In the beginning 12 weeks of summer sounds absolutely marvelous. Freedom. Relaxing. Ideal. And then...... you spend 12 weeks with all of your children at once. This is a week by week glimpse of how my summer has unfolded so far.
Week 1, 11 to go:
My sweet sweet babies, we are going to do so much!!! Road trips and festivals and water parks! I am so excited to spend quality time with you guys. Bring on the sun!
Stop touching him. He asked you to stop toughing him so stop touching him. Where did Gwen go?
Week 2, 10 to go:
Alright little ones, June has started, swimming pools are open. I love the feeling of the sun on my skin. Nothing on the calendar but R-E-L-A-X. Right? Looks like someone spilled some popcorn last night let's get it picked up and head to the pool. By the way guys, I bought six boxes of otter pops for the summer and they're gone. That's SIX HUNDRED otter pops. I bought them yesterday. Please tell me it was a group effort because if Gwen ate all of them herself she now has diabetes. Speaking of, has anyone seen Gwen?
Week 3, 9 to go:
Family meeting time kiddos. I've noticed it's gotten kind of messy around here. No big deal though. I've assigned everyone a chore and if we can work together we can stay on top of it and have more time for fun!! Why are you crying Audrey? Hannah don't call her that, it's just mean. Josh I'm trying to talk can you put down your video game for a minute please? Larissa no one stole your stuffed animal you just need to look for it. Has anyone seen Gwen?
Week 4, 8 to go:
Okay kids, things around the house are getting......sticky. Audrey was finger painting with syrup? Are you serious right now? Is that what happened to the kitchen floor? No? Are you sure? Because when you walk from one side to the other it sounds like Velcro being ripped apart. Isn't anyone else grossed out about that? Just me? I mopped yesterday is the thing... so how in one day is it this bad? It seems like a lot of work had to have gone in to this level of adhesion, but none of you remember if you spilled something? That is very mysterious. Speaking of mysteries. Has anyone seen Gwen?
Week 5, 7 to go:
Children! Pick a location, back yard or front yard. Stop running through the house. Why is everything wet? Where did you guys get water guns? I know better than to buy that many water guns. Why do toy makers even make a child's toy that can hold that much liquid. It's just stupid. I can't even clean it up. All the towels are in the laundry room. You guys have used every single towel in two days. How do we have this much laundry to do already? This appears to be the contents of everyone's closets. Do you guys change your clothes 15 times a day? Why is the linen closet open? The linen closet is completely empty. Where are all the sheets and blankets? Why are all of those blankets outside? No no no no don't use blankets as towels! Oh no that one is a quilt. What did you do with the sheets? Stairs? Okay no. That game is over. That is exactly how I broke my collar bone at your age. Has anyone seen Gwen? Is that glitter?!!!
Week 6, 6 to go:
Listen up guys. I got in to the car this morning to run to the grocery store and I felt like I was driving a dumpster. My car is filled to the brim with garbage. I want all of you to go out there and get all of your belongings out of my car and then I want all of you to WORK TOGETHER and get all of your trash. Hannah you just rolled your eyes so hard I'm worried about your vision. The eye is a muscle ya know, you can strain it. That makes you roll your eyes too? Are you working out? Is that how you flex your eyeballs Hannah? Larissa don't say the mess in the car wasn't you. You are in the car just as much as everyone else and I can name ten things that belong to you just by looking through the window. Audrey! Why are you licking your shoe? That is disgusting! No I wont buy you more fireworks Joshua. Does anyone know why one of our garbage cans is missing. Has anyone seen Gwen? It's been awhile, before we clean the car lets fan out and canvas the neighborhood. Ask if anyone has seen a small child pushing a large trash can. And ask if anyone else is missing.
Week 7, 5 to go:
You listen to me! I don't want to hear one more argument. The next person to argue I'm going to boil. Whoa! I'm sorry, I didn't mean that. I'm not even sure where that came from. I'm a little stressed, go play outside for awhile. Mommy is going to just relax and recharge. Somebody find Gwen. Look in the backyard we still haven't cut the grass back there this year. she might just be standing back there. lost.
Week 8, 4 to go:We are going on a trip my little minions. I think we could all use a nice break away from the house. Everyone go pack. I'm going to clean up so we can return to a nice clean house. I honestly don't care what you pack. I'm not going to stress. This is going to be fun. I just heard the front door. Gwen? I'm pretty sure she is naked. Run and get her.
Week 9, 3 to go:You people want to go camping now? After that excursion in to the bowels of hell last week? I know what I promised but come on! We just spent a LOT of time together. In a car. Audrey forgot to bring shoes, Joshua didn't pack any pants, and all that was in Gwen's suitcase was an umbrella. Which at first seemed stupid but who was mocking who when it rained all week? What do you mean that was fun? Oh my sweet mother of pearl. What did I just sit in? It's wet but it's not liquid. There is definitely some shape. It's hard to determine what that shape it is just by the way it feels with my butt and I'm afraid to touch it with my hand. I'm afraid to stand up. I don't want to know. I don't want to ever know. I have no exit strategy for this. Find Gwen and just trap her in her room. Do you think we can get a vet to put one of those chips in her?
Week 10, 2 to go:
If I could get your attention swine. It's noon...and you all just woke up. Can anyone guess where I'm going with this? Raise your hand if you have showered this week. That's what I thought. All we have mastered this summer is a whole new smell. I've made everyone a schedule. We need to get back on track. This week we are going to clean and try to teach Gwen at least some of the alphabet before she starts Kindergarten. Does anyone else feel like first thing in the morning EVERY MORNING our house looks like the houses you see on the news that have been hit by hurricanes? On a daily basis our house passes the point one could say we need to clean up and settles in to a condition that one could say requires disaster relief. If someone came to the door right now I would be humiliated by this mess. I would pretend there was a break in. I would. That is what I would do. I would make up a story about crazed drug addicted delinquents who like to color. I would claim they stole all of our nice stuff and replaced all of our valuable with these stuffed animals they brought with them in their van. I know they were driving a van because they would need a cargo van for this many stuffed animals, toys, and worthless crap. Our next backyard fire I am using at least 25 things named fluffy for kindling and I bet you won't even realize which ones are gone. Oh! Nice to see you Gwen! I threaten to light your loved ones on fire and suddenly you appear. Big mistake little girl! I have now found your weakness. Take note of that every one next time she is missing just hold a flame to a bear and like magic Gwen returns. WAIT! forget everything I just said. That spiraled out of control. No one is allowed to play with fire or burn anything that belongs to anyone else. I want you all to acknowledge that you heard and understand no one lights anything on fire.
Which bring us to now..
I'm still in the middle of week 10. I miss school. A lot. If I were a teacher this is the week I would go on strike and ask for more money. Because if someone told me right now that teachers were striking and my children might not go back to school in two weeks..... I would be willing to do things. Things I wouldn't even consider doing for a Klondike bar.
Despite the inevitable and seemingly unavoidable slide in to chaos I'm proud. I have made it this far and none of the kids have been beaten (knock on wood) (Knock really hard it helps get the frustration out and it smothers the temptation). The house does, despite all odds, get cleaned every day (One day last week it was only clean for maybe two minutes but that counts. It counts because I refuse to acknowledge defeat) I don't have a serious and understandable drinking problem. (I'm not going to confirm or deny rumors that I have treated myself to a few wine tastings. Alone. In the dark. Just me and the sound of my laughter. Mostly because I only have very foggy recollections and I can't be entirely certain if those are memories or dreams...)
Unlike the frequency of my late night grape juice what can not be denied is at the end of every summer I am a total lunatic. Not because I start making crazy threats to try to force the kids to behave. Not because I have Google searched child sized kennels and hovered over the add to cart button on many many occasions. Not because I really do burn their stuff (Oh come on! I don't know what to do with all that stuff the teachers send home at the end of the year! I tell the kids I'm saving it in a memory box forever but I don't have that kind of storage space and even if I did, that's just stupid.)
The real reason I am a raving mad lunatic at the end of every summer is because I know for certain two weeks from now, once I've dropped them all off at school, I will return home. It will be quiet. It will be clean. It will be calm. And I will immediately miss all of those little A-holes.
I wonder how long I'll really be able to relax until the school calls and some poor secretary is forced to inform me that they have misplaced my kindergartner. I bet the Principal makes the call. I bet Gwen answers my phone.
|I don't think Gwen is studying the map to Bear World so that she can give me directions...|