It was fun while it lasted, but it's all over now.
After six weeks of sun, swimming, sleep-overs, DVDs, pigging out on Christmas leftovers and more DVDs, the school holidays are finally over.
As we prepare for a new school year, a sense of normality is slowly returning to our little house in the hills.
The youngest is nearly popping out of her skin at the thought of pulling on the school uniform for the first time. The older one is pretending not to want to go back, but sharpening her pencils and talking about changing her earrings in anticipation of the big day.
Summer holidays seem to go on forever when you're a kid, but I reckon it's about time they went back.
It got a bit feral at our place for a while there.
The usual rules about bedtimes and mealtimes were abandoned. 'Bedroom' was a pretty fluid concept with the kids bunking down pretty much wherever they felt like.
My wife went away to climb mountains in Tasmania with some of her friends, leaving me at home with the kids. (A bit like leaving the lunatics in charge of the asylum?)
With no school or work to attend, no schedule to keep, no structure to follow, things got pretty loose.
Apart from the "two pieces of fruit a day" rule and the "helping dad out with the dishes" rule, I was into experimenting with a bit of mango season madness.
(More shortbread? Sure. Another swim? Why not.)
Having hosted an extended family Christmas at our place, the house was full of food and booze and it felt like a party that went on for weeks.
Having time to relax and enjoy some quality time with the kids, instead of always making them fit into our adult schedules of school and work was fantastic. It made me realise that home is a really nice place to have a holiday.
But it's over now. And there's a time and a place for schedules and routine.
But it's only 47 weeks till we can do it again.
(Not that I'm counting…)
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