Tuesday, August 1, 2017

2017 Top Five Things I Learned the Hard Way This Summer

(For 2016's list, click here.)

Number Five

Floodgates are real.

I know this because we Arthur parents opened them. It was just a little crack at first. And now our home is fully flooded. By what? You might ask. I'll tell you: PETS.

It all started when my husband, in a VERY good mood at the time, spontaneously said "yes" when asked sorta-out-of-the-blue by our 4 yr old if we could have fish. Later, upon his wife's request for A GOOD REASON FOR THIS NONSENSE, Husband shared that it was a moment fueled by several previous days worth of "nos" and he wanted to be a Yes-Dad at least this once.

Well, shit.

Speaking of, WE HAVE LOTS OF IT IN OUR HOUSE NOW. Because fish turned into a birthday present hamster (Dumb... JUST DUMB... because GUESS WHAT? Every kid has a birthday. They don't GO AWAY once one kid has one. There's a next kid who has one. And a next after that...). And that birthday hamster has turned into the next kid's birthday bunny rabbit.

Just so much poop.

So, there you have it. Floodgates are real. So are Pandora's boxes. So are cans of worms. And they should ALL stay closed.

Number Four

There is nothing more irritating than the sound of a house fly. 

Last weekend, I put on my headphones and played classical music just so I wouldn't have to hear the gazillion little things buzzing around.
P.S. I am aware there is such a thing as a fly swatter and we have one somewhere...but I can always find the headphones faster than the swatter.
P.S.S. I know you're thinking their life span is so short and the problem should be short-lived, which would be the case if I didn't keep discovering littler ones... i'm pretty convinced those stinkers are having at-home births in MY HOUSE.
P.S.S.S. My kids never close the back door when they're in summer mode flittering around from the back yard to the house and back again, resulting in said scenario.
P.S.S.S.S. The next request for a birthday pet from children will result in harnessing a couple house flies and calling it good. Besides, flies have small poop, right?

Number Three

Ambitious daily checklists are for the birds. 

I was so proud of myself when I typed up what I thought to be THE PERFECT set of items to expect completed by each child each weekday of the summer. I talked it up! I toted the kids to Fed Ex and LAMINATED the list! I bought, tied a string to, and hung dry erase markers! This was gonna be GREAT!

It was not great. I think we got through...maybe... Day 4?

Here's the thing... the IDEA isn't bad... just that I got too ambitious with it. Ambitious and summer are words that do not belong in the same sentence (I'm aware that I just did it). At least not in this house.

They still use the list. And the dry erase markers. But we went to town, one-by-one crossing items off in permanent marker. All that's left is basically "get dressed" and "read." Do ya really need a list to keep record of THAT?

Number Two

Back to being ambitious... for two years running now I've had this notion that summer in its purest form is Andy-Griffith in nature... that kids ought to play with sticks and butterflies and baseballs from sunrise to sunset. It's why I don't sign them up for a bunch of activities. It's why, when they mutter, "I'm bored" I sing-song in return, "Bored is good! Bored is good!"

It's why I say in the beginning that the TV and screens are off-limits.

I went so far, last year, as to put a sheet over our family room television.

Of course, slowly, screens emerge more and more into their routines, in direct correlation - no doubt - with my resignation and laziness.

Let me paint a picture for you: Two weeks ago our internet connection became hit and miss until it pretty much gave out completely. Since apple tv (aka the internet) is the way we receive TV programming these days and since all other screens (computer, iPads) all run on the same juice, we were literally screen-free.

We nearly ripped each other's heads off.

So, Number Two is: Don't give up on screens completely. Unless you want to rip each other's heads off.

Number One

"Everybody: OUTSIDE" can never be overused.

Oh, how I love this phrase. It's a variation of "Everybody: Out of the kitchen." or "Everybody: Out of this room." But those two are more famously used in the winter months, because why - when they're wild and loud and playing catch with clementines and hockey-puck-ing remote controls with their barefeet - would you send them somewhere else still under your same roof unless you HAD to?

With all the summer lightness and warmthness, I basically send them outside ANYtime I'm annoyed. It doesn't even need to be the result of their behavior... I stubbed my toe? Everybody: OUTSIDE. I forgot to use up the ground beef that has gone bad in the fridge? Everybody: OUTSIDE. I got toothpaste on my shirt? Everybody: OUTSIDE.

Oh, and take the flies and all our new pet poop with ya.

No comments: