My mum always said, "I could never understand why parents didn't like school holidays. I always enjoyed spending time with you girls."
Um, perhaps the madness had set in years ago? (Just kidding, Mum. Sort of.)
I love spending time with the kids, and I love that I don't have to run from place to place all the time and worry about school drop off and pick up and getting to after school activities on time. Really, I do. But it's also kinda challenging having all 3 boys home at once. Every day. Of every week. For a looooong time. Yes, indeedy, it is.
There was the time during one past school holidays that I took all three boys with me to purchase a new doona for my bed from Bed, Bath and Table. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, when I got there, all three boys were running around like wild monkeys who'd raided the bar fridge, and even the old stern look and "Will you just stand still for five minutes?!" wasn't making an impact.
As I stood at the counter to pay for my hastily chosen doona, attempting to ignore my 2 year old's tantrum, brought on because his mean mother had strapped him in to the stroller to avoid another mad dash out of the store, I turned my attention to the friendly sales assistant who asked, "How would you like to pay for that?" Without even giving it a second thought, I replied, "Do you accept small children?" Unfortunately, they did not, and so I left the store with my new doona tucked under my arm, a dent in my credit card, and 3 little terrors in tow. *Sigh*
My mother-in-law has always said, that at the start of the school holidays you have to lay down the law and let your kids know who's boss. Hubby is one of 3 boys too, and she recalls when they would instantly start fighting and wrestling and generally making noise and getting up to mischief at the beginning of each school holiday. As she explains, "I found if I yelled at them once, and laid down the ground rules right then and there, they'd be ok after that."
Well, we (quite unintentionally) had our moment for laying down the law today.
The boys were running around like crazy in the apartment we're renting on holiday. They were carrying on, screaming and slamming doors. Hubby and I have a big issue (as most parents do, I'm sure) with door slamming. Hubby's brother had the tip of his finger cut off by a slamming door (although, it was the wind that did it in that instance - fortunately, it was able to be sewn back on) and a friend of the 5yr old had the tip of his thumb sliced off recently during a session in the boys toilets at school, when one of the other kids closed a door on his thumb. We use these examples over and over again with our boys, and it just doesn't seem to get through.
After telling our boys a million times just this morning to STOP slamming the doors (I think they're doing it because the handles are lower and we have some sliding doors in the apartment we're staying in - a novelty) it finally happened. A door was shut on to the toddler's fingers.
He was fine and his fingers all ok, but he was obviously upset and crying at first, and we were afraid that the worst had happened. Hubby lost it. He doesn't yell often...at all. I yell FAR more often than what he does. But today, he really let it rip on them. They couldn't help but listen. (If Dad's upset, something REALLY must be up.)
Since then, peace has been restored and, hopefully (fingers crossed, and intact), a lesson learned.
Now, if it can just remain that way for the next 6 weeks or so, that'd be great.
How do you deal with the school holidays? Do you lay down the ground rules first? Go with the flow? Any advice on how to deal with over-excited boys?!!!
Until next time...