As the end of the school holidays drew near, many of us were running (or crawling) towards the light - our wallets empty and our patience wearing thin.
We're also ready to have a break from the sound of our own voices saying THE.SAME.THINGS over and over again.
I don't know about you, but here's what I'm over repeating;
"No, you can't have more food"
Here's the thing. You manage to survive a full eight-hour day at school fuelled only by fruit, a bag of chips and a sandwich. You only get two chances to eat and that's apparently fine. Four days out of five your lunchbox returns half full.
However, this significantly changes during the holidays.
Suddenly, you've developed an extra stomach. You need to eat ALL the things, ALL the time. The 'eat all you can' buffet opens and shuts its doors in conjunction with your eyes and nothing's off limits.
But, seriously, NO you can't have more food.
"I don't care if you're bored"
Your room is filled with all manner of expensive toys and games that you HAD to have. They're now all rubbish and boring. Eye roll
You tell me there's noooooothing to do and you're just soooo bored. This is approximately five minutes after we've been to the skate park, the movies and some feral trampoline park – the sum total of which has cost me a week's wage.
I refuse to entertain you the whole day and am sick of you appearing every five minutes to ask me 'what can I do?'.
Because, you know what, I don't care that you're bored.
"Get off the screen"
Screen time limits are still relevant in the holidays you know. Sure, they're a bit more lenient and will be used to my advantage in terms of peace and bribes, but they still exist.
Yet, you can't function if you're not attached a screen. Despite it sucking out your life force and turning you into a mute zombie, you're glued to the damn thing.
Here's the bad news. You're part of a family (and the human race..allegedly) and that means being present at least for some of the day.
So, can you just get off the screen.
"Don't dibber dob (on your brother!)"
I know that you love to get your brother in trouble. Don't think I don't see you smirking after you've come to dob him in.
But, going out of your way to do so is tiring and monotonous.
For my own sanity, I turn a blind eye to a LOT of things you both do that you shouldn't. The holidays are long enough without fighting every battle.
So, don't dibber dob, ok. The chances are I don't really care.
God, give me strength. If I had a dollar for every time I've said this to you in the holidays I'd be able to retire today.
From the moment you wake up, it starts. He's looking at you, breathing on you, trying to touch you. He's pinching your Lego (that you didn't want to play with anyhow), watching your iPad, calling you a poo head and patting your dog.
The list is exhaustive, as is the refereeing for me. You know the saying, 'if you can't say something nice, don't' say anything at all'. Well…that.
Can you please just stop fighting.
"No, you can't"
In case you hadn't noticed, there's no money tree in the back garden. There's not much money in my wallet either.
I haven't got a separate overflowing bank account for 'holiday fun' and holidays aren't a ticket to freedom.
You can't go to the trampoline park, bowling, swimming and the movies all the time. You can't have lollies, magazines and toys the minute we're in sniffing distance of a shop. And you can't ride to the next suburb or stay out when it's dark.
Basically, whatever the request, the answer's most likely 'no you can't'.