Here is a list of promises I made to myself just before the Summer holidays started... and further down is how it is actually going:
1) I will not plan this holiday. I will not book everything in advance. We will freewheel and follow our whims. (This may be based on the horror that was the miserable half term that left me sucking wine straight from the bottle every evening.)
2) I am going to react to the weather as it presents itself each day. I will not let it stress me out, we will adapt as necessary.
3) I am going to minimise costs by spending as many days as possible in a park rather than a paid for activity.
4) I am going to pack lunches to eat outside, not hiss at my children to be quiet in cafes across the south east of England.
5) I have given up a year of working to spend more time with my kids, so I will begrudgingly put down my iPhone (unless we are playing Pokemon Go) and actually make eye contact with them.
6) We will share experiences that are interesting and varied and educative without being worthy.
7) We will spend entire days watching TV if that is what they want to do.
8) I will be calm and open and will listen to their requests and respectfully discuss the pros and cons of each request. I will not ignore them until it sounds like someone has been genuinely injured.
9) I will ensure that they share wonderful adventures and develop a loving bond between siblings.
10) I will not drink every night.
Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha!
We are 10 days in and this is how it is going:
1) I have called, texted and emailed everyone I know in a desperate attempt to minimise the amount of time I have to spend with the little bastards. About 50% of this holiday is already fully planned and involved heavy amounts of logistics and the pre-booking of tickets for events I expect them to be bloody grateful for even though they never asked to go in the first place.
2) I hate the shitting weather.
3) Holy crap, going to the park is expensive - parking, bottles of water, ice creams from the ice cream van, bunches of flowers for the people whose picnic was ruined by a 4 year old stomping straight through the potato salad in search of a Jigglypuff.
4) This isn't happening - packing lunches would mean making sure there is food in the house. Sweet Christ these buggers eat a lot, don't they? How the hell do the schools keep them fed? - there's barely enough food to feed them when they're at home, let alone additional stuff for when we are out and about. Some serious recalibration of the Aldi shop is needed unless they are going to return to school looking like this...
5) I am currently shouting at them to go away so I can finish writing this. So yeah, that's going well.
6) All days out are either stultifyingly dull for children or mind-numbingly boring for adults, interspersed with moments of extreme stress as you watch your child plummet head first from a tree - National Trust properties often manage to achieve all these states at the same time, it's impressive.
7) I have learnt that they turn into aggressive little horrors after 5 hours of TV and I become a shrieking harridan in response. TV is not a solution, it is yet another way to make the day more miserable. Fucksticks.
8) Ha, hah hah hah hah. I think I have managed calm and responsive for approximately 5 minutes across the whole holiday. We have already had one visit to A&E so I am clearly only prompted to become involved with my children once actual injury has occurred.
9) Pretty much every day starts with me sending them to separate rooms.
10) It's 10:30 in the morning. *sound of cork being popped, glug glug glug, aaaaaaahhh.* Cheers.