Finally, the day we've all been counting down to since mid-March. Retirement. We made it through over three months of home schooling and as far as I know, the kids have been promoted to their next grade levels. I can finally let out that breath I've been holding and relax. But just as I was exhaling, it dawned on me. We are now faced with ten weeks of a completely unstructured summer. Sounds good on paper, right? No alarm clocks, no places to be, (drink) no set meal times, no schedules whatsoever. But when Cynthia complained at 9:00 this morning that she was bored, I realized we have a long road ahead of us. All morning, the chorus of "mom's" grated on my nerves more than usual. Everyone needed something and I began to feel suffocated.
Just before noon, I had finally finished loading the last of the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher (because, if you recall from way back - scattered waking times), when Eleanor asked for lunch. (Drink) I realized I cannot do this all summer. Starting tomorrow, I am rolling out a four phase plan. Each phase represents a grievance, which, if not addressed, will unleash mean mommy. Nobody likes mean mommy.
Phase One: Eliminate the all-morning breakfast diner concept and replace with a more streamlined approach to dining. To achieve this, we will be implementing a breakfast deadline. You eat by 9:30 or make it and clean it up yourself.
Phase Two: Remove the word "bored" from your vocabulary. Anyone who says the word bored will have his or her mouth washed out with soap. We've done this on occasion and it works wonders. There is no (drink) shortage of entertainment at our house and there are four siblings from which to choose as a playmate. And there are these things called books. Amazing inventions.
Phase Three: Put your laundry in the hamper. I'm perplexed on how to accomplish this because I feel like I've tried every tactic including adding it to their chore app for monetary compensation. I feel (drink) my only remaining hope is to establish a black hole, of sorts, for clothes I find discarded throughout the house. The only way to reclaim an article of clothing from the black hole is to bring mommy breakfast in bed. That could be a disaster though. I'll just teach them how to make Bloody Marys. They can serve it to me in bed in a sippy cup for all I care.
Phase Four: Go the f*ck to bed. I am done asking fifteen times for them to go upstairs, brush their teeth, and go to sleep. If someone asked me to do this, I'd gladly oblige. Why is this such a battle with kids? But it is. And for the last dozen years, I have failed to find a solution. But this (drink) is the Summer of Change and I've got a plan. Broccoli. They hate the smell. If they don't go to bed when asked, out it comes, permeating the entire house with the distinct smell of steamed vegetables. They'll hightail it to their rooms, closing the doors behind them, not to reappear until morning. Before 9:30 if they're smart. (Drink)
I'll be addressing the family promptly at 7pm, unconventionally beginning with phase four to kick off the Summer of Change. I anticipate some animosity. There will be those who support the plan (James) and those who (drink) oppose (everyone else). But in due time, I expect a victorious campaign. Let the games begin.