So many mums and dads are eagerly counting the days until their kids go back to school. Boredom, restlessness and back-of-the-car warfare has broken many a patient parent and it's easy to turn dewy-eyed dreaming of the normality that school term will bring. But before you go wishing your August away, stop to think of the many things you may just find yourself hankering for on a dark autumn evening.
The lack of routine
Kids may thrive on routine and homes undoubtedly run more smoothly because of it, but there's a certain joy in dropping the ball and easing up on the schedule.
When you're knee-deep in the military precision of coordinating three kids' extra-curricular activities or legging it home from a meeting to barely make the school collection you may just wish for one of these carefree days when none of the kids had anything in their diary and no-one cared if you just headed off to the park for the afternoon.
The lack of uniforms
Uniforms may be practical for lots of reasons but what parent hasn't found themselves digging through the laundry basket on a Monday morning trying to locate junior's school jumper that somehow missed the weekend washes?
No such stress in summer when anything goes, and nobody is reminding you that they need their team kit ready for Saturday's match.
Hell, you might even get away with not doing the laundry for a day or two. No such luck come September. Casual teas
The warmer weather tends to quash appetites, reducing hungry monsters to modest grazers.
Sure, they may be snacking more throughout the day but the last thing kids want in summer is a heavy dinner.
Balanced meals are important for school kids but seeing as they usually require someone slaving over a hot stove there's no argument here.
"You want hot dogs for dinner? You got hot dogs. (Just try to remember to grab an apple on the way out, please.)"
Sure, lunch will still happen at school but we're about to head back to the toil of lunchbox land.
Packed lunches require strategic planning, the kind that's been known to make grown-ups weep. "What do you mean you don't eat cheese any more?" "What do you mean you don't like bread any more?"
And who wants to make sandwiches at seven in the morning anyway?
Saturday morning matches, Sunday morning training, the lot of mums and dads up-and-down the country.
We're all for exercise and dispatching the kids to summer camps, but does anyone actually miss having their weekend planned for nine months of the year?
The end of summer spells the beginning of the kids' training sessions. Cheris h these lie-ins - you won't be seeing one for a while.
Getting everywhere quicker
Next month getting to school will take twice as long. Getting home from work will take twice as long and getting parking at the shop will become that competitive dog-fight you haven't engaged in since June.
Come September you'll need to leave the house earlier, which means getting up earlier. Are you sure the kids going back to school is such a great thing?