An open letter to my kids at the start of the summer holidays


Dear Kids

Hooray!  The summer holidays are finally here, and apart from our planned week away as a family, there are five glorious weeks to fill here at home.  You’ve just Brexited school, and I know that you need lots of time to relax. You’ll want to get the most out of the weeks ahead, so the good news is 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. It’s all part of the service.

Sorry to nag, but please remember to leave all the lights on during the day, because it’s important 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.  Shutting them is optional, so don’t worry about wasps, flies or burglars coming in. I’ll deal with all that – not your responsibility. Get back to your Xbox because Fortnite can’t save the world without you.

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.

Quick reminder… please always wear your headphones so that you can’t hear me when I’m talking to you. Communication is so overrated. There’s a little-known fact about me: I just love yelling things at the top of my lungs three or four times with no response. I find it cathartic. (Look it up).

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.

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 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.

Just a few last-minute housekeeping items: Eye rolling?  Cool! I like the immediate feedback on my suggestions.  How else can I gauge whether or not I’m pleasing you?  Taking a shower? That’s optional. You know what’s best. Chores? Just tell me when it’s a good time for you. The unstacked dishwasher and messes on the floor aren’t going anywhere.

Well, I might be a crazy old Mum, but if you kids follow all of these guidelines, I think the holidays are  going to be win-win for everyone (especially me).

Love you guys.

Mum x


© Annie Harrison, GoMunkee 2019

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