Just thinking about going, makes me tremble with fear.
School holidays already? I feel like it was just Christmas. It seems the minute you put the tree away the house is suddenly littered with shiny, foil wrappers from the Easter Egg hunt.
April school holidays are often a soggy two weeks so there is a lot of time to fill.
In between work commitments, I am squeezing in some time with my kids and like many of you I have grand, lofty plans.
Educational trips to the museum… nature walks… tennis tournaments at the local free courts… days at the library exploring the classics, oh and visions of bike rides to the local café where we will bond over hot chocolates and blueberry muffins.
The truth is I have three young kids and a bonding trip to the local café is usually an agonising ordeal with tantrums and tears. The library lasts about three minutes unless story time is on and the museum is expensive... and they have that damn gift shop... Muuuuummmm please can I have one, please please please...
The fact is that as much as I vow not to, as often as I swear never again, as much as I criticise and disparage soft play centres I will probably end up at one at some stage over the next few weeks.
I admit I am a hypocrite. I hate the bloody places. They are hot and noisy and dirty and pricey.
But my kids just love them.
Truth be told, I am a little scared of the places, so many characters, so many experiences, so many noisy, screaming, demanding children hyped up on bottles of artificial juice.
I am exhausted just thinking about it and a little bit terrified. Here's what makes me shiver:
The judgemental mum.
Yes, I am on my phone while my kids run riot. I can see your gaze as I stuff them full of hot chips and juice. I know you don’t approve, but I don’t really give stuff. Happy kids. Happy Mum.
The working mothers.
Often the main target of the judgemental Mum. We seek out playcentres for the WIFI and the entertainment. Our laptop is carted around as we chase snooty noses and wayward pre-schoolers. We ARE focused on our kids, but we are just trying to squeeze in a bit of work at the same time.
Holiday care is tricky you know.
The nonchalant nanny.
You can see which kids are theirs... Yah I will get to him, they indicate, once I finish this Skype call back home.