Friday, May 31, 2013

Here We Go...

As of today, it is officially summer break for the kids and I. With the exception of a few work commitments that occur during the summer months, I'm home-free in terms of the day-to-day grind.

I have a confession. I am SCARED of summer break.

Yes. You read that right. I'm scared.  Don't get me wrong--I'm excited about it, too. The fear is just occupying a bigger part of my mind right now.

Why am I scared, you ask? Well...for several reasons, actually--one of which is that I'm scared of my kids. Not scared like hide-under-the-bed-someone-is-going-to-kill-me scared, but scared of what they're going to do to my sanity.  Over the last six or seven months, my children have gone from sweet, self-occupying individuals to needy, whiny beasts that require hourly entertainment.  By 10:00 AM a few weeks ago, I was ready to put Anderson outside and lock the door. In the span of about 30 minutes, he'd harassed me to play trains, begged me to take him outside, and thrown an all-out fit for fruit snacks. Amelia is no better--in fact, she's probably worse. The two of them have been playing together a lot more too, which you'd think would be awesome. It's not (okay, it is but it also has its downside). Playing together means fighting more.  Anderson fights dirty and Amelia is the absolute biggest tattle-tale. Sister holds a grudge, too.  Marty will walk in the door from work and Amelia will immediately accost him, saying "Bubby hit me on the head!!"--never mind that said incident occurred at 9:30 that morning. Cute--kinda. Exhausting--definitely.

I'm afraid I won't be able to keep them entertained properly.  If you know me, you know I'm not any kind of Martha Stewart. I don't have a magic craft box full of special supplies that I can pull out on rainy days. I can't make a beautiful butterfly out of glue, puffballs, and glitter. It isn't my thing and I'm not interested in faking it. We all like playing outside but there's only so much we can do there, too.  My kids still aren't quite take-out-able, meaning that it's not the easiest to take them somewhere alone. These two are like magnets--they repel in opposite directions anywhere they go.  Some parks that have good layouts work well because I can keep my eye on them when they go separate ways, but swimming at any of the public pools is out because they just aren't gated around the kiddie areas. I begged Marty to let us join a local pool that has a very nice gated baby pool for the summer, but he's the voice of reason when it comes to money, and the fact that we're getting that bigger vehicle this summer kind of ruled out joining the pool (sigh...).

I'm also a little afraid of myself. I tend to get...lazy...when left to my own devices. Netflix on the iPad can easily take over all of my free time--on more than one occasion, I've been all "hmmm, should I actually attempt to clean the bathroom or fold laundry, or should I watch another episode of Grey's Anatomy? Yes, Grey's it is..." I can become stationary on the couch like I'm growing roots. Not only is this bad for my mind and for the kids, it's bad for my waistline. The truth is, I'm getting older. My metabolism is definitely slowing down the way many people have assured me it would as I edge closer to 40.   This year has been rough in that department, and I surely don't need anything to make it worse. Like attaching myself to the couch.

The past few summers, I've started off gung-ho. I've gone to Target, bought a bunch of entertaining things--bubbles, sidewalk chalk, paper, name it, I bought it.  I enthusiastically unveiled it and took delight in the kids' excitement, which lasted oh...about a week and a half. Their intense interest and then immediate disregard for new toys always astounds me. Only a few prized possessions have made the cut as toys that they truly love--none of them summer entertainment purchases.

Truthfully, I'm excited about summer. I love getting to know my kids in a way that is impossible throughout the school year. I get to spend more time with them, to see how they've changed over the year. I am aware of how lucky I am to have this opportunity. I'm just a little scared to see how it will all play out.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to log onto Pinterest to start pinning every single kiddie entertainment idea that doesn't involve yarn or Mod Podge.

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