Summer may seem endless, especially to a stay-at-home parent who is suddenly one day in May or June each year invaded by kids being all up in your house space. The survival of all eighty-odd days without incident can seem impossible, especially early on in the process. I just hang in there, taking it one day at a time (or more appropriately referred to as one Happy Hour at a time) until about day thirty-five, when I then realize that the summer is a few days shy of being half over and whereinthehelldidthetimegoandhowarewegoingtodo allthethingswewantedtodothissummerwithwhatlittletimewehaveleft?
For part of the summer the kids and I travel, mainly visiting both my parents and Sheepdog’s parents. For another part of the summer we just lounge at our neighborhood pool. We usually do not participate in any summer sports or activities, although this summer Kid B was planning to do a short soccer camp at a local high school (I just realized that the camp started yesterday and we have already missed two of the three total days…oops! no soccer camp this summer either). We all seem to enjoy not having schedules and just doing our own thing and lounging around, watching movies, playing with friends and each other, reading books and magazines, and perfecting our tans and Triple Lindys.
I am really up for most suggestions of things to do from the kids, as long as they don’t inconvenience me too much (e.g. interrupt my intense summer schedule of playing Zuma on my laptop, or of watching HGTV or MTV shows from my extensive DVR queue) or cost an arm and a leg. So when somebody suggested each kid having a day during which they call the shots, I was certainly up for it (within reasonable limits, of course). Everybody tossed around some ideas about fun stuff to do on their days, but most of them are playing it pretty close to the vest and not sharing details until they reach the limit of the required 48-hours notice so I can plan meals, supplies, travel and details.
“Mom, can I have cake for breakfast?
“Mom, can I play Wii all day long and go first every time and pick the teams and pick the games and win every time too?”
“Mom, can we go bowling after we go to the pool?”
(bowling – really? ugh, but…) “OK.”
“Mom, can I have cake for lunch…and dinner?”
(you are so gonna vomit, but…) “OK.”
“Mom, can we set up an elaborate reality game show in the house, complete with video instructions, painted poster and challenges?”
“Mom, can I take a shower with my clothes on?”
(weird, but…) “OK.”
See, that’s all innocent enough. We are only on our first Special Day (the honor went to Kid D based on recent good behavior), which has now been re-named “OK Day” (obvious explanation above). I love hearing their ideas and plans and what they choose to do when they have very few limits. So far I have not had to say no even once. But Kid B hasn’t gone yet, so give it time. As the kids get older, their ideas will no doubt become more ridiculous and I will be wishing for the end of summer and start of a new school year, schedules and all. But for now, we’re all doing OK.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…