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J'aimee Brooker asks "What came first: the vino or the kids?"

As the school holidays drag to a mind-achingly slow close (seriously, is it me or do the days drag on for longer during school holidays?!), my younger sister (mum to a 1yo) who has not yet experienced the 'excitement' of school holidays sent me this meme…

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Now, I am almost certain she meant it light-heartedly. But it got me thinking--what did come first my love of vino or the stressors of having three kids under ten?

A quick (and I do mean quick because any more than a moment's attention diverted from close supervision of our two rowdy boys will likely result in major injury) glance at social media tells me I'm not alone. Mums, Australia-wide are either popping corks, dreaming of a gin-and-tonic, or secretly sculling from a hip flask as we speak. So, after some thoughtful consideration, I'm pretty sure I can wrap up my journey from budding wine connoisseur to "any old bottle will do" quite quickly, and with pretty pictures, *and* with a built-in drinking game! That's right, every time you read "yay!" it's time for bottoms-up (because essentially that's how I've done it!). Whether that 'bottoms-up' is a glass or the wine bottle is completely up to you.

So here's the school holidays timeline:

Last day of term--boy, was I sick of playground politics, school lunches, and the daily fight for a carpark to pick the kids up. Yep, school holidays… In my imagination it meant sleep-ins, no rushing, hell no leaving the house if I could manage it… Here's what I got:

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 Yay!

But still, Saturday and Sunday of that first weekend were seemingly good--not too much bitching from the kids, only one split lip… Things are looking up I thought smugly… Yay!

Then... Monday morning and the homework came out. What is that even about?! "It's holidays not homework-days" (that last nugget was courtesy of Mr8). Yay--friggin' yay for holiday homework (for those playing at home that's two bottoms-up right there--and… you're welcome)

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That homework is still waiting to be done, however there's nothing quite like pressure to get the job done, so this is how that homework problem looks in our house right now:

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YAY!!

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Homework dilemma aside (well at least until the night before school starts) and what possibly could come next… yep, you guessed it (well, you probably didn't) gastro *and* head lice… yay! Double yay!

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 Vomit buckets now packed away, and appetites have returned with gusto which of course means the kids want to "learn to cook". Yay! I suggested peeling potatoes was a good skill to learn, though no body seemed happy with that, so cookies it was… Burned fingers, misshaped inedible cookies, and a fire alarm cheering us on… YAY!

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Now, I can't not mention that the biggest sporting event of the year (so I'm told) also coincides with school holidays… Yay soccer!

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But, as I reflect on the school holidays there are some positives:

1. we all made it out alive - with the exception of dehydration from the gastro virus, two split lips (and a moment where we thought a tooth had been knocked out), two broken Wii remotes (let's just say both coincide with the split lips) and a good sprinkling of grazes and bumps. YAY!

2. the homework will eventually get done (fingers crossed) YAY!

3. the holidays are almost over. YAY! YAY!

4. we've got about 9 weeks grace until the next school holidays! YAY! YAY! YAY!

And, now assuming you've abided by the rules of the drinking game you should be well and truly sloshed which means you'll really enjoy these final words of inspiration…

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And just for the Naughty Ninjas:

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Note: Though no wine was injured in the writing of this post, for the sake of transparency I must note that a bottle was sacrificed for the good of all things school holidays!

J’aimee Brooker publishes the hot new website, AusRomToday.com which celebrates the Australian Romance literature community which aims to draw attention to the achievements and acclaim of Australian writers. The key goal is to showcase the published Australian romance industry to readers worldwide. Readers, writers, and spectators are all welcome!

Website: www.ausromtoday.com

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