Children learn during the school year, and supposedly take the summer to refresh and return rejuvenated (or at least grateful for getting out of the house where the crazy screaming lady lives) to learn some more. I believe that with most Moms, the reverse is inherently true.
Summer “vacation”…for whom? And from what? With the kids around, it seems more is, well, more. The laundry grows between the towels, shorts and swimsuit changes, the groceries run out even faster with little hands poking in snack cupboards, and the house gets surprisingly even more messy with children in residence. If you’re like me, you silently count down the days until the little angels get out the door, and back to school again. And by “silently” I mean scratching a frantic line across the day on the calendar (at 8:00 in the morning, with a purple crayon) while using the other hand to try to separate two battling siblings.
Children learn during the school year, and supposedly take the summer to refresh and return rejuvenated (or at least grateful for getting out of the house where the crazy screaming lady lives) to learn some more. I believe that with most Moms, the reverse is inherently true. Whether you’re arranging summer camps for the kids, sticking around the house with them, departing to the land of the “cottage-Mom” or a combination thereof, there are many lessons we all learn during the summer months, which we need to recover from, and refresh during those lovely long normal, routine weeks back at school.
Some of the lessons we learn include:
- The inverse law of sunscreen: the more likely you are to get every inch of junior’s soft baby white skin covered in SPF50, the more likely you are to find yourself burned to a crisp. You used up half a bottle and none of it made its way to you.
- Baseball hats self-implode and disappear out of the “hat” box in your front cupboard. They will mysteriously reappear when you are going through the winter tuque drought.
- Yes those flip flops are adorable for a four year old. However, they can’t walk more than three steps every five minutes without them falling off. And you’re in a hurry to get to the store to get more sunscreen. Come on!
- You can be a nice Mom and allow for “summer bedtimes”, but be forewarned that the concept of “summer sleep-ins” is totally foreign to any child under the age of eight. Congratulations – they’ve stayed up later and now they’re cranky at 2:00 in the afternoon. Not really a win/win – more like a whine/wine (them the former and you, the latter).
- Go ahead, cut up that healthy, nutritious, attractive, messy watermelon and put it out for the children you’ve invited over for a backyard romp. The perfect snack for a hot, dehydrating day. That is, until, Junk Food Mom arrives from down the street and pops out a bag of salty potato chips. BE her. Take the title of “good mom” (according to the kids, anyway), as a summer treat. Feed them some broccoli for dinner later.
- Back to school shopping seems fun. It’s not. The list is always confusing (what the heck is a #2 pencil – what happened to #1?) and the older the kid, the less likely you are going to be able to convince them that a) last year’s stuff is just fine and b) most items can be found at the dollar store, not the high end office supply store.
- Throw out last year’s knapsacks if you witness any of the following:
- Liquid ooze coming out of the bottom
- A swarm of fruit flies nestled along the zipper
- The dog incessantly sniffing and sneezing in front of it
- The owner of said knapsack screaming “Don’t touch that!”
Once school starts in September, these key learnings will fade to an unpleasant memory and you’ll be free once again to focus on the things that really count…like why the school bus driver insists on arriving 12 minutes late the first morning of classes. You know – you were counting it down.
Kathy Buckworth is the author of “Journey to the Darkside: Supermom Goes Home”, available in bookstores everywhere. Visit www.kathybuckworth.com and read Funny Mummy every month.