Summergeddon Is Upon Us

It’s that joyous time of year. that wonderful time of year when we as parents suddenly realize how much we took our kids’ teachers for granted. We also realize that they are GROSSLY underpaid for what they endure, but that’s a topic for another post.

Suddenly we are faced with the impending doom of having to occupy our kids. Moms are frantically combing Pinterest for perfectly designed activities to stimulate their little brains while on summer vacation. STOP PINNING! RIGHT NOW. JUST STOP. I’m not knocking Pinterest. I love it. But seriously, Pinterest is ruining our kids childhoods. It is demolishing their creativity one Pin at a time. Remember what you did during the summer? I do. I went to camp. And if I wasn’t at camp, I was left to my own devices. I was lucky enough to have an older brother so sometimes he was left in charge, or so he thought. My parents were also in the unique position of running a business out of our home, so my mom was home for the better part of our childhoods. But she was also working. She basically was just on call in case one of us was on fire or had a stick in our eye.

We woke up, rolled out of bed, shoveled some breakfast into our wildling mouths and were on our way. No daily schedule. Tag, Hide n Seek, Manhunt, Swimming, hunting lizards(yeah that’s a thing in Florida), getting dropped off at the beach for the day. FOR THE DAY. like 6-8 hours. In the sun, with money to buy a sub at the best sub shop in town. I see these super cute (and totally useless) “Daily Themes” for kids during Summergeddon. “Make it Monday” “Take a Trip Tuesday”, etc. A more realistic version would probably be “Make a mess Monday” “Take a Trip to the ER Tuesday” “What the hell did you get into Wednesday” “Thinking About Boarding School Thursday” and “Frozen Drink Friday” Imagine that, for 8-12 weeks.

Now I’m sure some of you are thinking “OMG does this woman even spend time with her kid?” YES. YES I DO. But I also work, am finishing my Bachelor’s degree and I don’t really enjoy glitter or playing pretend. My kid could benefit greatly from a dose of reality when it comes to summer. For some reason she thinks it MY job to entertain her. She comes to me often asking “What can I do?” Um………go away. Find something. Let me just name a few of the things at her disposal: roller skates, a scooter, a bike, sporting goods, chalk, art supplies, a tablet, a dog, pools, the beach….shall I go on? My point is, she needs to suck it up. If I wanted to be responsible for someone’s entertainment, I would’ve become an actress. When did it become my responsibility to make sure my child was occupied every second of everyday?

I bet some of you are saying “I always play with my kid(s), this woman is awful.” Guess what? That’s great. I play with my kid often. And I’m by no means suggesting she run off into the distance without me having any idea of her whereabouts. She’s 7. She can’t yet go to the beach by herself. Hubs won’t even let her go around the corner to the playground with her friends; I’m working on him. The current state of the world has made it virtually impossible for our kids to become the “Kids of Summers Past”.

Seriously though…..step away from Pinterest. Kick your kid(s) outside with a cooler full of drinks and snacks.Let them survive on those shitty popsicles so they don’t get heat stroke because then they will be stuck inside with you. Tell them to come in when it gets dark. Listen for any obvious sounds of pain or eminent danger….and my advice? It’s not a emergency unless someone is on fire or has a stick in their eye….or both.

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Summer Time Sadness

Well…summer is officially over in the Beach Bum Household. Bean has started school. This year she is a 1st grader. So now she is an experienced student….who still can’t sleep in her own bed. The summer went by surprisingly fast, and in all honesty, I feel as though I failed.

I had all these high hopes for Bean’s first official summer off from school. I finally quit bartending so I wouldn’t be so tired this summer. I had lined up Pinterest ideas and projects and outings. I compiled healthy yet yummy snacks and lots of things to keep my little monster stimulated and enriched while off from school for 3 months. Do you want to know what she did all summer? She played Minecraft. I failed. I epically failed. I went in guns blazing and I ran out of ammo like a week in to the summer. and I ran out of energy. Hubs works hellish hours, so majority of the child raising falls on my shoulders. And I am OK with that. Except for the fact that I get exhausted and then feel bad about complaining that I ‘m exhausted. And to be honest, I get a little tired of constantly having a shadow. Even this morning, as I was attempting to take a shower in the privacy of my own bathroom which is in my bedroom, I was interrupted twice because of a loose tooth. Within a span of 5 minutes. Now this isn’t her first loose tooth. It’s not even her second loose tooth. So really the urgency should have abated a little by now. But the way she came bursting into my bathroom twice, you would’ve thought that the house was on fire or there was a stick in someones eye. Nope, just a loose tooth.

I wanted this to be a summer that mimicked my own summers as a child. Lots of time outdoors, drinking from garden hoses and things of that nature. But I was confronted with a sad reality only a couple of days into the break. Kids today can’t think of adventures to have on their own. Not even my child, who is very inventive and creative. She was happy to play inside all day, bossing me around and building legos and playing pony universe. But the moment I kicked her little butt outside to play with her friends it was like her life was over. Play outside?! They’ve never heard of such a thing. So I’d help them out and point them in the right direction; I supplied them with chalk, sports equipment, water balloons, water guns. That lasted all of about 15 minutes. We live in Florida, which in the summer is a few degrees cooler than Satan’s anus, so I tried to be understanding. But I was also tired. I can’t believe my mother successfully ran a household and a business with 3 kids out of school at the same time. I can barely keep my kitchen clean. So I caved to her demands of television, tablets and too much sugar. I let her play (IMO) excessive amounts of video games. I accepted my failure as a parent.

I’ll probably try harder next summer. I am going to attempt to go in more prepared. I’m going to resign my self to the fact that even if I don’t want to go swimming, I’m going swimming with her. Even if I don’t want to pack a cooler and go to the beach, I’m going to do those things anyway. Why? Because it’s not my summer. It’s hers. when I was a kid, Summer was a magical time of fireflies, water wars and adventures. I was lucky in some respects. I have siblings, so I had ready-made playmates. I am Bean’s ready-made playmate. And I need to make peace with that. I’m going to have to buck up and make myself behave like a kid. Darn. 🙂