Is it just me or is three weeks too long to spend with your children ... and husband?

Since my family lives away from both sets of grandparents, we usually visit them during the holidays. This year, we were also looking forward to spending some time at home. As it turned out, on one of those home days, both kids were in day care - bliss.

I was excited about my husband and I maybe going for a run together, something we've only done a few times since we had our daughter (four) and her brother (almost two).

I imagined breakfast at a café afterwards, where we could sit without worrying about the children's needs or their behaviour. (We gave up going public at cafes with them some three-and-a-half years ago.)

Then we would head home for our family Christmas (Santa comes early at our house so we didn't have to take presents on the plane) and witness the joy of a magical Christmas with two children now old enough to care.


How wrong I was. Here's what actually happened on my day of planned bliss.

We woke up and the four-year-old started resisting ... everything. It began with the toilet seat being too cold, the tap water being too cold, a banana being cut the wrong way, her spoon touching the porridge in the wrong bowl.

Things really ramped up over sunscreen, which she didn't want put on because "IT'S TOO STICKY, IT'S TOO STICKY." This went on for 10 minutes until I finally lost my mind and gave everyone a piece of it, mostly the husband because he was the only one old enough to really understand.

Then he didn't feel like going running with a psychopath, so we dropped the kids at day care in silence and I went running by myself which, of course, I was pleased about by then because I wanted to kill everyone.

I spent the day doing errands and he spent most of it doing jobs at home.

Things thawed and it was time for day care collection followed by our family's early presents session. There was a fight about Miss Four going to the toilet beforehand. She whined and threw herself on the floor in protest.

She snatched her brother's new musical Dory book and he grabbed her new Blaze and Monster Machines t-shirt. He howled because she wouldn't let him wear it, even though she'd had no problem dressing him in her clothes every day before.

I couldn't turn to my good friend alcohol because we were planning to take the children to the Christmas light trail houses later.

Instead, I ate about 16 miniature Cookie Time cookies, irritated at how small they were and how ours seemed to taste faintly of banana, which I can't stand. Of course, I ate them anyway ... "happy holidays".