fun, you would give them your car keys and let them go to the Krispy Kreme Drive-Thru if it meant five minutes peace.
Your child’s screen time will also increase dramatically
Yes, you read that Guardian article about how you need to limit screen time to under two hours a day. But it’s raining, you have to make the dinner and surely putting the telly on is preferable to yet another game of Connect Four …
Fun days out always involve a major dose of pain
You’ve promised them a trip to Legoland/Flamingo Land/Monkey World. Cue three hours of bickering, seat-kicking, playing with the windows while you’re on the motorway and generally acting like a bunch of squaddies after last orders. All set to a blisteringly annoying soundtrack of It’s All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor. Anadin, anyone?
You will do anything to fill the endless hours
Normally, you wouldn’t dream of shrinking crisp packets in the oven to make badges or making your own Play-Doh out of flour and water. Or crafting a robot out of a box of Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Now, though, these things are the main achievement of your day.
You will need to phone a friend
Make sure you always have friends with kids on hand so you can have an adult conversation that isn’t about Minions or Lego mini-figures. Make sure those friends bring cake and prosecco.
When they go back to school, you’ll cry because you’ll miss them
Aw … but weren't they so cute when they said, "Banana?"