Tag Archives: school vacation

Winter Break Fun

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.

School Break

 

School Village

After three and half weeks off for Christmas break, my kids went back to school this morning.  The house is oddly quiet. 

The longest mid-year break we’ve ever had by far, the past three weeks were actually incredibly enjoyable.  I thought going in that I would be SO ready for the kids to go back to school long before the break was over, but that wasn’t the case at all.  We had a really relaxing and much-needed respite from the crazy daily grind and I was actually sad to see them go this morning.

That being said, three and half weeks is also a really long time to be out of school in the middle of the year.  It was a little hard to get back into the swing of things today, but I expected that.  And I prepared for it, so it turned out to be much easier than I anticipated.

On the very first day of break, when I was still used to having a million school-related things to do everyday, I emptied all the kids’ gym bags and washed all their one gazillion P.E. and sports uniforms and re-packed the bags.  I washed their dress shirts and dress socks, cleaned up their blazers, and shined their dress shoes.  (To be clear: the children all helped.  Please don’t think I did all of that smilingly and unassisted.)  We unpacked their backpacks and recycled unneeded papers and we checked out what the homework assignment situation was over break so we weren’t caught by surprise by a long-term project on the last day before school started.

We got everything clean, sorted, and re-packed.  And then I could just forget about it.  I relaxed and didn’t even think about school stuff again until this past weekend.  I made everyone double-check their homework (which we did here and there over the break, so it wasn’t a mad all-day affair on the last day).  I double checked sports bags and backpacks, put beach towels in everyone’s swim bags, and that was it.  We were already ready.

That one day of work on the first day of break made the entire rest of the three weeks so much more relaxing.  And it absolutely made this morning run much more smoothly.  A day’s work well worth it!


Also, how school breaks can be frustrating!  And another example!


 

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