This past week was our first entire “free” week of the summer – no camps, no visiting family, no visits from family. It marked the first opportunity for girls (and me) to be as lazy as they wanted to in the mornings, play to their hearts’ content, pull out long-forgotten toys and games that they’d been hoping to get to, and just relax and be. Before summer began and I saw that we’d have a whole week with absolutely no plans, my initial thought had been to fill the empty space. In the end, other thoughts prevailed. One day we went to a local amusement/water park, so that was kind of “scheduled.” But otherwise? Whatever struck the girls’ fancy.
Which meant that our week sounded a lot like this:
If you’d just strip your sheets for me, I’ll make the rest of the bed.
“Why do you have to make us work so hard?”
“There are no towels here!”
You’re in luck – I brought some down and you may use them.
“I GET THE STRIPED ONE!”
“No, *I* get the striped one!”
“You can have the polka dot one!”
“No, YOU can have the polka dot one.”
“I said it first!”
“But I SAW it first.”
IF EITHER OF YOU ARGUES ANY FURTHER ABOUT A TOWEL THAT YOU DID NOT EVEN BRING DOWN HERE, YOU WILL FORFEIT DRYING PRIVILEGES FOR THE REST OF THE AFTERNOON.
Since you can’t listen to music right now, why don’t you come up with a song to sing?
“Okay! I like this one: We will BURN DOWN the enemy! We will burrrrn dowwwwn the enemy! WE WILL BURN DOWN THE ENEMY!!”
What does that even mean?
“I don’t know. I only sing it to annoy you.”
I’d be happy to get you a snack. In addition to fruit, what else would you like?
“Come on! Just a few Doritos??”
“I’ll take pretzel Goldfish, please.”
I decided to surprise you! You both have pretzel Goldfish and a few Doritos, too!
“But I didn’t say I wanted Doritos.”
“OKAY, okay… I’ll eat them… It’s fine, really… It’s fine… You don’t have to look at me like that…”
On your way up, please put the yellow floatie back in the shed. Since you both used it, you can both put it back.
*begins dragging floatie down the dock* “I’ve got it this far! You can bring it the rest of the way!”
“But *I* wanted to bring it to the end of the dock!”
“But *I* grabbed it first!”
“But I WANTED it first. You’re the WORST sister EVER.”
“No, YOU’RE the WORST sister EVER.”
“I’m still a little bit hungry.”
You can have more cherries, then.
“Never mind. I’m not hungry anymore.”
It’s time to eat lunch! Please come to the kitchen!
“We’re busy! We’ll be there later!”
You left a big mess in the dining room! Come pick it up!
Which outfit do you think you should wear on our trip?
“Sorry, mom – gotta go. No time now.”
I feel like Harry Chapin. Since when did this become “Cat’s In The Cradle”?
(**At long last, I pull up a stool and, for the first time all day, take a few minutes to answer emails or write a blog post while the girls are playing happily and do not need my assistance in any way, shape, or form…**)
“Mom? Can you help me with this?”
“Mom? I need to ask you a question.”
“Mommy? I think I hurt myself.”
“Mama? Mommy? Mom??”
WELL, LOOK AT THAT. HERE YOU ARE. FUNNY HOW THAT WORKS.
“Can I melt all of your chocolate on the stove and then freeze it just to see what would happen?”
The Godiva chocolate?
I’d rather you not.
“You never let me do ANYTHING.”
“There’s nothing to do.”
You have an entire summer fun list you could check out.
“I don’t wanna do any of those.”
You could play outside.
“It’s too hot.”
You could read a book.
“I’m tired of reading.”
You could stop standing here and pestering me.
“Everything here is so BORING!”
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. In addition to the above, there have also been lovely moments, like when they created this incredibly detailed Harry Potter experience that utilized the entire upstairs of the house, or when we dropped the car off for new tires and then walked into town for breakfast at a wonderful dairy farm, or the terrific evening we spent picking beans and tomatoes at our farm share, or the marvelous new Pinot I discovered from one of our local wineries… Yes, there have been happy, giddy, quiet-Mommy-has-wine sounds, too.
But this week has been long, people. Turns out my kids actually do crave structure. I can’t imagine where they get that.
I do believe we’ve officially reached that point of the summer when thinking about the start of school elicits cheers instead of groans. Don’t worry – we’ve got plenty more to do and enjoy, and I plan to make the very most out of our remaining 3.5 weeks of summer.
But September is looking awfully damn inviting over that horizon.
That is, if everyone makes it out of August in one piece.