School Holidays

In Australia it is our summer holidays. We are currently into week 6 of an approx. 8 week school holiday.
There is no beating around the bush. At this point in time I want to throttle my kids. I would sell them to any bidder. Their photos are ready to upload to Ebay.
The first 5-6 weeks have been great. There has been weekend breaks, camping, swimming, lots of outdoor activities and general good natured antics. The boys have had play dates and days to relax. They have tried new activities and continued with old.
But now we are done. It has been a slow burn. It snuck up on us this week. I wonder if it happens to others? This week I realised I am fatigued, holidayed out – fatigayed. I have a lot less patience than I did 5 weeks ago. Zero in fact. There seems to be a lot more arguing, shouting and issuing of punishments. Tempers are short. The stress levels have hit an all-time high. The boys seem to be spending more and more time in time out.
We have another 2 weeks or 336 hours (335 hours and 40 seconds……335 hours and 38 seconds……) before school starts.
I think this is how runners feel when they hit the ‘wall’. We have hit the wall. I don’t know if we can run through it. I feel like throwing them at it.
The kids have also lost the plot. I think they are bored despite our best intentions. They need structure again. We put them in the school holiday programme this week. We had no choice. Peace till 1pm. Screw the expense. I’m saving my sanity!
At the start of the holiday we were lenient with regards to watching TV, playing Wii and Ipad. But that too has started driving me mad. Particularly when they are oblivious to any request that you ask of them, while they watch.
“boys the house is on fire – time to leave.”
“I’m taking all your toys to the second hand shop”.
“There are 2 girls here who want to come in and give you a kiss.”
“who wants ice cream?”
“Me ME…”
Ok, that one always works.
I want them outside more or using their imaginations and creating stuff. We have gone from letting them watch TV whenever they want during the holidays to no more than an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. That has definitely been a productive move.
But the only time they are really quiet is when they watch TV or play Ipad games. It is when we get some peace. This is a constant battle of which I am losing the resolve to fight.
The arguing has also taken on a new level. They realise that if they are told to go to their room or given time out they just say “no”. To which I say “yes”. To which they say “no”.
Falling short of picking them up by their feet and carrying them into their room (which I have done) I don’t know how to deal with this one.
I could beat them into submission. I could try waterboarding them. I could tie them up and leave them in the corner. Although I write this in jest, it does, at this point in time, sound quite appealing.
When they are tired and we are tired, it is just a recipe for disaster.  Maybe that was the inspiration for the atom bomb. Take one part tired 7 year old and one part grumpy, tired parent. Mix with tension, messy house and bad behaviour. Then stand well back.
None of this angst is productive. None of it is appealing. I feel terrible afterwards. I try not to let it get to that stage. But it is very hard not to. I am failing miserably at the moment.
Tonight we will have a family meeting to discuss how we will get back on track over the next 2 weeks. I think we need a plan. Maybe get some structure back into our days. Give them a project or 2.
In the meantime if you need me I will be in the foetal position out the front of the school, waiting for the doors to open.