As we all reflect on the six months our children have been off school and how we have filled them with wonderful experiences that build resilience and make happy memories, I take my usual, tongue in cheek, slightly more realistic reflection on the latest trend of the ‘staycation’.

I do love writing poems, so I thought I’d give it a go….

This year Covid 19 locked us inside our houses Quality time with our precious children and our darling spouses.
Love them as we do, after a while our patience was wearing thin. Threats were made to sell them all on eBay or put them in the bin!

When the doors were flung open, outside we went once again. Making plans for a change of scene to renew our love for them.
Getting on a plane this year was not a safe option to take,Although 2 weeks in the sun, would happy memories surely make.

We’ll have a staycation we shouted, there’s loads of places to go.We had a choice to make – Connemara, Achill Bay or the Gap of Dunloe?
We loaded up the car with all that was needed, a few extra bits just in case.
“Sure chuck it there’s room”said I, “I disagree” said my husband’s face!

He wasn’t thrilled with the car laden down with wetsuits and snacks Towels on our knees and pillows at our backs. 
A few spare pairs of shorts shoved under the seat, Opening the glove compartment to find tennis balls and creams for my feet.

Changing gear was a challenge, as I’d filled every space.Well I’ve already told you, “we need to bring it just in case!”
We left at lunchtime instead of the middle of the night for a change,The holiday house didn’t open til 3, it looked lovely with its deck and range.

It was closer to 4 when we got there as Sat Nav sent us the wrong way Mick muttering some words the kids aren’t allowed to say.
A beautiful house with stunning view all around, Peaceful and quiet you couldn’t hear a sound.

No shop to buy milk without travelling half an hour, No wifi, no TV  signal and a leak in the shower
2 teenagers that looked like they’d been sent to prison, I was feeling that maybe a staycation was not a great decision.

A pub right beside us but no beer they could sell Unless we bought six dinners for €20 each aswell
We hoped there beer could be taken away to drink outside, But they wouldn’t allow that no matter how hard we tried

To be honest it was a good thing as we were close to the bog land And the midges were vicious, biting you on the head, leg and hand.
We were all covered in bites after 10 minutes in the garden playing tag My husband was getting irritated as I was starting to nag

We should have made room in the car to pack anti-histamine He muttered under his breath about my murder and a crime scene.
On the first day we walked up a mountain that we hadn’t planned. I said “no way I’ve got the wrong shoes on” Mick said “you’ll be grand”

I was red in the face and was not feeling very happy  I was beginning to think that staycations are crappy.
The next day we had an adventure to the swimming pool, Mick forgot the swim hats and I called him a fool.

The water was freezing and all the slides were closed I dropped my bra on the wet floor and I thought I’d explode.
Give yourselves a good rub with that towel or you’ll never get dry, And when I couldn’t get my jeans back on I thought I might cry.

Then we went to the fair and we needed lots of tickets to pay. The kids wanted to stay longer even though the sky was turning grey.
I held the bags and coats standing in the rain, A strange smile in my face looking slightly insane.

The beach the next day seemed like a good idea, Mick assured me that huge jelly fish was nothing to fear. 
The sun was beating down keeping us all warmed, It was getting windy and the forecast had warned ……

A storm was on the way that might blow us all over It’s bloody August we thought, this doesn’t normally happen til October.
Wind battered the house, lashing out rain that lasted all day, So we got in the car to go to a sports club that was far, far away!

“She farted on my leg, his knee’s in my back. Are we there yet Dad, did you bring us a snack?”
If you have a child with a brain that is neurodiverse Long journeys and storms, there can be nothing worse!

We got to our destination and the meltdown was looming He lasted five minutes then his voice started booming
There was throwing coke bottles, screaming and shouting  Just a typical day in an Autistic outing

My son really cannot help it, he gets totally overwhelmed No matter how hard you plan, serenity gets shelved.
The family behind us were really quite patient waiting their turn, But I could feel the skin on my cheeks starting to burn

It is hard for everyone as we try to make memories that are happy, When everyone of us was now thinking staycations are crappy.
Kids with sour faces shouting that they hate each other, Complaining aloud they have the worst ever sister and brother.

No matter if the house is fancy or the scenery pretty, If you’re driving each other crazy, it doesn’t matter the city!
All squeezed in a car, travelling for hours to find fun, Isn’t enjoyable, no matter what car songs are being sung.

So next year we’ll plan something where everything is near, With lots of indoor activity and nothing that induces fear.
A last minute staycation really doesn’t work It has the potential to drive us all totally beserk.

We need structure, routine and a plan made with military precision. We need sunshine, a kids clubs and pre-planned decisions.
A place that has everything we need, without overloading the car, And most important of all, we need a holiday with a bar!!!

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