The end of term

It’s the end of term at last.  Hurrah!   The fetes, the trips, the end of year concerts and the end of year discos are done.  The presents for the teachers have been bought and delivered and don’t children have a lot more teachers these days than we did?   The uniform that had grown too tight is finally in the charity shop bag after six weeks of me saying ” Just breathe in child, I’m not buying anything new this close to the end of term.  Do you think I’m made of money?”  On the last day of term I watched one teacher skip out the school gates.  Honestly.  Real proper skipping.

For my children seven glorious, golden school free weeks lie ahead of them.  They cannot believe their luck.  “How many sleeps is that?” asks my five year old in wonder.  She can’t get her head round the magnitude of the number.  Forty nine.    Such riches of sleeps.    Such abundance.    I wish I was a teacher or a child.  But I’m not.  I’m a solicitor.  And the most holiday sleeps I can reasonably manage is 21.  This is pretty good but it leaves a shortfall.   And so let the Mummy Juggle commence.    To be fair, my husband is also doing the Daddy Juggle.    It’s complicated this dance.   We shall take it in turns to start work late and stop work early, passing the baton of child care back and forth at the front door like relay race runners.   Then there’s two sets of grandparents, rugby camp, activity camp, swimming lessons and a little sprinkling of good friends.   I log the details of where my children have to be in my diary and what they will need when they get there.  I feel like I’m their PA.

We kick off the beginning of the holidays with a weekend trip to Newcastle upon Tyne.    I worked in Newcastle a life time ago.  It’s a great city with lots to see and do and we all enjoy ourselves.   The Premier Inn on the Quayside is clean and cheap and give or take a dozen hen nights very comfortable.   We see the Sage, the Angel of the North, the Baltic Art Gallery and the beautiful bridges.  I arrange to see old friends  – we met when we were training to be solicitors.   It’s strange this ageing process.  It takes a little while when we arrive at their house for us to get used to the middle aged faces we’ve now got, lay the extra pounds and the greying hair on top of our memories of former fresh faces.  We’re all serious business people now – twenty years qualified, don’t you know – and we  talk of business development and the recession and pension funds and children of course.   The children are nowhere to be seen though – they’ve quickly disappeared off to play together elsewhere in the house, age differences no barrier to getting on and getting away from the adults.    My five year old appears complaining of a sore tummy.    There was chocolate on offer and she has no off switch when it comes to chocolate – only when it runs out.   Her tummy is stretched tight as a balloon.  My husband picks her up to take her upstairs for a lie down and she throws up everywhere – over the carpet, over his clothes, the radiator gets a good splashing as does the sofa.   It smells only of chocolate which is a result.    My husband sees to our daughter (who now feels fine) and my friends – my very successful commanding £390 an hour solicitor friends – get on their hands and knees and mop up chocolate scented puke with me.  We laugh while we do it and when we laugh we look just like we did twenty years ago.    When everything and everyone is tidy again, we play Rockstar Wii very loudly and nobody mentions business again.

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