Thursday, August 11, 2016

Five Things I Learned the Hard Way This Summer

Five Things I Learned The Hard Way This Summer

1. The library is not free (for people like me).

There should be a sign on the front door reading, "WARNING: This establishment's services are free ONLY if you are responsible and organized and On Top of Life." I owe $33 and some change on books and [mainly] DVDs I cannot find. This is one situation where having a bigger family is helpful; I keep opening up children accounts to dodge fines that have accrued. Since I'm working in descending order, my goal is NOT to have the 1-yr-old blackballed from the public library before she can talk. Or read.

2. I wish I had never introduced hand sanitizer as a viable form of hand cleaning.

It all started as my lazy approach to keeping entering-from-the-outside-world filth controlled (after our whole family kept getting sickness after sickness last school year). To avoid a battle each time we came into the house, I bought a four hundred ounce pump of hand sanitizer and set it right on the inside of our garage door. But now... now that we spend our days around like.all.the.time, the kids try to pull hand-sanitizer trick on me to clean their chocolate-frosting-hands and their mud-caked-hands and their GOD HELP ME poop-spotted-hands (it happens). No no no... CHILDREN... you cannot shortcut on poop. You gotta immerse under water with foam soap and sing the damn alphabet all the way through. Maybe twice.

3. The dentist ain't half-bad.

I was dreading our annual (**this is NOT the recommended frequency**) dentist visit last week where I had loaded in all three of the teethed children's appointments, plus mine. I got all of them through their appointments with bribery reminders and without major incident, and then it came time for mine. Sweet Lord above! I am reclined. I have my eyes closed. I can't yell or reprimand my children, even if I wanted to due to mouth-wide-open position. I don't know where they are or what they are doing. My dental insurance includes receptionist oversight of minors, right? I told my dental hygienist that I have been playing my cards all wrong by avoiding the experience... Next summer I will schedule weekly appointments.

4. A solution to the laundry situation = swimwear.

I don't know about yours, but my kids cannot seem to master the "Can it be worn again or is it dirty?" discernment required to know what constitutes a toss to the hamper. I swear I've explained the rules... If it has no spots and does not smell, it can be worn again. If you have not come into contact with an infectious disease, it can be worn again. And least of all - if you've had it on your body for less than an hour, it can be worn again. With All Of The Water that comes with summer (sprinkler games, water balloon antics, squirt gun wars, pool trips), my kids are in and out of dry clothing faster than you can say LAUNDRY NIGHTMARE, each time without consideration of "can it be worn again or is it dirty." I JUST figured out the solution days away from the summer's end: skip clothes. They go straight from pajamas to swimsuits. And pretty much stay this way the remainder of the day. That is, until they come into contact with an infectious disease...

5. Reading programs motivate kids but moreso obsess them.

I want my kids to read during the summer. I want them to do it, just because. But those are not my kids. My kids are the ones who fixate on rewards. They are fixators. And obsessors. And collectors. Put before them a summer reading program which draws young people based on their need to be positively affirmed with collectables and trinkets...and we have a match made in hell. Because "unlocking" each of their ridiculous reading rewards is on them. But driving them to wherever they pick them up is on me. (Never mind additional time-sucks of educational Scavenger Hunts that lead to the cheap little plastic whatevers). If I had to do it all over again, and it is between digressing in their reading over the summer or going through the hell that is Summer Reading Programs, I might have chosen illiteracy.

P.S. School starts today, so remind me about these discoveries in 9 months, K?

1 comment:

Kristen Mantovani said...

I love this! You make me smile. :)