The house is MIIIINE!!!!
Ahhhh, it’s that time of year again. The time that children and teachers alike dread but parents celebrate. Back to school! The time of year when as a stay at home mom I finally take back my house! After spending two and a half months with two teenagers and a 9-year old who THINKS she is a teenager I finally get to have the house all to myself!
And not a moment too soon to be quite honest with you! You see, summer vacation is one of those grand ideas that is fabulous in theory but not always so wonderful in practice. It starts out great, don’t get me wrong – trips to the pool, to the zoo, vacations to destinations that are beautiful and maybe even educational. Getting to sleep in, no more alarm clock blaring in your ear at god awful hours of the morning. No wondering if you remembered to pack their lunches the night before and then throwing them together last minute while half asleep because you hadn’t.
It definitely has its perks…. For about the first month to month and a half.
Then the chaos starts. All those fun trips to the pool and the zoo they are now booooring because ‘we’ve been there a hundred times Mom!’ Now that the amazing vacation to exotic destinations is over everything else seems to pale in comparison. They’ve read all their books and NO they don’t want to go get more because ‘reading is booooring’. Your teenager is now sitting on the couch for hours on end mercilessly slashing and stabbing through a mob of zombies, or vampires or whatever strange creatures are in his latest video game.
The idea of going outside isn’t interesting because ‘there’s nothing to dooo out there Mom’. And any suggestion you could possibly make is either boring or is greeted with that ‘look’. You know the one that says ‘I can’t believe you even suggested something so childish and stupid’. Yeah, that one. You have either experienced it or given it in your lifetime. (And if you haven’t gotten it yet from your kid, juuuust wait, it’s coming).
Then just when you think it couldn’t get any worse – they turn on each other. Like mad rabid dogs over the last bone. Things that really shouldn’t even BE things all of the sudden are the topic of hour-long arguments and discussion. Things like – sitting too close to each other. Seriously. I am not kidding. An hour long argument because one of them sat too close to the other and then wouldn’t move. Arguments over who has been on the television too long. Arguments about who went into who’s room without permission. Arguments about whether or not the lizard is a girl or a boy – I swear to GOD!
At some point I think they were just mad at each other for existing!
The remaining weeks of summer vacation are some of the longest that a parent can face. So when those back to school sections start going up at the local Target and Wal-Mart we all do a back handspring of joy in our minds.
You find yourself almost in tears at the glorious sight of rulers, protractors, index cards and highlighters. Three ring binders never looked so sexy! And you gleefully go from isle to isle trying to find every last item on the absurdly long school supply list whilst dragging your pouty, moody children behind you.
See, as much as we love them, we need them to go back to school! We need it for our sanity and their well-being at that point. Because to be quite honest if I had to break up one more stupid, senseless fight Mommy was gonna go all Fight Club on their asses.
And let's be real here, as much as my kids kind of dread going back to school, they also know that they are tired of being around each other. Getting to see their friends again and hang out with people OTHER than their siblings is a much-needed reprieve for them.
They are now stimulated throughout the day and no longer can say that they are bored and have nothing to do. I remind them of that constantly when they complain about their homework… “Remember when you said you were bored over the summer, well NOW you have something to do! Aren't you happy?”
For which I am rewarded with another one of those ‘looks'. But who cares! They are back in school baby!
Back to school time also allows me to have some peace and quiet, something that I wholly take for granted every year. I am able to get back to a regular schedule for my business, getting tasks done on time – hell sometimes even early! I am also able to sit back and have my annual goal review. You know all those goals that we have at the beginning of the year, this is when I stop and take stock of my progress.
How are my goals progressing? Which have I accomplished? What strides have I made toward those that I haven’t? And which goals have I not even STARTED that maybe need to be reevaluated? Now that I have the time, the peace and quiet and the ability to go an hour without hearing “Mom, Mom, Mom, Moooo-oooom!” I can start focusing again on those items that I had maybe been neglecting.
Back to school time is great for me and for the kids. We are all able to get back to our routines and out of each other's way for 7 hours of the day. We are happy to see each other when they come home. We actually WANT to hear about each other's day and what happened. And I no longer have the overwhelming urge to duct tape them to a wall.
Lord help the teachers though…