There are many ways in which a mother can go crazy over our children’s own insanity throughout the course of the summer. It is inevitable. Kids turn into plain old jerkwads when they get that first taste of summer freedom.They will go out of their way to re-hardwire our nerves every which way until we self-combust. Here are five of the ways they do just that:
The In and Out Game- We try to take full advantage of the weather and send the kids to play outside so they stay out of our hair. The only problem is, they have a million reasons why they can’t stay outside. Every two seconds they are right back at the door. So and so hit, kicked, pushed, or grabbed at them. They are hungry, thirsty, hot, cold, dirty, sweaty, sticky, bored, lonely, tired, or hurt. “C’mon, Mom! You have to see this!” “I can’t find…” “I need…” “I HAVE TO GO POTTY NOW!” Get my drift? Short of locking them out and only opening when you hear their imminent death level of cries, there is nothing to be done to keep them out. Believe me, I even tried moving everything short of the stove and washing machine outdoors one year and they still found reasons to leave my front door wide open for the flies to come in while air conditioning the neighborhood on our dime. The electric bills for June, July, and August have been known to cause fuses to blow, so do not open in arms reach of another human being just to be safe.
Bedtime? What bedtime?- Now that the sun is out past their typical school year bedtime, with winter in the books, these mini-mes think they are entitled to the same up all night privileges as their adult counterparts. To make matters more confusing for everyone, we have the Fourth of July celebrations the whole week before and after the holiday, which require the very outlandish late nights that we go to battle against the rest of the season. While they assume us old folk live it up until 4 a.m., partying like rock stars just because we can once they’re asleep every night, reality is, we parents start silently begging the sun to go down at 6 p.m. because we are so exhausted from our day full of childish shenanigans. Alas, the beat goes on and so will the bedtime battles – every night at 9 p.m. Stay tuned… more loss of sleep to come! No need to remind ourselves that no sleep equals no sanity. Naps during the noonday heat are highly recommended.
But I don’t wanna! Please don’t make me!- The lazy, hazy days of summer vacation seem to have a contagious vibe about them. Everyone slacks off. In a perfect world, less doing would mean less mess, but it is not a perfect world out there. Somehow, less doing equals more mess than ever before – and no one wants to be bothered with it. There seems to be a never-ending argument going on over putting away the laundry and keeping the dishes clean. Don’t even mention yard work. They’ll come down with the flu, an earache, and bouts of poison oak, though the only oak they’ve been around is our neighbor’s annoying acorn dropping tree. It’s very angrivating. The past eight months have been filled with excuses of being overloaded with other responsibilities to get out of their chores. Now that they have all the free time their little hearts could desire, it takes more effort than ever before just to find the remote or get dressed in anything besides their bathing suits. This kid-logic is maddening enough to cause a boat load of day drinking to happen.
When is our trip? Are we there yet?- OMG. Kids have no patience for anything at all. Take some well-meaning advice from an experienced mom of 4 – don’t tell the kids there are any big adventures planned until the day before leaving. If one dares, they’ll be instantaneously sorry. So very sorry. The kids will not shut up about when, where, and how this family adventure will happen all the way until they arrive at the final destination. The least amount of time between the reveal and the time to go, the better. Just trust me on this one. Unless someone wants to catch heat on the internet for being the parents who purposely sent their precocious, I mean, precious angels out to be an alligator’s appetizer, that is. Just pack in secret and tell them on your way out the door. It’s a win-win all around for everyone’s sake.
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MOM, I’m booo-ooored!- Let’s face it… eight extra hours a day of unscheduled time is a huge change for our little hoodlums. They jump straight into freedom at home from a rigorously structured day at school. Believe me, I would be bouncing off the walls with excitement and acting like a jackass monkey love-child, too, if the majority of my responsibilities were lifted for large chunks of my day. Just come see me on the first day of school – guaranteed. The exhilaration of this grand reprieve is known to cause a period of mania during the front running of summer’s course. Everything must be done all at once and at the exact same time. All the activities, treats, adventures, toys, friends, and discoveries must be had without waiting. They tear through everything in the first week which they saved for the past eight months because there wasn’t enough time left between school, chores, homework, and extracurriculars. By week three of summer vacation, the “I’m bored” melody will start and only continue gaining momentum as the summer rolls slowly past at a snail’s crawl. It will be all we can do to keep from losing our sanity, one painfully whine laden song of their people at a time.