Saturday, June 11, 2011

(Summer) Break of Insanity

Just 3 1/2 school days remain.

Then they will be ....


I used to love summer break.

And I'm not just talkin' about my own distant childhood. I mean I truly and thoroughly enjoyed when my kids were home the entirety of the summer.

The last few years I've been clinging to my old phrases like a child clutching a security blanket.

I could hear the words coming out of my mouth:
"I love summers" I'd say.
"No alarm clocks. No after school activities. No homework, no projects to oversee. No papers to sign, no field trips to chaperone. Just endless days stretching together. Warm sun, the pool, the beach, fireflies, watermelon...."

All spoken while wearing the grin of a simpleton.

But nowadays


when I begin to think of my kids being home
all day
every day


my teeth begin to rattle ever so slightly, and a thin stream of drool leaks from the corner of my mouth.

Oh there are plenty of good times. Many a Norman Rockwell-worthy picture of my kids riding bikes, drawing chalk pictures on the driveway, playing basketball, fishing in our pond, swimming in the pool, laughing with friends. Eating corn on the cob, watermelon. Picking cherries from our trees then gobbling them down and spittin' the pits.

But then there are...

the dark times.

The times they bicker. They whine. They yell and fight and glare. They make faces, argue about whose turn it is to do what, whose turn it is to sit where, who ate their last water ice, whose drank the last of the iced tea and didn't make more.

She's wearing my shirt, he pushed me, she smells bad, are you ever planning to wash your hair, it's my turn to ride shotgun/to pick the radio station/to have a friend come with us to the movies. He broke my goggles, he rode my bike without asking, she's sitting in my spot, she had a friend over last time, it's my turn, it's mine it's mine it's mine.

[cower in corner and suck thumb while eyes glaze over]

And I know nothing really works. Suzy Sunshine Mom makes an appearance for a while with grand ideas about arts and crafts, daytrips and pool games.
But then she blows it with her sing-songy motivational team-building speeches for a cooperative work-together attitude for all the pool-cleaning, weed-pulling, house-cleaning, grass-mowing things on the to-do list.

Then the whining kicks in and Nurse Ratchet Mom moves in. She tries to control the situation with her steel glint, her even tone, her drama-free temperament that is never shaken.

But the kids beat her the hell out of our house and on her heels storms in Roseanne Barr, screaming at the kids, commanding them, out-whining them.

I like Roseanne.

Forget Nanny 9-1-1, who's got a direct line to Roseanne? Mary, my celebrity sister? Do any of your people know any of her people? I would even be tempted to trade in my invitation to see Mr. Clooney at the premier if I could get Roseanne to move in with us for a couple weeks to whip my little b@#*&^ into shape.

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