A mum's summer holiday by Charlotte Thorneycroft

Six long weeks to drive me insane,
By the end of week two, I was feeling the strain.
It started with hopes and ideas of fun,
The kids and I playing out in the sun
But after the first day, when reality hit home,
I woke on the second and let out a groan.

“The holidays are here,” I said, “a whole summer off school,
So before we begin, let’s lay down some rules;
No fighting or shouting, punch-ups or strops,
Back chat to me - and the pocket money stops!
The odd spot of tidying would be nice to see,
Clothes in the basket, how hard can that be?

Crafting and painting are great fun for sure,
But try not to decorate my walls or the floor.
With baking the same, I don’t mind if you do,
But cleaning up after will be down to you.”

Like thoughtful parents, our planning was good,
With days off of work to go out when we could.
Day four we decided to visit the zoo,
A treat for the kids but then what did they do?

The sign said ‘no feeding, these animals bite!’
Jack didn’t believe it, although it was right.
So with blood pouring out the first aider was called,
An ambulance followed while Jack sat and bawled.
There ended day four, much sooner than thought,
And sixty pounds gone for the tickets we’d bought!

The park was eventful when we took out the ball,
It was all going well ‘til it went over the wall.
Jane kicked it with force as my head it did pass,
Then once out of sight came the loud crash of glass.
More money I thought, and let out a shout,
“No balls, bats or frisbees AND THE PARK IS NOW OUT!”

Confined to the garden, what could possibly go wrong?
I found out all right and it didn’t take long.
“The rabbits escaped” they innocently said,
It’s been missing five days now... I hope it’s not dead.
“It undid the catch Mummy” they told me in squeals,
I think it sought peace...I know how it feels!

Week four and a day trip was in store again,
To the beach, we were off and it was nice until then:
“We’re playing at pirates, here is your map”
I looked at the paper placed in my lap.
“What will we find,” I asked, “at X marks the spot?”
“Just things” they replied. I came over all hot.

Both clothes and towels were nowhere to be found,
Despite spending hours searching the ground.
So with Dad in his boxers and me in my bra,
We decided it was time to head for the car.

Next came the history museum both cultured and fun,
But looking back now, a trip we shouldn’t have done.
“We’ll be good” came the cries before we left home,
No sooner inside and hands started to roam.
Fragile and old I tried to instil,
They didn’t care - the museum was brill!

The day was spent saying “be careful, don’t touch”
But on spotting the dino it all got too much!
Just one tiny bone is all that it took,
“Look mum” they yelled as the skeleton shook.
With a crash and a thud it fell to the floor,
And after a grilling, we were all shown the door.

Finally week six and just one thing to do,
Purchase all uniforms, book bags and shoes.
The choice was quite poor, we’d left it too late,
And both children moaned I’d bought stuff that they hate.
There was no time left whether too loose or tight,
Just sewing in labels would take me all night.

And now it’s almost September and schools on at last,
I can’t quite believe that six weeks have passed.
It’s been stressful and tough by the end of each day,
My nerves are in tatters and my hair’s turning grey!
But as I sit in the silence with a nice cup of tea,
I look at the clock....

“Hurry up half past three”.