Saturday was the first full day of the Easter holidays. Until recently that meant that I would be packing up the car to head to Wexford or Wales. But no longer. We don't go anywhere much these days. So I should have lots of spare time, right? But unlike other children, my younger two need more time and attention as they get older, not less. Difficulties with secondary school have meant that almost everything else - the house, the garden, the finances, friends, exercise - has been put on the back burner. On that first morning all the conversations with my son involved shouting, while Smiley refused to drink from a straw again - for the fourth time in recent weeks - and I had to use a plastic syringe to get fluid into her, 5ml at a time. Yet I couldn't properly address their needs - because I was working. Luckily Smiley cheered up later when we walked up to her club in the afternoon. But I wasn't able to talk to my son properly until the evening, and that was only because I said 'no' to a work request from a friend. Sorry about that.