You’ve just got into the swing of back to school when you realise another half term is looming. Oh joy!
1. ‘Kicking leaves’ is not an advisable half term activity and really only something loved-up couples do in films. Every parent knows their children will emerge from an autumnal leaf pile with dubious stains, possibly dog-related, on their trousers and tights.
2. If you go for a family walk, one child will have wellies that are too small or spring a leak. Cue carrying and a very short walk. It’s the rule for autumn-winter walks.
3. There’s something about shorter autumn sunlight that make pyjama days extra blissful.
4. Pyjama days don’t really work with young children full of energy who need to be run (which involves getting dressed or risk looking like a feral family or your children getting leaf muck on their PJs).
5. Making lunches is boring. Sandwiches don’t cut it in the holidays, according to your children.
6. A ‘quick trip’ to visit grandparents (and avoid making lunches) will turn into standstill motorway traffic with children doing the classic backseat ‘are we there yet?’. Not yet kids, but life’s a journey, enjoy the ride!
7. What your children will remember most about the holiday, will be something odd. Back at school when asked to write ‘what I did this half term’ they will wax lyrical about the motorway service station without a word about the gorgeous holiday destination and fun activities you did as a family!
8. Booking your child onto a week’s water sports and watery activities in late October is a BAD IDEA. When you’re booking half-term activities at the height of the summer it’s easy to think that the lovely warm weather is going to last all year. Hear this: it isn’t!
9. So is forgetting to pack a change of clothes.
10. But snuggling in front of a Disney film with an ill child, and not feeling guilty for time missed from school, is one of the great joys of being a parent.
11. Halloween falls in the half-term holidays. A fact you do not realise the massive importance of when you arrange to be at your parents’ in the deepest countryside or in a self-catering cottage far from trick or treat streets. As a result, your children announce you are the meanest parent ever.
12. The most memorable moments of half-term may not be the big ticket arrangements and outings but the small moments of joy. When the children play contentedly together creating an imaginary world, a family walk (without welly woes), cooking up a storm and eating your delicious creations, these are the times when you unkink from the rigid routine of school weeks.
13. Even though your children insisted they had no homework on the last day of school, on the Sunday evening before term starts they will ‘remember’ they were meant to complete a project on Ancient Greece. It may involve papier-mâché.