Sunday, 26 May 2013

10 tips for a pain free half term

I lie here on a sun lounger on the terrace of my villa in Tuscany. My wife, an ex underwear model, and my nanny, a top heavy 21 year old from Stockholm are playing blissfully in the extensive garden with my two beautiful children. The kids are still on a high after landing their first big modelling contracts. My daughter leaves the fun momentarily to skip over to tell me that she loves me and that I am the best dad in the world. Our award winning chef is inside preparing dinner. Life is good!

This is how I'm spending my half term. But, despite my Hollywood lifestyle, I know the pain you are going through. I know that, whilst you would like to be at my villa in Tuscany, you are in fact preparing for a week in the pissing rain touring the soft play venues of Wolverhampton. There is nothing I can do about that. But what I can do is give you some advice, dragged from the ever distant memory of when I too lived that life, about surviving the half term break.

Hapless Dad's 10 tips for surviving half term:
  1. What ever you do don't go on holiday. Until the kids resemble human form, about the age of eight, a week away will involve doing exactly what you would have done at home. The only difference is you'll have a 2 grand sized whole in your wallet.
  2. Visit farm based venues. Avoid the touristy ones as they will be rammed full of people wearing tracksuits who clearly are not planning a trip to the gym. Pick something local. Once the kids are fed up of looking at a couple of chickens and a cat they can use the indoor soft-play.
  3. Convince yourself that being a good parent involves encouraging your kids into sport. Book them in for football camp, rugby camp, tennis camp, ballet camp, swimming camp, small bore rifle shooting camp, judo camp and rhythmic gymnastics camp.
  4. Visit relatives. They wont have seen your kids for a while and will want to take them off your hands for a bit while you catch up on some snooze time.
  5. Re create an all inclusive break in Spain from the comfort of your own home by drinking at 7 o'clock in the morning, surviving on fry ups and watching the Jeremy Kyle show.
  6. Convince yourself that being a good parent involves improving your kids academic performance and exposing them to kids from different cultures. Book them in for a week's intensive mathematics coaching with a group of students from Beijing.
  7. Persuade a friend or neighbour to make an anonymous call to social services about your parenting. You will have a few child free days while they work out the allegations are false. Or longer if they are true.
  8. Join a cult. Cults tend to be organised and days are crammed full of activities. Leave a day early to avoid the mass suicide.
  9. Join a local church or religious group (see tip number 8)
  10. Set up a tent in the garden for the kids to have an adventure. Make sure the doors to the house are locked so you can enjoy a lie in.
Hopefully one of my suggestions will be suitable for your family. On a final note, whatever you do, don't fall into the trap of a 'day trip'. Whether it be LEGOLAND, Peppa Pig World, Windsor Safari Park, The Sea life centre, Madame Tussaurds, Bristol Zoo or the Bovington Tank Museum the result will be the same. You'll pay £70 to get in and once the kids are bored with lego, Peppa Pig, a baboon 400 yards away, some goldfish, a waxwork of Keith Chegwin, some hamsters or a Chieftain tank you WILL end up at the indoor soft-play. Just like the one half a mile from your house!

Enjoy your half term!

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