The Dark Side of Summer Vacation

Summer is FINALLY here. In Minnesota, we do not take nice weather for granted. After the hell winter we had, I am ready for sunshine and sandals! The kids just finished school and I am excited to do all the things we love to in summer, outside sports, ice cream, lakes, bonfires, 4th of July, Birthday Mania (all 3 of my kids are born in August)…I could go on and on. In short WE LOVE SUMMER and try to make the most of it before the white stuff falls again.

As much as I love summer, I am already ready to ship my little darlings back to school. For the record, we just finished the first week of vacation and they are already driving me bonkers. At the risk of getting my house egged, I believe school should be year-round!! I don’t say that to punish teachers, in fact I think they deserve every bit of time off they get especially the awesome people that get to have my kids in class. But having these kids home during the day, everyday, for 3 months is incredibly challenging on the nerves and EXPENSIVE. There is definitely a dark side to summer vacation…

The Groceries

Lord in Heaven these kids can eat! My grocery bill goes up exponentially anytime they are home for more than a couple of days!! A box of 72 granola bars that should last over a month is gone in less than a week. Frozen pizzas are gobbled down in a fraction of the time it takes to make them. They eat a dozen eggs in a single meal, they eat mixing bowls of cereal, and tacos now require several pounds of meat. People warned my about teenage boys and how they have hollow legs, well I am here to tell you that my daughter isn’t much better. She keeps up with her brothers. I am going to need a second job just to keep these kids fed!

Activities

In January I received all sorts of communication about summer programming that would keep my children busy and out of trouble during the summer. The money was flying out the door and I justified it as a necessary expenses so they wouldn’t be in front of the TV or video games all day. Fast forward to present time, I need a color-code flow chart to keep things straight to determine who is going where and to what activity. We arranged our work schedules to be home most of the time and we leaned on our village to help with transportation. I am grateful that my husband and I both have somewhat flexible jobs to be able to work from home when needed and I my even more grateful for the teams of other parents that help us out.

Even with days of activities that keep my kids on their feet for hour which should exhaust them, they still claim they are BORED! They don’t seem to be amused when I pull out the additional list of chores that need to be done like weeding or organizing closets. They also don’t believe me that the “experts” say that kids should experience a little boredom. Since I am out of ideas and money to keep them occupied, I am OK with the TV and video games. Funny how things come full circle.

My House

As mentioned above, my kids have chores and suggested chores if they breathe the word “bored”. It is a constant battle to keep the house in some semblance of order. My standards and their standards seem to be at odds. When I would like the kitchen clean, I expect the syrup to be scrubbed of the counter or the floor to be swept. Removing dirty towels from the bathroom does not equal clean. I lost my shit when they loaded the dirty dishes into the dishwasher that had clean dishes in it because they thought they would get out of doing it. I may have had an out of body experience. I pulled out every single dish I could find and made all of them hand wash, dry, and neatly put away the dishes. Three hours later, I thought I was the smartest woman in the world that I had one of the biggest parenting wins ever. Two days later, they did it again.

And the garbage????? Why can the children not find a trash can. I find wrappers and containers on the floor, stuffed in couch cushions, and in their pockets. I even when as far as collecting the trash and putting it in their beds. It did not phase them. At all. We have been in our house for 3 years and I have yet to meet any of the neighbors. I think they realize I am a bit crazy because I am sure they have heard me lose it. I can’t wait for them to be adults with their own houses because I am going do the same to them.

Texts and Phone Calls

I find it kind of funny that when I am home, my children barely want to converse with me but the SECOND I get into a meeting, my phone starts blowing up. “Mom, can I go…” “Mom, can I eat…” “When will you be home?” then there is the tattling. I get photo texts from my daughter, showing that her brother is not wearing his retainer or is not doing the chores laid out for them. My colleagues now understand and do not judge when I answer my phone “WHAT NOW??!!”.

In short, TEACHERS, I appreciate you! Enjoy the summer! You certainly earned it! See you in September!

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