It’s August. The month when we are all expected to enjoy the sunshine and frolic on the beach. Facebook is awash with pictures of kids eating ice-cream, women drinking Chardonnay and families just ‘loving life’. Isn’t August just THE BEST, our selfies say.
The definition of a ‘holiday’ has drastically changed since my hedonistic 20s. Back then it was all about exotic travel, henna tattoos, 'new experiences’ (drugs), hanging out with friends (drugs), and falling asleep on deck chairs (after taking drugs.)
Now I have small children, a ‘holiday’ rarely involves two minutes of peace. Although it does seem involve the same amount of alcohol - just with less bikinis on a boat and more PJs on plastic furniture. So here’s what summer holidays mean, now that I am a Scummy Mummy.
Bedtimes, routines and rules get forgotten. Hair gets longer, teeth get furry, faces are dirty and we are all happy with this arrangement. It all seems fine until you discover they have decided to make it ‘rain popcorn’ in their bedroom, when you thought they were quietly watching a film with snacks. But hey, nothing a hoover and sense of humour can’t fix.
Ice cream has become the most important thing in my children’s life. It makes them smile it, cools them down and it tastes yummy. What’s wrong with that? Well… It’s when they don’t get their fix things start to go wrong. They get the dreaded ice cream rage. This is entirely my own fault - we talk about ice cream like it’s sacred jewel you win at the end of a quest. The reality of course is it's a sugar-packed snack that buys me five minutes of peace.
Hair, shoes, sofas, cars, showers, toys, towels, brushes, dogs and my last ounce of sanity are covered in sand. Last night I crawled into bed only to discover it was full of sand, FUCKING SAND. On the upside I think I achieved a full-body exfoliation.
The best thing about holidays is enjoying a glass or three or rosé at lunch time. And after a while you get pretty used to it, and let’s just say get you start getting twitchy at 11.59am. Cheers!
Nothing says ‘happy holidays’ like going up a dress size. The amount of cheese, cold meats, and things floating in oil that I consume in August is impressive. We also make sure we have pudding after every meal, and eat cake between meals just to top-up. Thank God we will all be wearing coats next month.
I once used to care about whether there was hair poking out of my bikini. Now I’m just glad its hair and not a prolapse. My solution - buy one of those swimming costumes with a little skirt on them, and that covers the scary hairy bits. Job done!
We Contemplate Yoga
On holidays you get just enough time to contemplate your health and well-being, but not enough time to do anything about it. This annual ritual usually involves me Googling local yoga classes and writing the details down. Once September has come around that paper is neatly in the recycling bin, where it belongs.
August is the month me and hubby will have at least one daytime nudie session. It takes us both by surprise that we will suddenly have enough time (and love) for each in the afternoon to actually DO IT. Whilst years ago this would be to core focus of our holiday activity, the surprise bonk is a rare and joyous thing. JUST LOCK THE DOOR!
Home Looks Better Again
After the sand-filled shoes have walked their last trip to the ice cream shop, it’s time to pack up the smelly car, with the smelly washing and smelly children and head home. And it is a relief. The kids will have toys they like, me and the husband will get wifi that works, and happiness will be achieved. Home always looks so much more appealing after being away from it for a week, and this can only be a good thing.
Despite the chaos and the sugar rages, summer holidays with kids are actually OK. There are also lots of smiles, long hugs and opportunities for you all to be silly. I’ll be back next year for more of the same!
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