School is going back this week and it’s about time

January 29, 2018

Cartoon courtesy of Jess Rae of Doodley Squat.

SCHOOL goes back this week and no-one is more excited than me.
Well, maybe Maya because she’s just one of those weird kids who loves everything about school (she might have got that from her mother).
Last year, she wrote her teacher a long letter apologising for missing school because she was sick.
For being away for just one day.
The letter went on to say how much she missed her teacher (one day, remember) as well as all the reading and writing and playing with her friends that had gone begging.
So imagine her after seven weeks off — she’s bordering on catatonic (or maybe that’s just me).
The first few weeks of holidays are always fun, especially if I have time off as well.
These Christmas holidays I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed a couple of weeks off (the editor always seems so happy to grant any request I make for time off) so we can do things together.
But when I am working, school holidays become a bit of a nightmare — trying to find someone to have the girls.
And once I’ve run out of family and friends, school holiday program is the only option.
And it’s not a great option because although Maya is happy to be in some sort of regimented setting, Ayla hates it. Always has.
One time, she locked herself in the car when we got there, another time she wrapped herself around a pole and wouldn’t let go and let’s not forget my favourite time — when she ran off. Do you know how hard it is to run after a kid wearing wedges?
I was always late for work on those days (as opposed to the excuses I need for other days) as I would have to spend ages reassuring Ayla that she would be okay, no-one was going to kidnap her and yes, of course I was coming back to pick her up in the afternoon.
It was exhausting and I often wondered if it was all worth it.
Thankfully those days are over, but she is still not a fan of holiday programs.
Especially now because she is usually the oldest one there, so she has to spend the day playing with kids half her age who only want to play with dolls or cars.
So, you can understand how difficult school holidays can be for working parents.
Also, by the fifth or sixth week of holidays begins the dreaded ‘I’m bored’.
And I’ll be damned if I’m spending all my wages on keeping them entertained.
And so, after seven weeks together 24/7, I think most parents secretly breathe a sigh of relief as they drop off their kids at school before high-fiving each other on the way out.

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