Pre-holiday preparation now involves that all-important lecture to the children

THE annual pre-holiday preparation, formally known as Mission Impossible has gotten underway in recent days. This usually consists of me running around the house like a blue arsed fly trying to get my hands on every piece of clean clothing I can find and packing it into cases so they can't wear it and get it dirty again.

Himself launches his usual tirade of why can't everyone just bring two pairs of shorts and a couple of tee shirts for our two week stint abroad. I feel like shouting at him and usually do, "Hello?! Have you met our children? They are filthy little animals who can't keep clean for five minutes."

That then brings him on to why I feel the necessity to bring ten pairs of shoes and a zillion knickers on holiday. The shoes are non negotiatiable. I mean you wouldn't know where you might find yourself and if you didn't have the right shoes it could ruin the whole night. Mind you the fact we're staying in a campsite 80 km from Barcelona greatly reduces the chance that I might be dancing the night away in some ringading glitzy nightclub but still.....

The knickers thing on the other hand, I concede is not rational. There are shops and I'm sure the Spanish wear knickers as well so I actually don't understand myself why I insist on bringing my entire knicker drawer but you know some people have a comfort blanket, others have a favourite pillow, I just can't travel without a ton of knickers!

Due to lack of space and the fact I bring half the wardrobe and the 7 year old brings half the playroom, the 11 year old has been allocated a case that wouldn't hold my makeup whilst Himself has a bag big enough for a few jocks and socks. They don't care as long as there's room for their phone and nintendo chargers.

So packing resolved we decide to embark on our pre-holiday behaviour lecture with the children. Himself tells them that from now they have to actually sit at the table, not stand on it, or squat on a chair and they are no longer allowed eat with their fingers.

"Why?" asked the 11 year old, genuinely curious.

"Because the two of you are like animals. From now it's forks and knives," he declares before handing around an assortment of cutlery. Half hearted attempts are made to stab a few chips and cut a bit of chicken before they eventually wind up on the floor.

"You should be able to use a knife," the 7 year old tells the 11 year old.

"Shut up" he replies.

"No you shut up," she answers.

"Whatever" he responds. "Muuuuum he told me to shut up."

"Could you not just pretend to like each other, just for the holidays?" I enquire hopefully. "But then that would be lying and you told us never to tell lies," the 11 year smart arse smiles smugly.

"Well some lies are ok," I say in desperation.

"Like what?" he asks, intrigued.

"Like I'm only going to bring two pairs of shoes and seven pairs of knickers on holidays. That your father is not going to make a balls of the barbecue this year and won't get us lost from the airport to the campsite. That you two are going to be as good as gold for the whole two weeks, you'll get on famously and there won't be a cross word spoken."

If only.......

Wexford People

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