There is something to be said for remaining completely un-committed during your school holidays. I am usually the mum that looks up holiday programs at Spotlight, enrols her kids in the holiday ballet workshop and organises play dates and sleep-overs all holidays. However, I made a point these holidays of leaving our calender wide open. People would ask, “What are your plans these holidays?” To which I would proudly reply…..”Nothing!”
School holidays can get so over crowded with play dates, camping (No, I don’t, but I know lots that do!), holiday workshops - ballet, art, tae kwon do, you name it! These holidays I just wanted two weeks of….nothing. Complete mystery! No plans, no trips to visit people, no feeling like I had to drag my kids away from the TV. If we felt like having a day watching ALL THREE Back to the Future DVDs (Yes, for your information, I am raising two little nerds!), then that was what we were going to do.
And you know what…...it was the best holidays we have had. It took Miss 11 a few days to get used to ‘going with the flow.’ She is a planner and wakes up every morning of every school holidays asking, “What are we doing today?” After three mornings of what was quickly becoming my standard reply, “Not sure,” she caught on that, for most of these holidays it was going to be up to her to entertain herself. Mr 5 is and always has been, the complete opposite of a planner. He could quite happily float through a whole day talking to himself, re-telling Possum Magic to himself with his Trash Packs or dressing up as an elf (that’s what he wants to be when he grows up) and pretending it’s Christmas! So he was fine. Miss 11, on the other hand, struggled…..at first.
What did come from this new “Mummy is having a holiday too” approach, was an amazing collection of memories that I am proud to say my kids created all on their own! I’m not saying that I lay on the lounge for 14 days. We went to the park, went on walks, watched a couple of movies, but for the most part, I did my thing, they did theirs and we met up for meals!
One thing that my kids did discover these holidays is Monopoly. Now for those like me, who have not played (and probably never played a whole game anyway) since they were kids, there is a new version. Still the same old classics...Pall Mall, Park Lane, Old Kent Road etc etc, but now there is three dice! There are two normal ones, plus one speed play dice which has different pictures on each side representing different plays…..that all have the same objective of speeding up the game. (I know, how did it take them so long to come up with that brilliant idea) So instead of it taking 4 days to play, it now takes about 4 hours. My kids, joined forces with the girls next door and collaboratively made their way through at least, 5 full games of Monopoly! And then…..
They played in the street, they made iMovies, they did loom bands, they cooked. Once with me and once independently, at their own insistence….you can guess which one worked out better...that’s right, the one where I kept my domestically cursed hands to myself.
And I watched.
I watched my kids play, discuss, fight, resolve, compromise, share, laugh and pretend.
And it was fantastic.