I know I’m out of season, but for the last few days “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot like Christmas” has been stuck in my brain. And while it has felt more like winter around here than summer, the truth is the line—“And mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again”—has become my mantra, my positive affirmation, the theme song for the next two and a half months of my life.
School has been out for approximately 20 days here in Idaho Falls, 19 if you choose not to count Memorial Day. Is it just my children, or is summer a whiny wasteland for all little people under twelve?
I have great kids. Really, I do. But the three of them, together, have bad chemistry. If they’re not fighting, they’re scheming which is never good for me, the lone adult outnumbered by her children. At least when they’re fighting I know where they are and what’s going on. It’s when things become quiet that I start to worry.
In the last two weeks one of more of my children has been grounded for five years, sat on timeout for a total of 164 minutes, flooded the toilet, flooded the bathtub, run down the street in their pajamas, ridden the cat like a donkey, watched Barbie: Mariposa 14 times, quoted inappropriate lines from Monty Python: In Search of the Holy Grail, eaten dirt, gotten lost in the grocery store, started a collection of potato bugs, released and/or killed his sister’s collection of potato bugs, and wacked her brother on the head with a broom.
In response to the list above, I have said each of the following at least once in the last 20 days of summer:
Don’t hit/kick/bite/scratch/pinch/touch/look at/spit at/tease your brother/sister.
Go apologize to your brother/sister.
Give that back to him/her.
Don’t talk to your brother/sister that way.
Don’t talk to me that way.
Sit on timeout.
Do you want to go to your room?
What did you just say?
What’s in your mouth?
Don’t roll your eyes at me, Mister!
We don't go outside naked.
You don’t know where that’s been.
Flush the toilet.
Parents, it's gonna be a great summer! All 49 and a half days of it.