The GR has resurrected herself. Bang on cue. Just in time for Easter. It’s Day 1 of the “holidays” and her timing is impeccable once again. Her little-black-cloak has been dry-cleaned, in honour of the numerous jollifications planned and her scythe has been sharpened, ready to strike anyone or anything that, quite frankly, has the audacity to Gd’dam breathe. Approach at your own risk.
For there’s something about holiday times and festive periods that turns me from car to crash and from ship to wreck. There’s something about two weeks of kid-friendly fun that fills me with unimaginable terror. And there’s something about school holidays that gives the kiss of life to the Queen Bitch inside me and awakens her with a vengeance. Did someone dare to say “holidays”? I prefer to call them “hellidays”. After all, who the hell is holidaying around here?
And it seems that I’m not the only miserable bugger in the house. The boredom starts at the crack of dawn and drones on and on and on until at least bed time, when it finally becomes clear to the Terror Tots that no matter how many times they stubbornly repeat “Mum, what are we doing today?”, their prayers will remain unanswered and their needs unsatisfied. The fighting begins over breakfast, when child A copies child B’s choice of cereal, and continues in the same vein through lunch and dinnertime, until all eating utensils are confiscated in order to prevent serious injury and all food is banned for the foreseeable future. The tears, well they go with the territory and their flow eventually ebbs after nightfall, having well and truly dampened the day and pissed on an evening of TV trash and commiseratory chocolate.
Apparently the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry, so why bother in the first place? Whatever you have meticulously organised to stimulate and sustain them for the duration, be it delightful days out, picnics, lazy lunches, play dates – forget them all, because someone or other will undoubtedly end up in TIME BLOODY OUT. Forget the queue-busting 8am starts and the it’s-ok-it’s-not-a-school-night 11pm lates – the fatigue will eventually catch up on them to create feral feline beast, not dissimilar to rabid escapees from the local zoo. Forget then trying to calm them with pacifying, back-up devices such as tablets, TVs, gadgets and phones – you may as well bin them all now, because they will unequivocally end up IN PIECES on the sodding floor, rather like their Mother, who despite surviving Day 1 of the carnage, also ended up IN PIECES on the sodding floor, clutching a mop and weeping into a bucket. And finally, forget any form of candy-coated bribe, because whatever amount of sugar you throw at them they will A) still only want the one flavour of cookie that doesn’t exist and B) become even more feral than before.
Is it any wonder then, that the sheer prospect of two weeks of hellidaying is enough to send me under, over and under again, on a frenetic rollercoaster of tears, traumas and tantrums? Is it any surprise that The Grim Reaper continues to resurrect herself, time and time again, in anticipation of helliday after helliday? But fear not Folks! It’s not all doom and gloom. Believe it or not, The GR has another atypical facet to her deep and dark personality. The GR has been known to have a happy side. A relaxed, forgiving and carefree side, which when it does makes a rare appearance, can be found captured in picture-perfect shots, plastered all over Facebook. You’ve seen them, I’m sure. Chance serendipity moments, hand-picked and genetically modified for your Timelines only, amid the chaos and catastrophe of a Day in the Life of Me. Real life? I don’t think so.
So, in summary, forgive me for not being the Super Mum who can relinquish the pressures of motherhood and rescue the day, with a quick costume change and a few positive mantras. Forgive me for not being the Fairy Gd Mother who simply has to sprinkle some dust and wave her magic wand to turn calamity into calm. And forgive me for not pretending to be someone I sadly am not, because had I done so, that would have made for an incredibly boring read, don’t you think?