It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Holiday Madness

I will be taking holidays the last two weeks of the month. Not that I’m going anywhere, because that would require spare money, but I do have the time off.

I was explaining my ‘plans’ to a neighbour, who said, “Oh, I never worry about whether I can afford it. I just do it.” Which (OF COURSE) only means that she CAN SO afford it. Means she has no idea what it is to really not be able to afford something. She wouldn’t be having to go without a little something – like, say, groceries for two weeks – to have her little getaway.

I never worry, I just do it.” Bah. Get awaaay from me.

I didn’t say any of this, of course. Because Mary is almost always polite. (And this neighbour? She’s the one renowned on the street for the brawl she had a couple of years ago with another woman. Started with verbal invective, moved on to full physical melee. Their husbands had to pull them apart. No kidding. On my street! So I am nice to her. I speak softly, I make no sudden movements. ‘There, there. Niiice nasty neighbour. Nice girl.’)

So, I’m taking time off at the end of the month. I will be doing a few special things, though. Because it is, after all, my holiday time and I do deserve a change of pace. Which is why I plan to repaint the living room, dining room, and front hall. And declutter one end of the basement so as to begin the expansion of my son’s shoebox of a bedroom.

I can afford to expand the bedroom but not a holiday? Such self-sacrifice!! you say. (Or perhaps you are shaking your tsk-ing finger at me.) Fear not. The sacrifice is his, not mine. He’s building it, with direction from his grandfather. Time the boy learned to wield a hammer and frame a wall. A good life skill.

A life skill which will be put to EXCELLENT use when he finishes the rest of the basement. But he doesn’t know about that yet. All he knows it that it will cost him a lot less (yes, him; you didn’t think I was paying for this, did you?) if he builds his room, rather than paying someone else. And he is kind of looking forward to doing it. It’s sorta cool to be able to do this stuff for yourself, ya know?

I’m thinking I might loiter for some framing-and-drywall lessons myself. I hate not knowing stuff. Which is not to say that I’ll do it – I will be on holiday, remember?

So. Painting and decuttering and organizing and maybe even some carpentry lessons. Do I know how to holiday, or what??

Which is why I decided to have a holiday Sangria Send-off my last day of work.

NOoooo, not during working hours. At the end of the day, the parents will come a little early and leave a little late, and I will have several large pitchers of sangria for us all. Including one non-alcoholic one for the gestating mama in the crowd.

I offered childcare. Emma can take the tots to the park, I said.

They turned me down. “Oh, no!! We want to see them play together! We want to know what goes on! We want to see the dynamic! It’ll be so cute!”

I stifle a groan and release a smile. ‘Course you do. What parent doesn’t want to see such cuteness? Except… What they’ll see in the evening with mommy and daddy present will be very little like what happens during the day with just Mary. The only way to see that would be to put a hidden camera in the room. (Hidden, because as soon as the little hambones knew there was a camera in range, you’d see nothing but grinning children, standing (mostly) still, or jockeying for front-and-centre position.)

Because when the parents are there, they behave as they would for the parents. The whole dynamic changes, and (hear me sigh) … they tend to behave worse. There’s more whining, there’s more squabbling, there’s more whining, there’s more aggression, there’s more whining, there’s more clingy-ness, there’s more whining. Oh, and there’s more whining.

It’s not all bad, because these are sweet children. There’s more of all that stuff, not ONLY all that stuff. But it’s not what I’m used to seeing, and an hour or two of exasperation is not how I really wanted to end my week.

Thank god for the sangria. Which I will not slip to any of the children. No, really. I won’t.

August 13, 2007 Posted by | daycare, holidays, my kids, parents, the dark side | 12 Comments