The summer fall-down

You know how kids look forward to the lazy days of summer? How does the saying go? No school, no books, no teacher’s dirty looks? But then, after a few weeks, they’re bored and wondering what to do with themselves. You can only play at the park or in the backyard pool with the same friends for so long before everyone forgets how to get along.

Well, I’m kind of like that too. I so look forward to an easier schedule in the summer. Everything is more relaxed; bedtime, meal times, attitudes, chores. Ok, maybe too relaxed.

out of routine = out of my mind

It’s not that I don’t want my kids to experience some down time. In fact, I believe it’s essential to their well-being.

But I have always worked full time and my kids have always gone to daycare or school. So they are used to the go-go lifestyle that is associated with that.

When we have downtime and nothing to do, conversations go something like this:

Me: “K, guys, Mommy has to tidy up lunch. Please find something to occupy yourself.”

Big Sister (already looking bored): “Like what, Mom?”

Little Brother (with a cheeky grin because he’s copying his sister and he knows where this leads): “Like what, Mom?”

Me: “How ’bout you take out your puzzles and show Little Brother how to put that Winnie the Pooh puzzle together?”

Big Sister (rolling her eyes): “I already did that yesterday. He knows already.”

Little Brother: “I already did that yesterday. I know already.” (with a cheeky smile and a glance in his sister’s direction)

Me: “Well, you have lots of other toys in your toy box. Find something in there.”

Big Sister (looking more bored): “Like what, Mom?”

Me: “I don’t know. How ’bout your camera?”

(Little Brother races for the toy box to get the camera first. Big Sister sees this and is forced into action. Yelling, screaming and fighting ensue. I carry on with tidying up lunch.)

By the time the fight has resolved itself (I try not to interfere unless they are pummeling each other), I have cleaned up lunch, packed some water in a small cooler and I’m ready to take them to the park to meet their friends.

This week, next week and the week after, my daughter is in day camp and my son is in daycare by himself. Their routine has been restored. (Day camp runs on the school day schedule.) My sanity has been restored.

When they were both at daycare earlier in the summer, there weren’t enough activities throughout the day I guess to really tire them out and make them feel like they were “doing something” all the time. Our evenings were a mess of “I’m bored.” and “Can we go to the park now?” and “Play with me, Mom.”

Given that evenings are longer in the summer, they really tend to drag on. I still have all the same responsibilities that I have in the winter, but now I have less time to get everything done. How is that fair if the days are longer? So, my routines of cleaning, organizing, writing, exercising and any other activity you can think of to throw in to the mix are completely out of whack. We’re busy every weekend (not that I’m complaining—I love being busy with friends and family and summertime fun) and stuff is not getting done. Sigh.

Well, I guess there is only one more month of this and then routine returns in the form of school, shorter days, colder temperatures and the winter blahs. I should just stop complaining and enjoy the rest of the summer!

There, pep talk done. Now back to enjoying the unroutine of summer.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer and all the craziness and laziness it brings with it!

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