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

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