And So It Begins: The Dreaded Summer Vacation

Daily Foglifter:  The fear of children is called pedophobia.  The fear of adolescents is called ephebiphobia.

It’s the first official day of summer break for the kids.  What do we have planned?  Doctor’s visits.  Fantastic.  What’s the weather like?  98° with about 85% humidity.  In short, miserable.  Especially since we’re attempting to cool the parts of the house we have to live in (the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen) with a noisy window unit and a portable air conditioner that won’t blow on anything other than a low setting.  The bedrooms are hot, but since it’s summer the kids can camp out in the dining room floor, right?  They’ll love it.

The cooling situation, or the not-cooling situation, is only an added hassle to what is sure to be a crazy summer.  For the next 3 months, the 5 kids will be with me every second of every day.  At home, the grocery store, the doctor’s office, the bank–everywhere.  It is my habit to make several quick trips to the grocery store for the massive amounts of milk, bread, and everything my kids consume in a week.   I’m going to have to space these trips out as much as possible, as taking all the kids to the grocery store is an ordeal. For an example of a week’s consumption of groceries and the emotional toll of five kids at home, click here.  I’m sure some of you are wondering why I don’t do all the shopping for the week at once.  I try, but 6 gallons of milk just won’t fit in my refrigerator.

I have several ideas for the summer that I hope will help with the chaos.

  1. Operation Child Lock-Out  My kids spend way too much time inside, noses buried in video games and TV.  I’m going to take a note from my mom and boot their behinds outside and lock the door for a couple of hours.  Shocked?  Get over it.  They’ll be forced to play.  Oh no!  Not that!  If they get thirsty, they can use the water hose.
  2. The library Our library has summer story time, movie days, and books–lots of them.  They need to read more.  #5 is a voracious reader, but the others need encouragement.  As #4 says, “Books are boring, all there is to look at is words.”  Where did I go wrong?
  3. The Park  Being outside is more fun at a park with crazy playground equipment.  There are also covered picnic tables and a pond to fish in.  Although no one ever catches anything, there are also resident alligators to bolster the excitement value.
  4. Bold Bible Kids Our church has a children’s program consisting of games, music, food, and play time.  One day is an outing.  At the moment, I’m slated to help out but I’m searching desperately for a replacement.  If any of my church friends are reading this, You have any ideas?
  5. NetFlix  It’s going to rain.  A lot.  We live on the coast and the price we pay for that luxury is ridiculous humidity and almost daily afternoon showers.  NetFlix may be my only hope.
  6. Crafts  I know #2 won’t do crafts.  He lacks the patience and he honestly doesn’t see the point.   #1 creates things from cardboard, paper, crayons, and tape daily.  The other two will thread beads all the live long day.  It’s time I take advantage of this slightly obsessive compulsive propensity.

As for me, I’m taking an art class.  Watercolors.  I’ve never painted in my life (walls and cakes don’t count.)  The class is made up primarily of senior citizens which I hope translates into a quiet class with ample life-lesson learning opportunity.  If anyone could use the wisdom of the ages, it’s me.

“Insanity is hereditary – you get it from your kids.” ~Sam Levenson

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16 thoughts on “And So It Begins: The Dreaded Summer Vacation

  1. I can not believe they are already out !!! BEFORE the HOLIDAY !!! Of course kids around here are certain they will have to go until July 4th !! All those snow days ~

    • I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid my mom had to make me come INside not go OUTside. Honestly, what a bunch of couch potatoes I have! It’s very un-childlike.

  2. Luckily for me, we have a small playground just across the road. Second term here will end shortly after the family comes home, so we won’t send them to school until the beginning of third term (we have four terms).

    So it will be like a long vacation when they get here, but in the middle of winter!! Not sure how we are going to entertain them all, but I think Dad is going to be delegated tour guide for a week or two! He has lived here, of course, so knows his way around. We have great public transport and they can explore to their hearts’ content.

    Good luck with keeping 5 entertained! I like the lock ’em out for a couple of hours. I agree totally, kids spend far too much time in front of TVs and computers these days. Fresh air never killed anyone!

  3. I am totally in agreement on a lock out. Yesterday I told Andrew that if he wouldn’t play outside then he was going to have to clean the house, he went outside.

    • When we stayed at my grandma’s house if we said we were bored she always told us she had plenty of work for us to do. I think I’m going to use that, too.

  4. summer bible camp was always a fun thing to do im my childhood summers.

    Wouldnt it be nice to have a live in nanny housekeeeper? But the going rate for them is 800 a week so the only type of nanny I could afford is the illegal imigrant type. And despite the belief that ‘anything’ can be found on the internet… sadly.. those search terms yeild nothing. (hahah)

    YMCAs have a lot of cool kid programs though.

    • The YMCA is great and the prices aren’t too bad for 1 kids, but you send 5 and it gets expensive really quick. We’ll have to find the free stuff. You’d be surprised what you can find for free, though.

  5. Funny post. I have to say though, I do not think that fear of adolescents is a phobia. I think it’s a very normal and intelligent reaction. We must protect ourselves from the angst!

    • You got that right. I have a 12 yo and an 11 yo and I’m not looking forward to the next couple of years. Actually, the next 18 years look pretty bleak. At least one teenager the entire time. *shudder*

  6. Love Operation Child Lock-out. We are already setting up our big blow-up pool in hopes that the kids will be outside most days. (I’ll deal with the wet swimsuits on the floor, puddles in the bathroom and tracked in wet grass) I always start summer very positive “Oh it’s gonna be so much fun!” then by August I’m whining, “Oh god, when will it end?!”

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