“Mammy, what’s a porticul?” Screecher Creature No. 1 enquired of me the other day. I began to explain that a portal is like a doorway, it’s another way into somewhere. I was corrected immediately. Not a portal, a porticul! I was stumped. Screecher Creature No. 1 is very good at the old language and rarely gets his words wrong so I told him I didn’t know what a porticul is. “I hope Annissa and Donal’s mammy and daddy do,” he sniffed, “coz that’s where they’re going on their holidays.” Portugal! That cleared up a lot. So I gave a brief geography lesson outlining my very limited knowledge of Portugal. How very exotic though. Portugal. Even I haven’t been to Portugal. Granted, I was in my twenties before I boarded a plane and that was only across the water to the UK. Spain was my very first holiday abroad as an adult and in total, I’ve only been “out foreign” four times. I don’t feel hard done by at all. I’m not really one for the sunnier climes; I prefer an Irish holiday or as they are called now, a Staycation. Nothing wrong with that, I enjoy them but I feel hard done by for the kids. Even those in Screecher Creature No. 2’s Montessori have been airborne a couple of times. Our poor childer probably think the airplanes they see flying over the house are exactly the same size on the ground. I would love, dearly love to pack us all up and off on a nice family holiday somewhere and on an aeroplane. But in much the same way you’re screwed once you put that euro coin into the ride on toys in the shopping centres, thus revealing to your child that the machines actually move and they don’t have to sit on the thing and create the sound effects themselves, taking our lot on a plane or ferry to a French campsite would probably have the same affect. When you have small kids you’re ultimately going on holiday for them so pubs, leisurely city tours and late night bars are just wonderful things to look at as you walk past. They will be just a hazy memory from a time BC (Before Childers). Or if you’ve done any of it right, no memory of it at all at all. Our kids are still young enough to think the best thing about holidays are the hotel room bunk beds and the large swimming pool. So far this year, this month actually, they have been in a playground once. Once! And that was only this week. When Thursday morning dawned bright and sunny I thought it best that we make haste to the swings and slides while the sun was finally shining. The shouts and roars of delight when I told them a trip to the playground was on the cards, did my heart good. We even had to apply sun block. Screecher Creature No. 2 stripped off to his trousers and I let him. Fek it, rain had been forecast for that afternoon, let them all look. Has anyone else noticed that they’re never wrong when they tell us rain is on the way and god forbid we were let down that day. The heavens did open and it seems they’ve forgotten to close. So far these holidays from school have been extremely mundane. We’ve had a visit to the dentist where he frightened the life out of me by announcing that the poor child, in his opinion, needs to have no less than five baby milk teeth pulled under general anaesthetic. That should have been today but I’m getting a second opinion. There is much excitement over a dentist visit on Monday morning, proof indeed that the holidays haven’t lived up to expectations so far. There is a small baby in the house who decided to fully wean over a few days but there will be more on that anon. Tomorrow, and unbeknownst to the Screecher Creatures, there will be a trip to the cinema. I am very much looking forward to telling them over breakfast in the morning. The poor Screechers, they’ve been to Co. Offaly, Co. Cork and this year it will be Co. Wexford. God love them, they think they’ve seen the world. This is why I would love to do the family holiday proper Next Year. Screecher Creature No. 4 will be two and a bit; half reared, and it’ll all be easier again. They might even be old enough to pick their parents up off the pub floor and take them home. A joke, a joke. Sheesh!