It’s 9:23 am on the first day of the kids’ summer vacation and I’ve already locked myself in the bathroom to get away from them. And they’ve only been up for 23 minutes. This is looking like its going to be a loooooooooooooong summer.
Despite running the shower and covering my head with the towel, I can still hear them. I am considering curling up in the fetal position in the corner next to the toilet that hasn’t been cleaned yet this week. From what I can make out, they’re arguing about some minutiae. Shocking, I know. From the ferocity of the debate you would think they were arguing about ways to end world hunger.
My son woke up and couldn’t find his cell phone. His sister had it for what reason I will never begin to understand. She wasn’t using it. She was just holding it. She had to know he would flip out and unleash a world of fury upon her. She does this a lot; takes things of his or touches things when she knows he’ll flip out. I’m starting to think she does it on purpose. Just to start a war. She must hate me.
Of course, he starting flinging insults at her. And holding her down to hit her. And she screeched and clamped her perfect little pearly whites down on his arm. Exasperated, I reprimanded them: (use the monotone voice of Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller) “Stop. Don’t hit her. Leave her alone. Don’t bite him. Leave him alone.”
I’m considering making a recording of my voice and just playing it when they’re fighting. It’s not like they actually listen.
When the decibel level of their argument was somewhere in the neighborhood of a diesel truck crashing through the house, all the animals had scattered and ran for cover.
I took a page out of their book and headed towards the bathroom with the iPad to chronicle this escapade. Except now I hear them. They’re thundering up the steps like a small herd of rhinoceroses. (Rhinoceri? Rhinoceros?)
“Mommy, he called me FAT!”
“She is FAT!”
“I’ll show you fat. I’m going to give you FAT lip!”
(Sound of hand smacking flesh)
“Mommy, she hit me!”
“He hit me first!”
“I didn’t even touch you! I wasn’t even NEAR you!”
“How did I hit you then?”
And on and on…. They volleyed insults back and forth for awhile until I heard…
“Mommy, he pulled out a clump of my hair!”
I catapulted to the door and threw it open. There they stood with smug expressions on their faces.
“Ha ha! We got you out of the bathroom!”
Apparently, the only time they will work in harmony is against me. Or their father.
I guess I should be happy that I have a job where I can be home with them all summer, but it becomes exhausting and draining. They are ALWAYS home when I’m off. I can’t get away from them!
With his crazy work schedule, my husband is home most of the time, too. It’s a freaking love fest all summer. There is way too much togetherness. I’m surprised we’ve made it through seven summers without putting someone up for adoption.
Later on, after everyone had calmed down, we were in the car on a shopping expedition. My husband likes us all to “do things as a family”. Sounds sweet, but it’s mostly to prevent me from spending money without his authorization. apparently he has some sort of obsession about not running up the credit cards. He actually cut up my credit cards one year on my birthday (2008). He’s really quite the fun absorber.
The children were finally quiet and had retreated to their own sides of the car. Nobody was touching anyone or talking. Everyone was staring out their respective windows, minding their own business.
Then, my stupid husband opened his big, fat mouth. “So do you guys remember what Grandma and Grandpa asked you to do at their house for them when they go away?” Dumbest. Question. Ever.
“Yes,” chirped the little one. “I am supposed to water the inside plants and fill the little bird bath.”
“No you’re not, idiot!” the older one interjects. “That’s what I’m supposed to do! You’re suppose to water the plants on the porch and fill the big bird bath.”
“No, I’m not!” The little one is now screeching at the top of her lungs. She goes from 0 to bitch in less than ten seconds. My husband grips the steering wheel. His knuckles are white.
“Yes, you are! You just want to do the easy chores! You are so lazy!” The big one huffs as he breaches the invisible barrier between their seats and shoves his sister.
“No, I’m not!!!!” She counters as she kicks him in the shin.
“Good going,” I hiss under my breath. “I finally got them sedated and you ask questions.”
“I’m sorry,” he replies over the sounds of the children slapping each other in the backseat.
“Are you new? Don’t you know the number one rule is NEVER speak to them when they’re quiet?” I growl.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” He hangs his head in shame. It’s going to be a long summer if I have to review the Parenting 101 handbook with him on a daily basis.
But I am going to be grateful. I am a working mom who gets to spend every waking moment in the summer with her darlings. Other working moms are locked up in air conditioned office buildings while their kids beat each other up at camp or a babysitter’s house.
Those poor moms eat lunch in crowded restaurants with coworkers while their kids eat lunches full of sand on their camp beach trips.
Those poor moms are probably eager to rush home to spend time with their kids but the kids are probably too tired to even speak when they get home.
Those moms probably put them right to bed and don’t even get to intercept one single argument.
Those poor mothers have to nurse a cocktail in silence as their babies slumber…
I definitely have the life. I get to have a cocktail at 9 am as I attempt a craft with the kids I saw on Pinterest that will certainly end up in the garbage and result in tears.
Or I get to watch them splash water in each others’ eyes as they beg me to stay in the pool with them.
Maybe, one day they’ll go to school year round.
Not me though. I’m saving my vacation days for the summer.