Friday, May 14, 2010

What are You Doing This Summer?

I have been asked the same question lately from lots of different people. It’s a question I have grown to hate. Here it is:

"What are you doing this summer?"

I know that you’re just making conversation. Or you’re genuinely interested in what we’re up to. But would you like an honest answer? Because this is what I’m actually thinking when I smile and say “we’re still making plans”.

  • I’m going to be spending three long months trying not to lose my mind.
  • I’ll probably spend a lot of time fighting with my kids.
  • I will smell like sunblock all the time and yet still be sunburned.
  • I’ll be at the pool every day chasing around my younger children in an effort to keep them from drowning while my older daughter swims basically unsupervised which is totally unsafe but I'm able to justify because she is on the swim team again this year and therefore obviously knows how to swim a little.
  • Making every effort possible to keep their daily television viewing and Wii time to under 6 hours per day.
  • Trying to figure out how to send them to camps that are actually fun (and not glorified daycare staffed by dead-eyed teenagers who would rather be texting) but am concerned that affording such camps may require me to sell a kidney.
  • Teaching them to help me clean the house without whining. Probably to no avail as I have been married to their father for almost 13 years and he still doesn’t know how to clean a toilet. He says.
  • Starting each day optimistic that I will be awesome at being their mom, will teach them marvelous things and will spend lots of important quality time with them while keeping a clean and de-cluttered house.
  • Ending each day with a large glass of wine, in a filthy house, mentally reviewing a list of all the things I didn’t do, should have done differently and feel guilty/stupid about.
  • I have no fugging idea. It’s May. I know I have no time left. And every time some well-meaning person asks me this question I start to hyperventilate like I’m doing right now because I procrastinated and left it all too long and now we’re all screwed.
I’m pretty sure that’s not an answer they’re prepared for.

The truth is I am kind of looking forward to the summer. This week, I spent a wonderful ten minutes cuddling the baby and Hawk very early in the morning watching Curious George and sipping coffee and wishing it were summer so I wouldn’t have to get up and fuss at everyone to get dressed and eat breakfast and blah blah blah. School ends and the amount of turtle herding I am required to do is drastically reduced. Things are pretty hectic around here and I’m ready for them to sloooowwww down. Less to do and more time to do it in. That’s what we need. “Summer is nearly here,” I thought dreamily…

Oh snap.  May 14th.

“SUMMER IS NEARLY HERE!” I thought frantically. Furkitty furkwad. I have about 2,000 pages of paperwork to fill out and I still haven’t scheduled their physicals and I think I have just missed all of the earlybird deadlines. Awesome. Now it will cost an arm and a leg and a kidney. Lucky for me I have two. Also, there might not be any availability. Schmidt.

Why does it take a doctor’s visit, ten shots, a blood test, a criminal background check and a 23 page application to send a kid to T-Ball once a week? Add in the equipment and the ridiculously expensive uniform and (by my estimation) for each sport, camp or activity I sign my kids up for it costs at least $150 and five hours of my time (research, shopping, parent orientations, team meetings and craptastic paperwork). And some of these cults teams “strongly encourage” parent volunteering throughout the season.

You’re welcome, you little ingrates, for all the damn enrichment I inflict upon you.

I haven’t been totally worthless. I have managed to successfully do three things in anticipation of the summer:
  1. Sign up Hawk for preschool camp so that he and Thumbelina are in school through the end of June. Yes, the end of June. Thank you, Snowmageddon – you big, white, blizzardy bastard. I tip my hat to you.
  2. Get pool passes. Because the pool still opens Memorial Day weekend even though the kids are in school until the end of June. Do you have any idea what that means for me? That means I can hire a babysitter for the baby’s naptime and then go sit by the pool all by myself with a Starbucks and People magazine every day swim laps for an hour for the whole month. Just need to find a babysitter. Too bad for me they’re all in High School until the end of June.
  3. Sign up for swim team. How did I get this done? Possibly because every single day, several times a day, Thumbelina asked: “Have you signed me up for swim team yet? Have you have you have you HAAAAVVVEEE YOOOUUU?!” 
We are going to see Meemaw at the Farm Farm Farmitty Farm for 4th of July. So that puts us into the second week of July before we start to get desperate. And our annual family vacation is the second week of August. Third week of August is VBS at our church and I am supposed to be teaching this year. Then it’s the last week before school starts which always flies by with me running around like a lunatic and the Cap'n barking that we're spending too much money and then they’re back in school and life goes back to normal.

Quick sidebar – I was supposed to be teaching a five session bible study of… wait for it… THE TWILIGHT SAGA. For teenage girls. Which is good because God knows teenage girls need to hear somebody tell them that Bella really needs to grow a pair and stop dithering and that Edward's behavior is stalkery and weird. But then so many moms told me they wanted to come too that it’s now “intergenerational”. Because more moms than teenagers are obsessed with Twilight. That is hilarious to me.

Back to summer planning. When I realized that I only had a month to fill, I felt a little better. Like I said, if all the good camps and lessons are full I can always draw upon my deep reservoir of knowledge about free fun. Playgrounds, hiking, library, museums, playing in the sprinkler with the neighbor kids.… I can make this work. Sure I can. And we can do workbooks so they’ll retain all they learned in school this year and not show up in September like a couple of blumpkins who can only talk about Phinneas and Ferb. We can do art projects! Hawk can take the training wheels off his bike! We can bake cookies make healthy snacks together! It’ll be great!

Who I am kidding, there’s about a fifty percent chance that it’ll be great and a fifty percent chance that it’ll be a gigantic cluster of not fun or enriching in the slightest. But to be honest, I think I’m ok with those odds. That’s pretty much all the time around here. If every other day this summer is great – then I’m doing fine. I feel better. I’m glad we had this talk.

The next time someone asks me what we’re doing this summer, I won’t even flinch or feel my blood pressure rise. I’ll probably say:

“It depends on if I ever get my schmidt together and get around to calling places and filling out applications. Possibly nothing. Maybe kickin’ it old school. Maybe kickin’ it pre-school. Doing tons of stuff while spending no money because I am the queen of free fun so can I get a WOOT?!”

Then they will look at me with concern and pity (I actually get that a lot) and be totally sorry they even asked. So that’s even awesomer.

What are you snitches doing this summer?

xo, Lydia

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18 comments:

  1. I WANT to take the kids to a cave a bit north of here, maybe check out that pool I saw on the way to the grocery store, and spend lots of time at the park.

    We will probably sit at home, splitting our time between gadgets and yelling at each other.

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  2. I'm getting worried because my DH hasn't planned anything (just vague talking). This is a problem because when we end up doing nothing, he is the one that gets all pissy because we haven't done anything that he talked about doing. I think he thinks that I'm going to do all the planning...fat chance! I don't think he'd like the plans I came up with!

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  3. Are you really teaching a Bible study group about Twilight? That is HILARIOUS.

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  4. We are.......... drumroll..... doing I-have-no-freakin-idea-because-my-husband-won't-put-in-for-leave-because-he-has-to-wait-for-the-absolute-last-minute-in-order-to-thwart-any-sort-of-real-planning.... He seems to believe that being spontaneous (with a 6month old, a 4yr old and a 3yr old) is more "FUN"... its not.. its just torture, and makes me want to be the one staying home. SIGH!

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  5. Dude. Bella needs to grow a pair. :Standing Ovation:

    Also, lovely blog as usual. :)

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  6. Bullet points 8 & 9 make me sad. That describes my life almost every flippin' day....except on the days that I wake up wise enough to realize that I for sure WON'T be teaching my kids marvelous things. Then I'm not so discouraged by the end of the day.

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  7. I think you and my dear friend M are the only people I've ever heard talk about the unhealthy Bella/Edward thing. Everyone else says it's so romantic. You rock. And you are welcome to come to my house this summer so we can have drinks while the kids run wild in the back yard.

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  8. Summer camp and probably getting shot with Nerf guns all summer... oh and limited Wii access... hopefully...

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  9. We read Twilight at my book club. I was half in the bag, natch, and said something to the effect of just wanting Ed and Bella to do it already and end the tension. I swear to God you could hear crickets chirping.

    My 5yr old is going to camp! Only bc I made my husband fill out the camp paperwork. "Honey, you're so organized and meticulous, I know you'll do a better job at this than I would..." somehow I forgot to mention that we'd need a deposit check. Rookie mistake. Won't happen again.

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  10. Dude. I need to see that Twilight bible study plan. My pastor started hyperventilating about the evils of twilight and decreed anyone who read the books or watched the movies wasn't fit to serve in any church ministry. Legalistic, much? Suffice it to say, we're now at a different church and I still have my books, stalker Edward and pathetic emo Bella aside (smooches to M).

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  11. Um Lydia, a short 4 hour drive puts you at Aunt Mary's... hint hint hint.

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  12. I just discovered this blog and I loooooove it. How hilarious are you ladies!?! And clearly those who follow you are just as down-to-earth and funny b/c their comments put a smile on my face too.

    Keep up the good work!

    (And for the record, I can't stand that Twilight crap either. Unfortunately, I read almost all of it--kept reading along to try to find out what all the hoop-la was about. Part-way through book four, I snapped that ridiculous story shut and never looked back.)

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  13. I end up with my niece and nephews for the Summers which I LURVE. 5 kids all Summer who complain how bored they are. Thankfully my niece is 14 so she is a big help. The other 4 are 3, almost 4, 9, and 10 respectively. We have no neighbor kids but my son has good friends from school and hockey who will end up over here. I spend most of my Summer kicking them off the couches and out the door. This year we're spending most of our time at the city pool, baseball fields, and the park. I think we're taking a trip to my grandma's house in CO at some point. Otherwise I'm firmly in the camp of I haven't planned anything. You're WAY ahead of me! The only reason my son is signed up for baseball is because his dad coaches.

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  14. On the subject of Twilight, if you haven't already read our friend Mom-in-a-Million's reviews of the books, you totally should. She sort of loved/hated them/couldn't put them down. Here's her site: http://www.mom-in-a-million.com/
    xo, Lydia

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  15. Hey ladies! So I'm new here and have to say that I L-O-V-E you guys!!!!! And now I have to share something that I just saw and decided that you HAVE to see. It immediately made me think of you. :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql-N3F1FhW4

    Okay, I don't know how to make it a link on here....but that's the URL. Amazing YouTube music video/commercial for the Toyota Sienna called "Swagger Wagon". If you haven't seen it yet, I think you'll love it as much I do :)

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  16. Woot! I'm with you, kickin' it old school at the pool and the library and running through the sprinklers and popsicles and trying to keep Wii/TV time to less than six hours a day.

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  17. And I hate to tell you that is only gets WORSE as they age....take one 14 year old boy, and fill 11 weeks with out selling that kidney. Oy

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  18. Oh...can I please come to your bible study...wow I thought we had the coolest church but you guys rock!

    We will also be kicking it old school....beach for like 18 hrs a day to tire them out so they will GO TO BED EARLY....too bad we can't drink the mojitos at the beach in real glasses and not in plastic sippy cups. :)

    ReplyDelete

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