After unpacking the cases from our six-day holiday abroad, it suddenly dawned on me that my two children still had another 10 days of their Easter break to go. My five-year-old daughter, Tabitha, counted them out methodically before declaring: "I don't want 10 more days of holiday, I want to go back to school to tell Sarah about my missing tooth."
Losing her first tooth and making her first gains from the Tooth Fairy had, despite the exotic destination, been the highlight of her two-week sojourn. So the pressure was on to ensure that the rest of her time at home felt just as much of a holiday as Sri Lanka had been - which got me thinking.
We may have lived in Dubai for seven years, so, yes, perhaps the novelty had worn off a little, but we live in a holiday destination. To millions of holiday makers every year, the UAE is somewhere they escape to forget about the woes of everyday life.
Which is why it would be easy to make the 10 days - that to Tabitha felt like an endless stretch before she could relive the tooth drama with her best friend - fly by in a whirl of frenetic, holiday-style activity. And, of course, all of this had to happen on a budget because, remember, we'd already splashed out on that expensive-ish trip.
And so began endless mornings of swimming rounded off with the ultimate holiday treat, a strawberry milkshake by the pool. Afternoons on the beach hunting for unusual shells to add to Tabitha's collection followed. Lunches became picnics on a rug in the garden. Afternoons in the paddling pool transformed into a makeshift water park with slides, an outdoor shower (it's amazing how creative you can be with a garden hose and a pergola) and an obstacle course designed around cool boxes and garden furniture.
Throw in my son's third birthday party, a trip to the cinema and a scattering of play dates here and there and we had a heady mix of action and excitement that ensured my daughter's feet barely touched the ground.
"I'm so tired," she moaned one evening in the middle of her holiday-at-home adventure, something that only made us smile as we knew it was a good type of tired - the type where you've had a great day running around and you just want to stretch out and shut your eyes.
For us, that lovely holiday scenario where the kids go straight to the sleep without a fuss because they have enjoyed so much outdoor action was a real treat, too. With no battles at bedtime, it meant a set time for the holidayed-out parents to flake out on the sofa. Roll on the start of term.