Family: Janet Christie’s Mum’s the Word

PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS

JANET CHRISTIE ,  MAGAZINE WRITER
PIC PHIL WILKINSON.TSPL / JOHNSTON PRESS JANET CHRISTIE , MAGAZINE WRITER
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I’ve still got weeks and weeks of summer holidays!” shouts Youngest as she eats her tea. “Yay!”

“Me too!” says Eldest. If Middle were here he’d probably trump them with “I’ve got the rest of my life” except he’s at one of his two jobs on a 12-hour shift, so The BoyF obliges with a (gratuitous and erroneous) “I’ve got all summer off too, ha, ha, ha, ha.”

Family. Don’t you just hate them?

“OK then, holidays,” I say. “I will get some time off, what shall we do?”

“Nothing,” says Youngest.

“Nothing?”

“With you that is.”

“Nice.”

“No offence...”

“Yes offence.”

“...but I like going to the park with my mates. And no, I don’t want to go away because I’ll miss stuff.”

“Like what? A Topshop sale?”

“Stuff. And I’ll have to look at what I’m missing on Instagram.”

“You need to switch that off,” says Eldest, glancing up from his mobile.

“I don’t want to go anywhere,” she says. “I like it here. The weather’s just right.”

“It’s pouring.”

“It’s cool. And not so many tourists.”

“Em, Festival?”

“At the places I go. The park. And I don’t want to spend too much time with my family.”

“You’re always on about how we should do family things,” I say. “I know, I used to do berry picking. Why don’t we have a family day at the rasps, then we can come home and all make jam? That would be fun.”

“Yas!” says Eldest Child.

“OMG,” says Youngest. “This is exactly why I don’t want to spend time with you all.”

“I love jam,” says Eldest. “I’ll come, and Middle will. We used to love that, eating raspberries and throwing them at each other, getting lost among the canes, fighting. And jam is top stuff.”

“Well, I suppose that sounds OK,” says Youngest, interest possibly piqued by the prospect of a food fight.

“But just one day. Because the rest of the time I’ll be…

“I know. With your mates. In the park.”