It's been a long school holiday this time round. Two weeks of rubbish weather, a week without a car, and now two weeks of working and having to juggle kid stuff around the office work.
I've done my best to have as many outings and play dates as possible to keep the children happy and occupied - mainly because like most kids, if it's just them, there's constant niggling, grizzling, fighting and ''it's not fairing''. Which, interestingly almost never happens when there's extras around - and definitely doesn't happen when they are at someone Else's house.
It's rare for kids to squabble and be deliberately unkind to their friends - especially to the degree they do it with their siblings. And it seems to me that adults are a bit the same.
It's an intriguing thing to me. The people that we should be the most respectful of, the most accommodating toward, the most loving to, are the ones we treat the worst. Parents, kids, siblings, partners - all seem to get the blunt end of our behaviour.
But our friends - that's a different matter. We show our best side to them - they get the sparkling wit, the generous hospitality, the stimulating conversation, the generosity of spirit. If we're having a bad day we keep out of their way - rather than take it out on them. If they annoy or hurt us we make allowances, or compensate. We excuse them a poor decision or two. We accommodate their diet, their music preference, their housekeeping style, the way they parent, how they drive, their cooking. We often even take their criticisms - their feedback - seriously and with far more humility than we would afford a relative or work colleague!
We choose them for their unique qualities and love them unconditionally. We are usually more tolerant than in any other relationship. We are almost always thrilled to see them, and delight in their company.
So why do we treat them best? Is it because with friends, they are the easiest to lose?