There are really and truly few things I enjoy more than spending time with my children. But they have been on school break since December 15th and we still have five days left before they go back and hoooo, boy am I ready for them to be at school all day for a few weeks.
My kids, at ages 13, 11, 9 & 7, are pretty self-sufficient in terms of entertaining themselves. Because there are four of them, they always have someone to play with. But having four kids in the house all day, every day ALSO means they always have someone to annoy and argue with. Always. Like, every hour of the day. Which makes me abso-freaking-lutely insane and despite the fact that I know I should let them solve their disputes themselves, I end up mediating and then losing my patience and shouting at them to stop bickering over and over.
The kids get up before me most days on school break and make their own breakfasts. Five years ago I could only dream of the day that would happen, and make no mistake, I appreciate it. But they eat like locusts. We’re going through food at a rate so alarming, I am almost afraid someone is hoarding it in a cupboard upstairs somewhere. And although they are reasonably okay at cleaning up after themselves after making a meal…actually, no. Not true. They’re generally rubbish at cleaning up and I end up reminding them kindly and patiently several times a day and then screaming and yelling like a lunatic to just put the bread away already, goddammit.
Luckily it’s not as cold here in England in winter as it was in D.C. (or is on most of the east coast of the U.S. right now) so the kids can still play outside for a few hours almost every day. But it IS wet and rainy and that means it’s muddy and I don’t mind them playing in mud and getting dirty until it’s time to do laundry and I discover that they’ve actually worn three different pair of warm-ups and two different pair of socks each in a single day because they kept getting wet and dirty and then changing and leaving their dirty, wet clothes on the floor. Then I give long lectures on making unnecessary work for other people when you could just wear one outfit a day or two AT MOST and not go back out once you’ve already changed into clean dry clothes. And then I spend twenty minutes teaching people how to do their own laundry. And then we all spend an hour every other day folding and putting away clean clothes while I threaten the lives of the children if they don’t stop changing outfits multiples times a day.
So. Winter break has been fun. Lots of fun. Lots of movies and baking and cooking and board games and reading and laughing and good times.
But my goodness, I’m ready for the fun to end.