By Christina Crawford of christinacrawfordnet.wordpress.com
When I hear phrases like “spring break,” “summer break,” or “Christmas break,” basically anything with the word “break” attached to it, it makes me “break” out in hives. The thought of having all three boys home all day is very stressful for me. If it sounds like I’m complaining, it’s because I am. Please understand this: I just have so many small humans to keep alive and they’re home ALL DAY EVERY DAY of the summer.
This summer was epic. We rocked all the summer things. We had fun in the sun galore! We enjoyed some fantastic family time on the beach. We jet-skied, we tubed, and we water-skied. We did a tour of all the summer camps. We went through enough popsicles to feed a large country. Every morning we took a nature walk. The kids’ fingers and toes are bleeding from all the time we’ve spent in the pool.
At the beginning of the summer my parenting was stellar. I was fresh off the school year where I had a bit of a break and I was ready to take on the summer with all the optimism and care-free jubilance in the world. I was an energetic and easy-going mom. You want to run naked through the sprinklers? Be my guest. You want to eat Cheetos with a side of frosting for breakfast? No problem, because I am fun summertime mom!
Fast forward to August. Three consecutive months of the kids’ shenanigans and I’ve somehow morphed into crazy and grouchy mom. I’ve relinquished all my parental rights and responsibilities to Netflix and the kids are binge-watching Christmas movies all day. This is mostly for safety reasons. If I hear someone complain their brother is looking at them ONE MORE TIME, I’m going to lose my shit for real. My screaming has gotten so bad that I’m constantly worried one of the neighbors is going to call CPS.
I’ve been with the kids nonstop for ninety-one days (not that I’m counting). We’ve had a lot of time to bond and I’m all bonded out. In fact, if someone doesn’t take these kids off my hands ASAP, you are going to have to bond me out of jail.
It’s not just me. The kids are getting, ahem, antsy as well. All this togetherness has elicited some primal rage that has apparently been building. At this point, they’re so sick of being around each other all day I’m scared for their safety. I’m spending the vast majority of the day refereeing and breaking up fights. All three of my boys possess a deep lust for combat. Being kept together in an enclosed space for months on end has been a recipe for disaster.
One minute they are playing nicely together and the next it’s a blood bath. I routinely hear strange noises coming from upstairs: the gnashing of teeth, the breaking of bones, and always screaming. My boys are all fewer than two years apart, so I have high hopes that they will grow up close and someday be the best of friends. Today is not that day. Today they are intent on shedding each other’s blood and crushing each other’s souls.
My friend visited the other day and remarked that our house looks like an MMA match just took place here. I laughed but then I realized, it kind of does because about fifty MMA matches basically did take place here. A little separation might be good for the brothers. Perhaps they might even miss each other if they were apart for a few hours at school. No? I guess that might be taking it a little far. Let me rephrase that. They need some time apart so they don’t kill each other.
Summer is DEAD to me. We’ve done summer and now it’s time for school to start.
On the first day of school, I’m going to be sad (kid starting kinder), but I’m quickly going to realize that this means….FREEDOM. Let freedom riiiiiing! After drop-off, I will race out of there like I am escaping prison. I didn’t have more than twenty seconds of consecutive free time the entire summer and I got exactly zero things done, unless you count losing a part of my sanity I will never get back.
If I could just have a few hours free, I will move mountains. My goals range from highly plausible to utterly ridiculous. Here are some things that I will do once school starts: cure cancer, take a shower, lose the rest of my baby weight, and clean and redecorate our house (plus all the neighbors’ homes). I will write the next great American novel and it will no doubt reach #1 on the NYT best seller list.
I realize some of these goals are a bit lofty (the shower in particular), but trust me when I say I am fully capable. I JUST NEED TEN MINUTES OF UNINTERRUPTED TIME WITH NO ONE SQUAWKING IN MY EARS TO COMPLETE SAID TASKS.
The free time isn’t just for me. I have big plans to become a better mom as well. I will call her Mommy 2.0. She will be New and Improved Mommy. She will learn patience and self-control and all other good virtues. She will make organic dinners and be well-rested and thus bright and cheerful to greet those sweet angels upon their arrival home from school.
We’re fortunate to go a fantastic school that the kids actually love. They have a great time there and they get to see all their long-lost buddies. They get to do all the things they cannot do at my house, like use glitter and speak to other humans. So, it’s a win for them and a win for me. Bring on the school year!
About the Author
Christina Crawford has three boys under 6 whose behavior more closely resembles feral animals than actual human children. The truth is, she spends the majority of her time just keeping these people alive and putting out fires (actual and metaphorical). But mostly, she’s just trying to mitigate the damage to her sanity. Her writing has been featured on Scary Mommy and the Ft. Worth Mom’s Blog. If you find her misery and misadventures in parenting amusing, you can follow along on her blog and Instagram: https://christinacrawfordnet.wordpress.com/ https://www.instagram.com/christinacrawford24