Thursday, July 14, 2011

Five Universal Laws of Summer

It's only four weeks into summer vacation and we've already entered a realm of whacktacularness so vast and expansive, there's a good chance we'll never escape. What is it about the twelve weeks between school and school that goes from being lazy and hazy to crazy and stabby? 

Rule #1: The Vocational Expansion/Explosion
Let's see. I don't have to keep a schedule anymore. I don't need to spend hours of my afternoon on homework, multiplication tables, or spelling words. And meals are generally anytime I manage to throw random things on the table. So why is it that I'm suddenly doing so much more work? The laundry?? What are you guys doing? Summer is supposed to be shorts, t-shirts and swimsuits...are you changing clothes every 18 minutes? Why are there sixteen pairs of underwear in the laundry bin? You don't go through sixteen pairs in an entire school year. And any time I'm not spending in the laundry room, I'm spending in the kitchen. There's a bowl of fruit and a bowl of already cut vegetables that you can have anytime, all day long. Why does that entail six plates, eleven different pieces of silverware and chopsticks? And I have no idea what happened to all the Ranch dressing, but I fear that has something to do with why you were asking me for cleaning rags and why I now have sixteen pairs of underwear in the laundry bin. Sadly, it might also explain why the dog smells oddly like buttermilk.


Rule #2: The Intellectual Deviation
I'm pretty sure your brains are leeching out of your skulls. There is nothing else to explain the phenomenon that, over the past month, that makes you forget how to make your beds, brush your teeth, use a fork, insisting on saying things like "me 'n' Lefty...", be completely unable to tell time and, while trying to write a thank you note to GrandMere for your birthday present, ask me, "...you know the big D? Not a little "D"..yeah, how do you write that letter?" I think it's time for me to take this seriously. I'm calling Mulder and Scully.

Rule #3: The Foliage Encounter
At some point, the three of you will decide that a stroll through the woods behind our house is a good idea. And you'll set off with walking sticks and three flashlights and my water bottle and fifty-eight snacks even though you're actually only gone for twelve minutes [Editor's Note: And yet, the snacks are all gone...odd. -Kate] And when you come back, you're mysteriously devoid of any of the flashlights and my water bottle, but you've managed to pick up a nice big case of poison oak. One that not only runs up your arms and down the side of your face, but also inside your socks and on your butt. Which only leads me to wonder what in the name of Maude were you doing out there and why your socks are gone? And then you spend the next 8 days looking like a naked human Peep what with all the pink calamine lotion and threatening your siblings with "The Creeeeeeeeeeeep" by rubbing your hands all over your face and then chasing them down the hall. Which of course turns into you splatting on the floor because -- hey guess what genius? -- calamine lotion is slippery on your feet and now you're crying and ohgodpleasedon'thugme--crap.




Rule #4: The Daddy Variable

Dear My Spouse, While we would all very much enjoy a summer vacation, be it at the
beach, mountains, a large lake or an amusement park, let me make one thing very clear. While this looks like a vacation -- and for you and the children, it IS a vacation - for me it's just work someplace else. Please don't ask me if *we* remembered to pack sunscreen. "We" is either a French term of agreement, or something very small and Scottish. I know you think you're helping the morning we set off...but getting yourself up and dressed and fed and then announcing that you will be "getting out of the way" so that I can bathe, clothe and feed everyone else, sitting out on the porch with the New York Times and a Starbucks might not be your best course of action. Particularly if you're hoping that *we* remembered to pack my diaphragm.


Rule #5: The Stimulus Annihilation
I should have expected this. We were 19 days into summer vacation when you annoyingly sighed out that, "I'm soooooooooooo booooooooooooooooooored. There's nothing for me tooooooooo dooooooooooo."And then the three of you look at me expectantly. What? Do I look like Julie McCoy to you? I am not your activities director. How's this? Go. Outside. And. Play. And then you roll your eyes and sigh and stomp away wondering how you wound up with the worst mother in the world.
 
Think of it this way, my beloved children. In just 55 more days, I'll be leading the Snoopy Vulture parade back to school, and you'll say things like, "But, summer just started..." and try to convince me that I'll be desperately lonely without you and just so bored, and that's when I'll look at you with all the love in my heart and say, "Yes, and about ten minutes after that bell rings, for the next seven hours, there's nothing for me tooooooooo dooooooooooo."

Well, maybe I'll go buy more Ranch dressing...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

25 comments:

  1. Is that a Love Boat reference? Oh yes. Yes it is.I hereby present to you my undying love and affection.

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  2. Omgosh! This is my world! Took my kids to the river to play the other day and my oldest immediately said "I'm bored!". Egads!

    And then there is the Disney variable - I swear after August 22nd, the Disney channel and Disney radio are banned from my house (at least during the hours of 8-3). If I hear one more round of canned laughter or one more perky DJ, I'm going to completely lose my Schmidt!

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  3. lol Thank you for the laugh to start my day. I am sitting here before the sun is up so I am able to read your rants from mommyland in relative peace. (we have a parrot and dog.. no such thing as quiet) I giggle quietly hoping not to wake my 4 kids. That just made my day to know I am not alone in my summer "vacation".

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  4. OMG, the "I'm boooooored". My 6 year old started this (and of course the 3 year has to do EXACTLY what she does). I'm so over this. So now whenever she utters those words, I sit her down and make her do "summer skills" sheets that I have courtesy of her kindergarten teacher and scholastic. I am 3 days into this strategy and I'm thinking (hoping?) that given her age, she will crack by day 7.

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  5. Snoopy Vulture Parade....I hope that thing specifically isn't copyrighted, because I am SO using that!!!

    If stepFaerie Child says "I'm bored" one more effing time in the next 3 weeks, I'm grounding her for the rest of the year (our schools get out mid-May and return the first week of August).

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  6. "While this looks like a vacation -- and for you and the children, it IS a vacation - for me it's just work someplace else. Please don't ask me if *we* remembered to pack sunscreen. "We" is either a French term of agreement, or something very small and Scottish."
    HAhahahaha, OMG, YES, this! I love you more with each passing day. <3

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  7. My husband is a teacher and off with my daughter this summer where they play all day. Then I get home exhausted, tired and pregnant and he is all, "Geesh, why are you so crabby? I just asked you what is for dinner." The stove has been here ALL DAY. Fix something on it.

    Julie
    ilikebeerandbabies.blogspot.com

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  8. We have an additional variable at our house ... Daddy Takes a Boys Trip. I must have still been sedated from surgery when he got me to agree to this one because ... It involves 6 guys in the mountains of Colorado for 10 DAYS!

    ANYWAY ... This year, husband suggested that while he was on the Brokeback Mountain Trip, I should take the brothers to the beach. 'Doesn't that fun?!? 'Ummm, I guess so? So I packed the marshmallow (our van) with all the crap it would hold, threw in the brothers and a 23 year old 'nanny' and hit the road to my great uncles house on the beach in Florida 14 hours away.

    After 2 days in the car, the nanny, the Ringling Brothers and I finally made it to the white doll house made of toothpicks on the beach. The brothers have broken so many of my 80 year old uncle's possessions that it probably would have been cheaper to rent a condo. Lamp, chair, gutter, green Gatorade on carpet, live lizard let go in house, cereal everywhere, pee on couch, thus was just the first day.

    I have strep throat, my fake tooth fell out, I have to schlep all the beach schmidt by myself, I can't get drunk because nanny is useless, nanny sleeps til noon, nanny is sunburnt, nanny is mad because there is no wifi, brothers are mad because there is no wifi...

    When husband calls, he is so bright and cheery because he is with grown-ups and I don't want to ruin his fun, I'll save that for the next time we're 'alone'. He just says "OMG, are you having SO much fun at the beach?!? I'm having a great time blahblahblah I want to move here it's so great!"

    Awesome! I'll be at the beach, I'm sending nanny with the Ringling Brothers, see how much you love it then.

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  9. Bwahaha! I was just commiserating w/another mom about this 1/2 an hour ago! Day 2 of vacay my 11 yr old said their was nothing to eat and she was bored. Even w/various day camps during the summer my 3 have still been "SO bored"! I love them, but I'm tired of washing dishes, of being the referee, the cruise director, the chef! Granted, I wouldn't change it for anything else, but it does get a little tedious. 3 weeks left!!!

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  10. We have 9 weeks of summer - May 30 to August 1. And I'm RUNNING a summer camp. So my darling 9 year old has learned that "I'm bored" results in "practice your guitar," "learn to type," and "don't you have a three-page reading list for which I BOUGHT half the books at the used book store?"

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  11. What I want to know is why, after 5 whole minutes of being someplace I think is fun (park, pool, waterpark, beach) my children come up to me to say that they are either hungry, thirsty or both? What??? You just ate and drank something not more than 20 minutes ago. GO PLAY!!!!

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  12. Hmmm, I remember the exact moment when I realized that vacation for everyone else was NOT vacation for ME -- just my regular life in a different location. Sigh. And yes, I do tell my charming offspring I'm not the camp counselor, that if they want activities, they have to agree to GO TO CAMP. Otherwise, I'm happy to supply them with an endless supply of chores. Which they still won't do.

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  13. Hilarious and so true, we have 34 days left until school starts, my kids got out on May 27th. After TWO vacations for my son, he tells me he's bored, and that's while he's attached to his computer! I think we had one wagon and rocks and sticks to play with when we were kids, I'm counting down the days until the yellow bus pulls up and gives me my Mommy brain back!

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  14. Rule #4 is always true in our family, too. Case in point, we went to my family reunion last weekend, and at one point I noticed that I was chasing our two boys all over the resort while DH sat on his behind and chatted up my relatives. Gah! Went over, nicely explained that it was his turn w/the crazies, and I sat down instead.

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  15. I feel so much better that I am not the only one who has a child who won't play...I was starting to think that my 5 year-old daughter had developmental issues because she won't play alone. If I hear 'will you play with me' one more time I may lose it. She has a playroom that I would have KILLED for as a child and all she wants to do it crawl up my @ss!

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  16. OMG---Number 4, especially. That's so it!! And the "we've done NOTHING all summer!" 3 weeks of 3 different day camps, a twilight camp, and a resident camp is NOTHING? I went broke for you to do *nothing*? Not to mention the friends you've been hanging out with. Get off the flippin' DSi while you're at home and DO something else then. Ride your bike, go swimming, check out the backyard toys (it's a virtual park out there).

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  17. You forgot Rule #6: THE LAPSE IN THE TIME/SPACE CONTINUUM. Aka The children will (invariably) awaken at the hairy freakin butt crack of dawn day after day after day, but as soon as school starts, they all wanna sleep in till 10am (like mommy). And it's a super whippin to try and get these folks peeled off their beds. Their bodies have turned into jellyfish-like creatures that cannot hold the weight of their heads and they for some reason don't have a clue where their clothes/socks/shoes/hairbrushes are located.

    Also, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, thanks. I feel better now. My neighbors think I am losing my mind now, but the jokes on them. It's been gone since May 28th!

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  18. Rule #4-totally hear you. We just got back from a 'family vacation', and after the second day of cleaning up toddler spills, cooking meals and washing clothes, I had the light-bulb moment where I realized I could have just stayed home to do the same exact thing. Bonus to staying home is that I wouldn't have a tribe of howler monkies monopolizing the TV and begging to go to the pool every ten minutes.

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  19. EVEN. NANNY. DOES. NOT. HELP.

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  20. Now I don't feel so bad about shrinking away from my poison-ivy-rash-sporting daughter. She's so covered in Ivarest lotion, she's convinced she'll crack if she bends her arms.

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  21. Now that my ab workout is done....I didn't even have to get off the couch.... Yes, I am having a quiet affair with the IPod Touch for a minute because the sound of my eyes opening somehow didn't wake the kids this morning. I'll have time for a second cup of coffee. By the time they get down here, they'll have no idea what hit 'em.

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  22. @Deb Satterfeild...your comment cracked me up! I swear my daughter can hear my eyes open because as soon as they do she is in my room. I have even trained myself to not open my eyes when I first wake up in hopes of having just one minute of silence and solitude in my own bed!

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  23. My daughter will be three in September but after reading this I think it may be the big three coming around the corner. I even took her to the doctor because I thought something is wrong (can you tell I'm a first-time mom). She was...emphasis on the *was*..a good natured little girl. So another year & half, huh? Argh.

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  24. Thanks for sharing. I sent one to COSTA RICA for 7 days and 3 days back she's bored! Really? What did I get to do while you were gallivanting around another country????? The other one is visiting the grands in PA and working summer camp, complaining that he has computer withdrawal. I feel SO BAD for him. Don't you? Oh and top it off I'm the one with Poison Ivy! and all I go to do was spend last weekend trying to kill the sh*t.

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  25. That's hilarious. We just started the school year.. what, we just finished the third week?

    I've picked my son up early for a suspension twice the first week... second week was a minimum days week... probably twice that week, too, and this week 3/5 days, and ONE of those days I was AT the school following him around BABYSITTING him so he won't "ACCIDENTALLY" put his hands on someone else. I say accidentally because HOW HARD CAN IT FREAKIN BE TO NOT TOUCH SOMEONE ELSE FOR A FEW HOURS. And by touch, I mean hit, pinch, push, hug too hard, grab their shirt, etc etc etc.

    All this (and I cringe when the phone rings) during a move and I have to drop whatever I am doing and run to the school and pick him up, well, GUESS WHAT, you are still doing schoolwork while Dear Mommy moves heavy things into storage. Grr.

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