The summer holidays are upon us and you’ve just Brexited school. You’ll want to get the most out of the weeks ahead, so I’m planning to be at your disposal 24/7 to ensure it all goes well.
Firstly, you have my complete approval to leave your stuff wherever you want this summer. Empty Actimel bottles under the sofa? No problem. If you want to run around the garden wearing socks, that’s fine too. Just peel them off and leave them somewhere in the hall or under the trampoline, where I can’t find them. A few Coco Pops floating lazily in chocolate milk in a cereal bowl on the carpet in your bedroom? Apple cores balanced on the armchair? Keep them coming. Empty crisp packets, sweet wrappers, lolly sticks, dud batteries, bits of Lego? Everywhere. Love it. Love it. Oh, and I know the laundry basket’s in your room, but don’t feel obliged to use it. Just discard your clothing, underwear, shoes, wet towels and swim suits on the floor or sofa and I’ll sweep by and pick them all up (and wash, iron and put away too). It’s all part of the service.
Sorry to nag, but please remember to leave all the lights on during the day, because we do need to see where we’re going, even when we’re outside, and utilities are just so affordable these days. As always, we have an open door policy in this house, so no need to close doors to prevent wasps, flies or burglars from coming in. I’ll do that, because it’s my responsibility. Get back to your Adventure Time because it isn’t going to binge-watch itself.
I’m also cool about taking instructions from young people still wearing pyjamas after midday. I’m struck by your authoritative stance. It shows a certain independence of spirit. And our body clocks are all over the place, what with all that staying up late in the holidays mularkey. If you’re tired, just lie in. I’ll be up early getting on, so I promise to be quiet so you can rest.
My stuff is your stuff, so help yourself to my phone charger (and even my phone) plus anything else you need, like emergency batteries from the doorbell for your Xbox controller. Oh, and let me update you on the goggles situation. I’ve made it my summer mission to locate and safeguard all the goggles in the household. If you can’t find your goggles, just ask me. I’ll keep a pair on my person at all times.
Please do tell me when you’re hungry. Normal meal times are optional and you don’t all have to eat the same things at the same sittings. There’s plenty of snacks, so go and rummage and remember to always open a fresh packet, even if there are two other packets already open – we can’t take any chances. If you’re not hungry at dinner time, that’s fine. I’ll just throw away what you can’t eat. The kitchen is always open, so I’m happy to prepare anything you, or any visiting friends, need at a time that suits you.
And if you fancy making something yourself, I’ll clear up – pancake splatters and burnt popcorn pans are two of my favourites, as are cheese gratings on the floor. Oh yes, and lemonade bottles. Don’t bother with screwing on the fiddly bottle top. I’ll do it or buy a new bottle. Wherever you go on a food trail, I’ll follow in your wake putting things away and wiping. I simply love to live vicariously through your food creativity.
And any time you need a drink… get a new glass. We have a cupboard full of glasses and endless surfaces to leave them on – windowsills, shelves, TV stands, the floor. Glasses on the patio work well too. I really, really enjoy loading and unloading the dishwasher, so keep those fresh glasses coming.
I’m on eager standby for occurrences in your social life. I have a car and a driving license and am happy to put them to good use. And you know me, I always try to be prompt. The other thing you know about me is that I don’t require any advanced notice. I have the unique ability to stop whatever I’m doing, even if it’s work, to take you wherever and whenever you desire. I’m adaptable too, so I can easily fit in with sudden changes of plan, even if you forget to phone. Oh, and if you need any money to spend when you’re out, let me know. We’ve got an endless supply of cash, so just put in your requisition when we’re on our way in the car.
Just a few last-minute housekeeping items: Eye rolling? Yes! I love the immediate feedback on my suggestions and ideas. I can’t think of a better way for me to gauge whether or not I’m pleasing you. Showers? Optional – you know what’s best. Chores? Just tell me when’s a good time for you. The dirty plates on the table aren’t going anywhere.
One last thing… always wear your headphones so that you can’t hear me when I’m talking to you. Verbal communication is so overrated. A little-known fact about me: I actually get a real buzz from shouting things three or four times with no response. When you’re not wearing your headphones, I like to repeat instructions over and over again, like a mantra. I find it cathartic. (Look it up).
Well, call me crazy (or just plain sarcastic), but if you follow these guidelines, I think this summer’s going to be win-win for all of us. The world, dear children, is our oyster.
Loving the holidays already.
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© Annie Harrison, GoMunkee 2017