Two whole weeks of school vacation for the kids and 5 whole days of office closure for the parents towards the end of the year always make for a very exciting family time. The time we spend together is always very fulfilling, and because it is something we don’t get to do often apart from the weekends, it makes our family time and being together for days on end with no other immediate work obligations to attend to, that much more special. Perfect, no!
Except that it get extremely exhausting. Parenting goes full-on with hardly any breaks in between the moment they climb into our bed first thing in the morning, all ready to start the day.
No plans usually spells chaos.With hiatus from school, the kids get bored easily. When they get bored, they start bouncing off the walls, rile each other up and then magically Velcro themselves up to these things called Trouble and Mayhem. Staying at home and be hermit-certified for the whole day is an absolute no-no, unless we intend to drive ourselves mental. Having to constantly look for ways and means to keep them occupied suddenly become our full-time job. And after 4 days, we would run out of people to meet or things to do, especially when don’t want to spend too much money!
Tired and weary as we are, we still need to keep up with their energy. So as we bite our tongues, repressed our much needed calling to crawl back to bed and still be PRESENT even though we could hardly keep our eyes open with toothpicks in between our eyelids, we pressed on.
We could have fooled anyone who didn’t think that we were completely spent! Here’s how we entertain our weary selves when our little imps are bouncing off the walls with no signs of slowing down:
1. Challenging a 4 year old to balance a place mat on her head for as long as possible. Moving is not an option. You could hear me snigger.
2. Go to a public area and watch them go crazy as they pretended to be monsters in a dwarfed, house-like fixture. Sigh with resignation that they were scaring away other dwarf-like visitors with their loud roars and screeches.
3. Pretend that we have just gotten captive monkeys out from the zoo who have never seen life outside a cage. Allow them to bounce off the walls outside of home in an outdoor exhibit and watch them run around while jumping up and down like well…monkeys from the zoo!
4. Aptly dress the younger one with a Cookie Monster T-Shirt. Encourage him to pretend that he is a monster out for cookies. Sticking out his tongue is his only form of communication and some people think that it is cute. It is also absolutely OK that there are some who stayed away from us or looked at us in disgust when we allowed our kids to go bat-shit crazy . (Did I mention that we were exhausted?)
5. Pretend that you are the big, bad witch from Hensel and Gretel who would nibble the house down. Say it out loud in a low, scary, witchy voice that you will eat the kids and hear them squeal in their highest octave.Say all that in several different languages. Watch the reacti0ns of other people walking by who thought that the parents have lost it.
6. Take family-selfies. Do not allow for nice, sweet, pretty, boring pictures. Only allow funny faces and aim to take at least 5 shots. If one of them tries to run away, grab them and try again!
7. Make awesome shadow pictures when the sun is out. Allow for one tiny head to be part of the picture. Tell the kids to keep following the shadows and they must not stop walking until they could no longer see their shadows. Once their shadows are gone, they have to stay put. They CANNOT move at all cost. Then quickly walk them into the nearest shade.
We did not spend a lot of money and we all slept well that night.
These tips are not exactly normal, it’s not what we usually…but when you are really exhausted, exhaustion reigns over any sense of embarrassment. And, you are welcome. 🙂