Emma Hollingworth: We want to sort out the house and the garden - but the children have other ideas...

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ONCE again the holidays seem to be upon us.

I always seem to be saying the same thing – which is that the holidays come round very quickly.

But this time it really is true.

This has been a really short half term. In fact it hardly seems like the kids have been back at school at all. And the rash of bank holidays recently makes me think the holidays have never really stopped.

Now, once again, we are to have a whole week of children snapping round our heels moaning they haven’t got anything to do.

We have planned a number of things to do – but largely they seem to consist of DIY and sorting out the house and garden. None of these tasks seem to interest the children, strangely. Instead they want to go to adventure playgrounds and funfairs and other “much more exciting stuff”.

It is lovely now the sunshine is streaming in through the windows again, but sadly it also means all the bits and pieces that somehow managed to escape the duster seem to be highlighted.

Now the other half and I are even considering taking a day off work and leaving the children in childcare just so we can set the house and garden to rights. And we have a deadline to do this – namely the day before my mother arrives for a long visit!

Before my mother comes to visit I always seem to find myself in a mild panic, getting flustered over whether things have been properly cleaned and dusted while running around desperately weeding the garden.

I once made the mistake of roping the children in to help with this but I soon had to call a halt after discovering they were mostly pulling up my beautiful Begonias.

So Operation Clean Up will begin in roughly a week’s time. I always joke to the other half that my mother’s visit is a bit like having the Queen to stay.

Just like the Queen my mum must think the whole world smells of fresh paint.

So I now need to find something for the offspring to do to stop them from getting under my feet during my cleaning regime.

Luckily help is at hand in the form of the city’s libraries.

Most of them are putting on events and activities across the city to help keep boredom at bay for children during the half-term break.

In particular, Sheffield City Council’s Libraries, Archives and Information service is running a free session in the Peace Gardens in the city centre on Thursday, June 9, 10am-noon.

The session, which marks National Bookstart Week, includes stories, rhymes, creative dancing and a teddy bear’s picnic with the Bookstart Bear.

For more information, visit: www.bookstart.org.uk/professionals/news-and-blog/professionals-blog/62