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What would we have gotten away with? A pleasant Christmas break,Β  a pleasant half-term holiday, an enjoyable trip to the swimming pool, an incident-free trip to the park, a shout-free bath time routine, ten seconds of peace, the ability to blink without something going wrong…

Yes, our children are at that wonderful age where they are a complete nightmare.

When they are together.

They are like some kind of horrendous combining Transformer (a Decepticon, to be clear). Mildly threatening when on their own, and a menace to society when they join to create the fearsome Maxi-Whine, or Moanzee – or maybe Greyhair-Makor. I don’t know, I’m not fixed on a name for the monstrosity they become when they ‘play’ together yet.

Play. Ha. Ha ha ha. Sigh.

Scream.

I remember back in the good old days (last year) when we could leave them together and the worst that could happen would perhaps be something got knocked over, or the TV would be turned off, or they would build a fort. Now everything is violence and pain.

I suppose it comes with the increase in body mass = the bigger the kid, the bigger the problem.

And it’s never their fault, always the fault of the other one.

So when you reenter the room you will get some cock-and-bull story from my daughter about how no, it was actually her brother who took off his own glasses and snapped the arm off on one side. Or it was actually my daughter that punched and then kicked herself in the head.

I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get what I mean.

Individually, as a rule, they are quite easy going and manageable. But together, these days, you can mentally set a clock in your head from the time you exit the room to the time it takes them to start fighting/break something/open a door/activate a nuclear weapon silo.

Sometimes I don’t even get out of the room before mayhem is ensuing.

This means that, at the moment, all holidays are a constant battle of maintaining order via separation, and the constant search for newer, better, and pain-free options of how to regain/maintain control. Oh and by pain-free, I mean for us, not them – the only damage they receive is from each other. Can’t say the same for us – especially if we get caught in the midst of the chaos.

I often used to see parents in the park during the day smelling of alcohol – grandparents too – and I mentally despaired that someone could be in that state at such an hour.

I don’t despair so much these days. I empathise. But don’t worry, I won’t be reaching for any alcohol.

Yet.

Because it’s just a phase, isn’t it? That’s what I keep telling myself. It’s just a phase.

Isn’t it?

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