Today is the last day of school, woe is me. The School Board didn’t even have the decency to make it a full day. At 1:00 my blessed alone time will have become a thing of the past, for the summer at least, and my seven hours of writing time will be cut by at least 75%.
Actually, by the time you read this, my kids will be looking into my office from the doorway telling me they’re bored, or that they’re hungry and can’t possibly cook breakfast for themselves, or worse yet, they’ll cook and I get to clean up after them. Then later, they’ll stare at me until I stop writing, look at them, and growl, “What?” at which time they’ll ask. “How’s the writing going?” This is what I have to look forward to for the next three months, God help me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, really, but I don’t mind when they’re away from me between the hours of 8AM and 3PM. My youngest gave me a hug before climbing onto the bus and said she couldn’t wait until tomorrow so we could spend more quality time together. The thought made my ass twitch. More quality time? I’m a hands-on stay-at-home mother. If I spend any more quality time with my kids, I might just go mad. So, I’m dreaming up ways to keep them busy.
Here’s my plan:
• One hour cleaning time. In my dreams, I’ll have the house vacuumed on a daily basis, windows cleaned, and bedrooms tidied up. On the more realistic end of the spectrum, I might get the breakfast dishes done and possibly the garbage thrown.
• An hour of reading every day, no TV, no iPods, no electronics at all. One hour of quiet. When Twinkle Toes comes home for the month of August, we’ll be reading Pride and Prejudice together.
• Tomorrow I’m taking my youngest to the local nursery where we will buy a herbs to plant in the now weed-ridden pots on my front porch. She’ll be responsible to plant them, water them every day, and gather and was whatever herbs I’ll need to fix dinner.
• One day a week I’ll have my daughter’s best friend over for a bowling camp. They can walk up and back, stop at the neighborhood stores, and generally wear themselves out.
• If I achieve my weekly writing goal, and the kids achieve their goals when it comes to chores, we might even do a day escape. I love taking the kids to nearby battlefields, art museums, zoos, and all the great little hidden historical gems spread over the Washington D.C. area.
• I’m adding incentive—always a good thing. But if all else fails, there is always bribery. It’s amazing how good two or three kids can be when a Jimmy Cone hangs in the balance.
So, for those of you with kids, what do you do to keep them busy and out from under foot all summer? And if you are either without kids or just failing miserably at the above and aren’t in the mood to discuss it, what are the things you used to love to do in the summer that kept you out of your parents’ hair?