I don’t know about other parents in the area, but I am ready for summer.
I am done with getting up at 6 a.m. to get a cranky 7-year-old out of bed and on the bus. I am tired of reminding my 5-year-old that, yes, he does indeed still have preschool, and, no, he cannot skip it.
And, I am tired of getting momentum going in my day only to drop everything to pick up this same child around noon.
I am longing for the days of summer, with no rigid schedule and hours spent at the pool. I am having numerous daydreams that include packing lunches and snacks, toys and towels, and carting them and the kids all up to the pool in the wagon and spending all day there. Coming home with four exhausted children who are happy with tuna salad for dinner and ready for a movie then bed by 7!
Oh, summer, you seem so wonderful in my head! Vacations, sunscreen, margaritas, pool toys and barbecue chicken.
But I am not naive. I know that after the first two weeks I will be ready for school to be back in session. Maybe I could give it a month. By then my kids will be bored with the pool and at each others’ throats. I will be overwhelmed with the constant state of mess my house will be in, and the amount of laundry they produce in those summer months. It will be too hot to go to the pool, where the water will be like bath water anyway, and I will be pulling my hair out trying to entertain these four kids without losing my mind or all my money.
When did parents become cruise directors for the summer anyway? I am sure I complained about being bored to my mom plenty growing up, but she always told me to deal with it or get put to work. Maybe I don’t put my kids to work often enough. Nothing irritates me more than when my children tell me they are bored, there is nothing to do, or they need something new to have fun. Granted, this may have been a problem I caused, I am not above admitting that, but seriously? “I am bored?” The Nintendo DS, XBox with Kinect, PS3, hundreds of Legos and thousands of toys in the basement are not enough?
Thus, I have decided that this is the summer of work. When I hear “I am bored,” I will put them to work immediately. Scrubbing baseboards, cleaning up dog droppings, pulling weeds. Who knows? Some of the chores I come up with they may actually like, but my plan is until they finish the work I have laid out for them, there will be no “fun” time.
Of course this whole idea could backfire on me. I could end up punishing myself, as the kids may make a bigger mess trying to clean, but it’s the principle, right?
Happy summer everyone, it will be here before you know it. Enjoy those first fresh days when everyone is getting along and happy to be on a break, and try to stay sane when the honeymoon ends!