I’m now three weeks deep into kids' summer break. Both my son and daughter are enrolled in various day camps; my son is even scheduled for two weeks of sleepaway camp. But in between, my kids are spending a lot of time with me.
On paper, a summer break filled with tons of unscheduled time with my little darlings looks good. As I planned out their summer, I had pictures in my mind of pajama mornings, pool days and projects galore! We’d be messy, creative and together! It would be a blissful summer none of us would soon forget.
Well none of us will forget it, especially me. Because my kids seem hell bent on driving me crazy. In between the 37 meals they each want to eat everyday (how many snacks can a 5-year-old eat?), the bickering (make it stop!), and my kids' attempts at telling the world’s longest stories ever, there’s very little time for me to recharge my battery. That’s because during the summer, kids are always on. And they want mom to be on with them.
So if you’re home with your little darlings wondering if you’re going nuts, you’re not. And you’re not alone. All of our children will drive us slowly mad by doing these unbelievably annoying things.
1. The Story That Never Ends
Last Tuesday, my son told me a story about a Minecraft character. I’m fairly certain, three days later, he’s still telling that story. It’s as though kids out of school enter a world’s longest story competition. Aaah!
The later kids go to bed the earlier they wake up. What fun.
2. Bedtime? That’s funny!
Most parents get a little lenient with bedtime during the summer, but once the kids get wind of that they turn bedtime into an endless game of "how late can I stay up." And remember, the later kids go to bed the earlier they wake up. What fun.
3. Candyland and Other Games with No End
It’s only been a few weeks of summer and I’ve already lost my marbles playing Candyland with my 5-year-old. That’s because Candyland is one of those “all ages” games that never ends. The kids are thrilled to play for hours on end, but mom will bribe her kids just to stop the never-ending spin cycle.
4. The Wet Towel Trick
If you have a pool, or you take your kids to the beach, your house will be filled with wet towels. No, they won’t be drying on towel racks. They’ll be all over the floor in wet piles waiting for you to recover them.
5. I Don’t Need Day Camp, I Just Need You
If you thought your kids couldn’t get enough of you during the school year wait until you enroll them in Camp Mommy and they want to be with you every minute of every day. Ugh.
6. Waah, I Dropped My Ice Cream!
Summer is all about ice cream, right? Count on your kids to focus on the ice cream and not your request that they sit while they eat it. They won’t get two licks in before that gorgeous vanilla cone goes tumbling to the ground. Cue the temper tantrum. And yes, you will buy your kiddo a replacement just to end the waterworks.
7. Hey, Let’s Fight All Summer
All children see summer break as a great time to practice their wrestling skills on their sibling. Your kids will fight more than they won’t and you’ll spend your summer playing referee. It’s enough to make a mom lose her mind.
Count on your kids to complain about each and every one of the camps they begged you to attend.
8. Sure, Let’s Stand on the Furniture
Mom and dad may be lax on rules during the summer, but kids will see that as an opportunity to stage a mutiny. Expect to find your darlings eating cookies for breakfast, using your walls as a canvas, and using the furniture as a dance floor. Eventually, you’ll just pretend not to notice. It’s not like they listen when you say, “Get down!” anyhow.
9 . Cleanliness Is Next To ... Oh Screw It
Everything is a mess over the summer. The kids will be covered in popsicle stickiness. And they’ll drag everything from mud to sand in the house. There will be piles of dirty clothes everywhere, and if the kids make their beds once over the summer, you’ll be lucky. By August, you’ll surrender knowing your house will be clean again when the kids go back to school in a few short weeks.
10. Hey Mommy, I Hate My Camp
You know those camps you signed your kids up for in April? The ones that cost you an arm and a leg? The one your kids begged to go to? Count on your kids to complain about each and every one of the camps they begged you to attend. But don’t pull them out. They’ll complain about being at home, too.
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The bad news is, your kids will definitely, absolutely, without a doubt, attempt to drive you crazy over the summer. The good news is, the kids will go back to school eventually. Let’s just hope they don’t drive their teachers as crazy as they drive their moms.