Back to articles Break, Learn, Repeat. by Funny Mommy Kathy Buckworth

Categories: Parenting

March 'break' for whom? And from what? Taking the kids somewhere warm on a mid-winter break might be a release from school learning for them, but for parents it can be a time where we actually learn some lessons of our own.
Some of the amazing things I’ve learned on tropical March breaks include:


  • The inverse law of sunscreen: the more likely you are to get every inch of junior’s soft baby white skin covered in SPF50, the more likely you are to find yourself burned to a crisp. You used up half a bottle and none of it made its way to you.

  • Baseball hats self-implode and disappear out of the “hat” box in your front cupboard, which you remember to scrounge through minutes before you leave for the airport. Never fear; these hats will mysteriously reappear when you are going through the winter tuque drought. And don’t worry – you can buy a great summer hat for only $29.95 from a beach vendor.

  • Yes flip flops are adorable for a four year old. However, they can’t walk more than three steps every five minutes without them falling off. And you’re in a hurry to get to the store to get more sunscreen and that darn hat. Come on!

  • You can be a nice Mom and allow for “vacation bedtimes”, but be forewarned that the concept of “vacation sleep-ins” is totally foreign to any child under the age of eight. Congratulations – they’ve stayed up later and now they’re cranky at 2:00 in the afternoon. Not really a win/win – more like a whine/wine (them the former and you, the latter. It’s vacation, after all!).

  • Go ahead, cut up that healthy, nutritious, attractive, messy overpriced watermelon and put it out for the children as a mid-afternoon snack. The perfect food for a hot, dehydrating day. That is, until, Junk Food Mom arrives from down the beach and pops out a bag of salty potato chips. BE her. Take the title of “good mom” (according to the kids, anyway), as a vacation treat. Make them eat some broccoli for dinner later. Due to their 2:30 pm nap, they’ll be up for hours anyway, so you’ll have time to force it down them.

  • Shopping for summery clothes in a wintery clime is not fun. They won’t be on sale, chances are slim you’ll find the right sizes, and if by chance you do, these summer clothes won’t actually fit them later on in the summer, making your C.P.W. (or Cost Per Wear) extremely high. Again, that beach vendor will be more than happy to help you out.

  • Apparently, it does matter what colour suitcase each child is allocated. The red one is better. It just is. Prepare to buy a new black one, and leave the red one at home because “If you can’t settle this between you, NO ONE is getting it.” No one does.


Once they’re firmly ensconced back in school after the break, just like trigonometry these key learnings will fade to an unpleasant memory and you’ll be free once again to focus on the things that really count…like why the school bus driver insists on arriving precisely 12 minutes late every day the first week back. It didn’t take a math genius to figure this out; you just know it, because you were counting it down. Just like those days left til summer vacation, or as I like to call it, March Break, On Steroids.


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