Half term - horror or holiday/

My children started their half term break yesterday. The vibe in the playground was mixed. Some parents were despondent at the thought of their offspring being at home, all day, every day for a week. Others were ecstatic at the idea of a break from the term time routine of school run, lunch packing, PE kit finding, homework, clubs, uniforms....

I'm undecided about how I feel.

On one hand it was lovely to indulge in one too many cranberry woo woos on Friday night, knowing I had a week of potential lie-ins to catch up on lost sleep and the inevitable hangover. It was lovely to bung the uniforms in the washing machine knowing I won't have a daily hunt for a white-ish shirt and a jumper sans yoghurt. I can enjoy a week without screeching about bus passes, books and cookery class ingredients.

On the other hand after just one day with the vultures  children at home I seem to have run out of bread, milk, crisps, biscuits, baked beans, soup and teabags. I had to tidy the kitchen before I could prepare dinner- it was festooned with wrappers, dirty spoons and crusty mugs and dried up baked beans. The cat had developed a nervous twitch and there were a load of new stains on the carpet and sofa.

Today I could practically hear the dials on the electricity meter whizzing round- 6 out of my 7 children were at home watching TV, playing computer games, charging phones and gadgets- and of course every light in the house was on, even at midday on what turned out to be a sunny day.

At least because it was the first day I haven't heard the B-word yet. You know;"Mum I'm BORED."
I have done my best to plan a few activities to occupy them. Nothing however that involves the local soft play warehouse, theme park, fun pool or museum, or anywhere else you might normally consider on a cold day in winter - all those obvious places will be rammed with desperate parents and grandparents who have been lumbered with the job of child-minding while their parents gratefully ( for once) go off to the relative peace and calm of work.

No, we will be meeting with friends for indoor picnics, a pizza-making morning and general playdates. And luckily I, and a few of my friends actually gave birth during this week over the past decade or so, so some of my children also have a few birthday parties and treats in the diary to break up the week.

Tomorrow we have a busy day planned- it's the monthly worship for all service at church (which has the bonus of being a chance to catch up with friends for a coffee after the service while the kids hurtle round the church seeing how many knee splinters they can get crawling under the pews) Then DS3 has a birthday party to attend so maybe there will be a naughty fast food lunch for the non-partying children then an evening in with a DVD with a friend and her children. Pjs and popcorn and plenty of laughing should prove fun for all ages and the great thing about half term is that it doesn't really matter if the children are late to bed, or can't sleep when we've filled them full of junk food.

On the whole I think I fall into the camp of being happy it's half term. It's a chance for the children to recharge and relax, and a chance for me to spend more time with my babies who are rapidly growing up and becoming independent. All too soon they will be gone altogether and I will remember the mess and the mayhem of half term with nostalgia.

But most important of all, I love half term because it means I can turn my alarm clock off for a whole week and every day can be a duvet day if we feel like it.
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