Quality time in the holidays only manages to last for a day or so.

Spending the school holidays with your kids is a terrible idea.

In 1877 the Education Act made attending primary school compulsory for all New Zealand children. Great move.

It fills the heart with joy thinking about the generations and generations of Kiwi children spending their days learning, yelping and hitting tennis balls at each other.

But these institutions perform a function even more important than education.


Primary schools are also massive child storage lockers. They keep your kids housed, happy and out of harm's way all day so you can go to work or play golf.

It's an amazing set-up. Well kept grounds and buildings, run by people much smarter than you or me. Professionals who spend their days making our offspring better humans.

My sons' teachers are the nicest most intelligent people you could hope to meet. They operate at such a high level I'd be an idiot to try to teach my boys anything myself.

Sadly the system breaks down completely four times a year. During holidays kids end up at home all day. With both parents working it's a logistical nightmare.

Whatever you do, don't panic and take time off work. I made that mistake and boy am I paying the price.

I imagined a relaxing time of quality parenting. Take the boys fishing, feed them 400 Easter eggs, go to Sponge Bob Square Pants: A Sponge out of Water in 3D at the movies.

We burned through those fun activities on day one. A week later I'm out of ideas, sick of the noise and in awe of the job teachers do for us.

In the 16th century William Temple claimed "The most influential of all educational factors is the conversation in a child's home".


Well yesterday the conversation in our home involved one of my boys yelling "butt cheeks, butt cheeks, balls, balls, butt cheeks, butt cheeks, balls, balls" over and over again in a really high-pitched voice. Normally I find Chip's "butt cheeks, butt cheeks, balls, balls" chant clever and amusing. Normally of course I only have to listen to it two days a week.

I love my boys more than life itself but listening to "butt cheeks, butt cheeks, balls, balls, butt cheeks, butt cheeks, balls, balls!" for more than three hours can push a man to the limit.

Everyone becomes the old people they thought were lame when they're young.

We all become what we hate.

In 2008 my friends and I made a television show for C4 that featured a superhero duo called Pooman and Wees. They wore no pants and fought crime using nothing but their powerful excretions. Episode five featured their arch nemesis Scatwoman. It was groundbreakingly gross and went down terribly with viewers.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority got involved, a complaint was upheld and the Disgusting Duo died.

Pooman and Wees may well be the most immature piece of comedy ever shot in this country. At the time I believed it was a story that needed to be told.

When it was gone I swore to fight back against wanton toilet humour censorship. Yesterday I sold out everything I believed in and became the Broadcasting Standards Authority of my own home. Banning my kids from their favourite sayings. "There will be no yelling of poos, wees or willies in this house!" I yelled.

Since then we've brutally cracked down on toilet humour. My 5-year-old got 10 minutes in the naughty corner just for shouting "ball sacks" at his brother.

A week alone with my kids has turned me into the one thing I never wanted to be - the censor.

The school holidays are a good time to reflect on the heroic job teachers do. They take our precious little children and turn them into better, smarty, healthier people.

They also give families much needed time apart from each other. As a result parents don't get bored of their kids and kids get to hang out with better people than their parents. It's win win.