Look, I know I’ve been away a long time, so I’m not just going to stroll in here all blase and pretend that nothing has happened and everything is fine between us. I don’t want to insult your intelligence. But summer was rough. The kids were on me like fleas every second for a snack or to validate their latest Lego creation. As soon as they heard the keyboard tapping they’d descend. The pressure was incredible.
It had been my plan to send the kids to camp so that I might have a minute or two of productivity, but Hubs and I had a minor bank account fiasco wherein all of our money mysteriously disappeared. We were both baffled as to how this would happen. Coincidentally this occurred right around the same time that Hubs’s jeep was miraculously cured of many of its major ailments. Weird.
At any rate, I had to sacrifice any dreams of childless alone time. These things happen, so I decided to abandon all productivity and commit myself to fully enjoying the summer with my children. After all, time is fleeting and they won’t be this small forever. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth, hide the knives and treasure those little buggers.
I learned some things in the process–about myself, about life. I’m a better person for it, albeit a better person who desperately needs a hair appointment. For instance:
- It is physically impossible for me to treasure my children day after day, 24 hours a day without a steady flow of caffeine. Before the summer I had weaned myself off the stuff for health reasons but mid summer I had to weigh the importance of a steady heartbeat against the safety of my prodigies. Heartbeats are overrated.
- Five year old boys are physically incapable of being quiet. There is a reason that there was never a book called The Diary of Arnie Frank. It would have lasted two pages and then Arnie would have forgotten about the Nazis and gone running down the hall singing at the top of his lungs while beating on a bucket. End of story. Girls know how to tiptoe and use their indoor voices. You could wrap a boy in foam and he would still find a way to shake the walls. It’s what they do.
Note: I sincerely apologize for using the Jewish holocaust with such flippancy. You’d think I was a twenty-something pop sensation.
- The more you do with your children, the more they want to do. I can’t emphasize this enough: the key to your child’s happiness is lowered expectations. Providing them with gifts and stimulating activities only gives them unrealistic expectations for the future. Have you ever seen videos of children in third world countries receiving shoes for the first time? They are incredibly happy. My daughter has multiple shoes that she won’t even wear because they aren’t meeting her aesthetic expectations. And for every visit to the trampoline park this summer, I had to listen to ninety additional minutes of “what are we doing that’s exciting today?” and “I want to do something fun,” spoken in a whine and repeated ad nauseam. You know what’s fun? Not working in a sweatshop fifteen hours a day. You’re welcome.
- The housing market is so filled with foreign investors equipped with psychic premonition and large quantities of cash that a cop and a stay at home mom can’t afford to purchase any single family home this side of Detroit. It’s remarkable really and further proof that House Hunters is a complete sham. I mean come on, a graduate student and an entry-level marketing coordinator are able to buy a beautiful craftsman style home that isn’t tagged with gang graffiti? That’s a fairytale. You want the real story? Follow us as we look at condemned homes filled with garbage and frightened animals, priced just beyond our range.
- Inability to purchase aside, there is nothing my kids love better (with the exception of an overcrowded theme park) than freely snooping through other people’s homes. Open houses became one of our favorite free activities this summer. If summer had gone on any longer we would probably resort to breaking and entering.
- The only family vacation we can enjoy without having to sedate Hubs is camping. He is completely relaxed when separated from society and surrounded by dirt, trees and creatures that might carry the Bubonic plague. They are making the ground harder than they used to, which was tough on my delicate frame and after two days of roughing it, my all natural, aluminum free deodorant cashed it in and left me to scare off the bears with my b.o., but other than that, camping was awesome.
Anyway, it’s good to be back. I’ll try not to stay away as long next time.
Heartbeats are definitely overrated and our family’s cash seems to be disappearing too. Maybe we have the same tapeworm working it’s way through the world wide web, in and out of our accounts, and straight to the liquor store. Well, in your case, auto parts store but it’s all semantics really and we had to get through the summer in our own unique ways, didn’t we? Glad you’re back FHF!
I think the liquor store is right next to the auto parts store. If not, it should be. Thank you. It’s good to be back.
“commit myself to fully enjoying the summer with my children.”—Good for you! As you point out, they won’t be around forever, and then all we’ll have left are regrets for not taking the time with them. I took lots of walks with my youngest this summer and went to movies with my oldest (about the only things my teenage boys will do with me in public). But I hear you about the noise. And the need for caffeine. But at least as they get older they get more self-sufficient so that helps a lot!
Funny post. Gave me some good laughs. 🙂
Once I accepted that I wasn’t going to be productive I was able to truly enjoy the summer with the kids. I know I won’t look back at the end of my life and say, “Geez, I wish I’d spent more time on the internet.” However I will look back fondly on the near death experience of my son. I’m glad you got some quality time with your boys too.
“I know I won’t look back at the end of my life and say, ‘Geez, I wish I’d spent more time on the internet.'”—Exactly!
It’s good to have you back; you’ve been missed. Thanks for the Diary of Arnie Frank explanation. That made my day.
Thank you. It’s good to be back. Poor Arnie. I’m glad his cautionary tale did some good in the world.
You’re so funny! I laughed and remembered my own stay-at-home days with three boys.
Thank you. Three boys? Wow. That would require a whole lot of caffeine. My hat is off to you.
Yay! I was Twitter-stalking you just the other day, in hopes of getting a mini-Fathead Follies fix, but saw you’d been as MIA as I’ve been this summer (yeah, my kids, too, seem to have a sixth sense whenever I try to escape to the computer – or even to the bathroom for that matter – basically forcing me to give up on the notion of writing anything more than the pithy comment or two I manage to quickly tap out on Instagram); I’m so glad you’re back! Can’t wait to hear more about the potential meth labs – I mean lovely single-family homes – your real estate agent has been taking you to visit. 😉
Yes, I’ve been terribly absent from the internet. You have a great excuse for not writing however. You left the country! That’s impressive. Don’t think I’m not incredibly envious.
“You know what’s fun? Not working in a sweatshop fifteen hours a day. You’re welcome.” I am SO stealing this line and feeding it to my 9 year old!!! hahahaha
I hope it works better for you than it does for me. My children laugh and then say, “no really, what are we doing today that’s fun?” *sigh*