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Life of a dad : Half Term Madness (Part I)

Half Term. Striking fear into parents.

Nothing causes palpitations and the cold hand of fear to strike within me (and I’m presuming most parents) more than the dreaded half-term.

In theory it’s an opportunity to spend quality time with your children but in reality it’s a live game show mix of The Running Man, Battle Royale, The Truman Show and Ground Hog Day. Without a prize at the end.

As a parent the only choice in the matter (if you have to take time off work) is the battleground……….

Home Turf.

Advantages. Everything you need. Familiar. You can threaten the kids with bed. Potentially cheaper.

Disadvantages. The kids don’t want to be there. You spend a week tidying up. Everyone goes stir crazy. Day trips. I want. I want. I want. I want. The kids ignore your every word for a week.

Go Away.

Advantages. It’s a welcome break for everyone (yeah right). It’s an adventure.

Disadvantages. Expense. Stress. Packing. Travelling. I want. I want. I want. I want. The kids ignore your every word for a week.

The Reality of Choice.

To cut a long story short one set of Grandparents have retired and spend the summer months chugging around on their barge. I see this as dereliction of duty when we need childcare the most but on the other hand it does provide the opportunity for confining 4 adults, 2 children and a dog in a 58ft long metal tube that’s designed to sleep 2.

It’s basically a mix of all the disadvantages of above, with none of the benefits and the added danger of water. Because every relaxing holiday has a constant element of danger.

Packing, the build up and travelling.

As half term approached JoJo and Jackson (yes that’s still happening see previous blog post) took it upon themselves to dig out their snorkels and wear them constantly. I’m not sure what they were expecting on a barge but if scuba training is required then we’re in trouble.

Anyway, it appears Snorkel Wrestling is now a new sport.

You give up many things as a parent……and one of them, when it comes to packing for holidays, is clothing. Especially when you’re meant to be travelling light.

Travelling light with kids basically means you take everything they could ever wear, want, need or require and you end up with the clothes on your back, a change of jeans (if you’re lucky) and the mantra that ‘I can always buy something if I desperately need it’ running through your head.

In a harsh moment of reality it turns out that Edie’s favourite doll (Millie) has taken more clothes than I have.

Of course the key element to any road trip (especially when you have to drive 200 miles) is an early start. By some amazing miracle the car was packed the night before, the surviving Guinea Pig and the dog had been shipped out and the car (despite travelling light) had been packed to the rafters and was ready to go.

I actually think my favourite part of holidays is packing the car. It’s the only bit I have any control over and the sense of satisfaction in getting everything perfectly loaded is pretty high. It has to be under the parcel shelf however. That’s the rule.

The car journey to Windsor was the usual mixture of sleep, screaming, boredom, music, singing, questions, answers, more questions, less answers and a refuelling stop for all of us. Let the spending commence.

It also gave Ted the opportunity to basically do what small children do after being in a car for 2 hours.


Coming Up…..

Join me and the crazy gang for the next installment of Half Term Madness. Did we survive the barge trip?

Find out >

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