My friends are adventuring in Rotovegas, Queenstown and Auckland. They're lounging on warm, golden sands at Rarotonga these school holidays.
Social media shows them making memories with their families - skiing, tree walking, zip-lining, Sky Towering and spending time at the beach. As well they should.
Meanwhile, I just baked a trough of pasta for a group of teenagers, most of whom aren't mine.
Welcome to the anti-staycation. This is where you really wish you had left home, but stayed to work and host extra children.
The shower runs for hours each night, music thumps through the walls in the wee small hours, and cereal, milk and bread disappear in the instant.
I'm teaching this week, so taking off wasn't an option. Instead, I'm trying to hold the house together and prevent an army of cockroaches which is sure to invade if Master 15 doesn't clear his room of junk-food detritus.
I can relate - mostly - to friends who wax poetic about the magic of school holidays, about the glory of having uninterrupted hours to spend together as a family.
There once was a time when Master 15 wasn't joined at the hip to his wolf pack; there once was a time when Miss 17 didn't work nearly every day of the school break (though she did spend three nights last week skiing with friends at Mount Ruapehu).
There once was a time I could take the kids away, no questions asked. Those days are done.
Now, I have to cajole, wheedle and allow the teens to bring friends along. I dragged them to Abel Tasman National Park and Wellington last December, just the three of us.
The kids admitted parts of the trip were enjoyable. Yet Master 15, especially, thinks he has paid his dues for the rest of his life and should not have to bother with the hassle of forced family fun ever again.
It's 8pm Wednesday night, and I just paused to open the door for yet another man-child. I've lost track of how many of them have breached the boundary of the front door.
A count of shoes in the entryway provides a rough estimate.
Thank goodness for friends who inhabit the same world. Late in the afternoon, I had popped into Leanne's house to commiserate and hear similar tales about nocturnal habits of adolescents.
We shared fantasies about leaving our dear ones to sit quietly in an Airbnb.
While other families are staying in luxury baches and hotels with swimming pools, Leanne is keepin' it real with a husband neck-deep in DIY tile and grout and her own mangled pinky finger held together with pins and screws, the result of an errant, pain-seeking basketball.
She says she got sympathy but little help from her kids in the days following the finger smash.
I can relate - on a smaller scale. I was having stomach pain and nausea a week ago when Master 15 burst into the lounge, insisting I drive him to a friend's house.
He was nonplussed when I told him I felt sick, and might spew in the car. Then he and Miss 17 proceeded to fight over the fact she ate his popcorn.
Master 15 shouted, "Why did you eat it? I tried to hide it. You knew I got it at the movies."
Miss 17 huffed, "It wasn't hidden. And there was heaps!"
They continued a good 10 minutes while I writhed on the sofa, focusing on not throwing up. Teenagers, or toddlers? Sometimes I can't tell the difference.
I did book a room in Taupō this weekend for a girls' trip. No kids.
Also, no guilt.
I'll farewell the holidays with gladness and hope to settle into the routine of school and work. Boring? Same-same? I'll take it, if it means I can reclaim my house and my sleep.
Parents - make the most of this time with your kids. Bring them on adventures near and far while they're still young, malleable and not super glued to a significant other, video games or their friends.
You never know when your window of opportunity will close.