Friday, August 17, 2007

Countdown to School Starting

My Kids Summer 2007If you check in here from time to time and you see my Wednesday posts about crafts for kids during the summer you might get the impression that I'm a woman who welcomes summer with open arms because that means that I get to spend more time with my precious little ones. Because every moment away from them during the school year is one moment less that I get to practice being Mother of the Year.

Don't get me wrong, I love my children. Really, I do--I know because lately I've had to repeat that statement over and over 5o times each day to get through it.

Tell me, is there anyone else out there who is counting down the days until school starts like I am? I'm looking for a little comfort and cheap therapy here because I don't know if I can make it another six--oops! Woo hoo! I mean five days!

Grace has been an enormous help this summer, nothing wrong there. She'll whip up a batch of cookies for fun and spends a lot of time babysitting for our neighbors and Lillian too is pleasant to have around (generally). She's ready for kindergarten and is acting the way she has all year. No complaints. No, what I'm talking about is The Boys.

They're driving me crazy! They're so bored they don't know what to do with themselves so they begin to pick at each other and argue and grump over the stupidest things. What's that you say? Give them chores every time they act bored? Well that would be a fine idea if I thought my house could stand it. Let's see--where's my list of things to get fixed? I put it around here somewhere. Ah yes. Well first there was the hole in the playhouse door--I was gone when it happened but eyewitness accounts put Spencer at the scene.

Then there's the trampoline. Another hole, another $50 to patch (I know because I had to have another hole patched two years ago) but this time, no witnesses--nobody knows nothing but I'm guessing this has testosterone written all over it.

David and Spencer have been stemming off much of their boredom with their kendo swords (see this post if you're unsure what a kendo sword is) and that was fine except when I caught them whacking away at each other in the living room between the glass coffee table and the new vases I bought for the fireplace mantel (and yes, after all your suggestions I went with some red vases, and thanks they look lovely . . . but I digress). They looked at me as if I was the one with crazy written all over my face when I flipped out and marched them outside with the strict rule that never were they to play kendo swords inside the house again.

However, on the way outside David tossed his kendo sword on the couch (so he says) and the thing instead hit the wall behind the couch and made a hole that now needs to be patched. He came and told me what had happened very soberly but perked right up at the end. Looking as if he'd found a loophole in the law that was going to get him off squeaky clean he said very cheerfully, "Yea, Mom, but at least I told the truth, right? Right? RIGHT?" (We've been having problems along these lines but I won't go into that here). I'm not sure what he was expecting but I'm guessing that George Washington would still have got in major trouble too had he put a hole in his parents' wall with his kendo sword. Cherry tree schmerry tree. So you told the truth, you're still going to have to tell your father what you did when he comes home, you hear? And gimme that kendo sword, it's now officially contraband.

Today the boys were messing around in the garage and they somehow smashed the fluorescent light on the ceiling. Read that again slowly and think about what I'm saying. They smashed the fluorescent light. You have seen a fluorescent light bulb shatter haven't you? It's like a bomb going off, with glass shrapnel flying in a radius of a quarter mile in every direction. I guess I should be glad neither of them got hurt but I was cleaning up glass from every corner of the garage for half an hour and I'm still finding an occasional missed shard.

Oh! And the garage! That reminds me, I had another flat tire last week. You may not think this was anything unusual but I'll send you to read this post here and maybe you'll realize that it's not just coincidence when I get a flat tire. Let's just say that in 20 years of driving I'd never had a flat tire (well, except once) until I had a son who started pounding nails in the garage. Last summer we had four--so far this year? I think only two but I could have paid for a new set of tires for what all the patch jobs have cost me.

And last week? We're driving back from the library on the highway and it was hot and sunny. Spencer had his window down all the way and he was wearing Andrew's sunglasses that had been left in the car--something he'd been told not to do of course--when a big gust of wind whipped the too-large glasses off his face and blew them to an untimely death on the highway. Crunch.

Now before you think that we're letting them get away free and clear with all this destruction don't worry, they've had to pay for as much as they can but really now, how much money can you get from an eight year-old and a ten year-old without allowances? That's why I'm ready to forget the cash and just collect a pound or two of flesh.

Andrew called me at lunch today and while I was on the phone looking for love and relief the boys were messing around in the background. I don't know what they were doing, I was too tired and wiped out to bother refereeing or getting angry, but suddenly Andrew stopped the conversation and said, "Is that the boys making all that noise?" When I assured him that yes, the sounds he heard were in fact the fruits of his loins doing their best to promote Valium usage among housewives can you guess his response?

"Wow, I've only heard them for two minutes and they're driving me crazy. Good luck honey. See you at six."

Five days . . . five days . . . five days . . . where did I put the Valium?

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49 comments:

K T Cat said...

A coworker called children the perfect consumers. They consume all the time, love and money you can give them and then they want more.

:-)

I get beat sometimes, too. It's just me, so it can be extra, er, fun with a 10 year old girl and a 15 year old boy. They're still the coolest, though.

Jen said...

Oh THANK GOD!!!! It's not just me. A had open house at his school today and it took all the willpower in the world to NOT leave him there until next Wednesday. It has been a long summer, and the last 10 days have been the longest part. I think you nailed it right on the head: it's a boy thing. I talk to other women who have girls and while they're looking forward to school starting, they don't have that "I know why animals eat their young" look in their eyes. Seriously, my cherubs are just another couple of "oopsies" from indentured servitude.

Corrie said...

I was just wondering the same thing: where is that valium? or xanax? or whatever you've got. I think I'll take it.

We homeschool, but when the neighbor kids go back to school, it makes it so much easier for me.

I feel like Ralph Cramden sometimes, "This close, Alice, I'm this close."

Lisa said...

I'm feeling very lucky right now with two girls. But in a few more years, I know I will be dying with all the emotional hormones in this house!

Good luck, only a few more days...hopefully no more damage.

edj said...

I am laughing so hard! Yep, sounds like life round here. Abel kicked his shoe up on the roof--I realize that's not damaging, but it's the very latest thing round here. I know you won't ask why--you know why. Cuz he could, that's why. It made sense at the time, I assume.

Fourier Analyst said...

Girls are not any easier. The sniping and name calling and stupid ways they get on each other's nerves has worn my last one down to a frazzle. And we have another 2 weeks of vacation. AAAARRRGGGGHHH!

Sorry for that! And then, at the end of the day when DH is home, they are still bouncing off the walls, but now they are singing and being silly and funny and he doesn't get it when I am screaming at them to go to bed because it is 2 hours past their regular bedtime. "But they are just having fun!", he says in total innocence.

One more day like today and I'm going to his job and he's staying home...

Heffalump said...

Summer has gone by for me faster than I thought it would. As much as I love them, I am ready for them to go back to school. I can only take so many I am bored, and I am hungry statements per day.
During the quiet times I think, Hey, this is not so bad...but the quiet times are fewer and farther between.
So your youngest will be in Kindergarten eh? What will you do with that time to yourself?

la bellina mammina said...

LOL! Thank god school has already started for mine!

susan said...

just two words for you:

click here

Tammy said...

Michelle, I made your pecan-cream sponge cake yesterday, and it was SO GOOD. Thanks for posting the recipe!

AuthorMomWith Dogs said...

I'm with you. I am SO ready to have the school year start!

jchevais said...

Golly!
I feel like that on the weekend. I couldn't imagine all week long...

~JJ! said...

Good luck this year.

I don't want school to start. It's Fa's first time going solo...I'm a-scared!

Susan said...

I'm not a mom, but being the youngest of three with two older brothers, let's say some of your stories bring back memories. You're not kidding about testosterone being a powerful thing; my brothers did things I would never have dreamed of doing. I wish I had some answers, but all I can really recommend is: avoid the Shylock thing.;)

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

Oh, honey, I feel your pain. My kids started school this week, and it is probably the only reason they are alive today. This summer was our worst yet in terms of them getting on my nerves. Just keep looking yourself in the mirror and reminding yourself that it will come. The bus will come. The bus will come. Then once they get on the bus and the twitching in your eye stops, then, and only then, can you relax. Hang in there!

SusieJ said...

Normally, I would say yes -- but, with preschool and half-day kindergarten, I'm only getting an hour 3 days a week. That's it. But I do like the idea of a "change" in giving the kids someone else to talk to, some structure and for some of you -- some extra alone time.

Heather said...

My boys are fighting in the background as I type. I babysit as well, but it is better when I have more kids around. They occupy each other and I don't hear, "I'm bored" quite as often. The problem at the moment is that one of the parents has been off for the last 3 weeks and the boys are starting to get really antsy without their 2 friends here 4 days a week. :o)
Good luck! Just keep breathing and counting...

Daisy said...

My class was full of boys like that last year. I loved them dearly, but I came home tired every day. At least it was tired with a smile.

mcewen said...

We have a tick down / count down chart, but it's really for them, so it's doesn't jump out at them as a nasty surprise.
We're lucky that we can go swimming every day, best therapy there is, and takes the edge of the wiggles / destruction. [ear plugs help of course]
Best wishes

Coralie said...

When I got married twelve years ago I told my new husband that I wanted three sons. He looked at me with incredulity and said, "Are you crazy? My mother had three sons and she's been completely gray haired for as long as I can remember!" So this post makes me praise the Lord for our one little girl! :-)

dcrmom said...

Am I the only mom who doesn't want summer to end? I am definitely sick of the boredom whining, but I just love the lazy days of summer. We don't go back till after Labor Day thankfully. I really prefer it that way, even though we don't get out till the middle of June.

Mountain Dweller said...

Know how you feel, although I haven't had quite so much destruction! Holidays in France last two months - only another two weeks to go..

Lori- Fairytales & Margaritas said...

Thank goodness my kids go to year round school. They went back July 16th! We have the same issues here, the girls do great, the boys drive each other and me crazy!

Chris said...

My only starts school for the first time next month. I go back and forth. Somedays I want to hold her back and others I want to shove her out the door!

Rebecca said...

I know a family who has FOUR boys, can you imagine? They kept going until the finally got a girl, who thankfully came along as child #5.

Almost Vegetarian said...

You know, for two weeks, you will be so thrilled to have them out of the house. Then, suddenly, you will find yourself listening for them and then it's game over. You will officially be missing the wee monsters.

Cheers!

Heather said...

school starts here in ten days. but i'm not counting or anything. i'll just have my two year old at home, and he'll actually be difficult to entertain. he loves watching his big brother and big sister fight. it's like a tennis match.

chelle said...

hehe it was a relief after the past fews days, to read that someone else is a real mom too!

Val said...

I don't know how you moms do it. Especially you SAHM's.

Meeta said...

Soeren starts on Monday - but it's not been all that bad LOL!

Michelle, we at the DT though you deserve an award for all your hard work. Check it out here.

Melissa Garrett said...

I AM SO READY FOR SCHOOL TO START!!

Now if only someone would give me a bit of relief from my toddler I call Mischief, all would be well.

How many more years until they are all in school? Oh yeah. Three.

Thea said...

Um yeah. I'm ready. Counting down the days. And Jake's only in preschool. Ugh.

But since he's in preschool, he starts later than the regular school kids. He doesn't go back until after Labor Day.

I still have 2.5 more weeks and all the local rec centers have stopped all their summer camps.

It's always darkest before the dawn...

Laura said...

Hee hee. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy my mostly-non-destructive girls... :)

Ren said...

You are not alone! I have been home with my daughter for the last 5 years and 11 months and in 9 beautiful days she will leave me for kindergarten... would it be insensitive to throw a party? Only trouble is, I may have jinxed myself. I've been waiting for this moment all summer long, and now, now that I'm in the home stretch? There's a stinking hurricane headed right for me. My luck, it'll hit and she won't be able to go to school until October. Grumble, grumble. I mean, loosing the house would be horrible, but loosing school would be cause for true despondency.

Blondie said...

Oh yes. This is reminding me why I should be thankful to not have tots yet. That's a LOTTA kids. But they look very beautiful in the photo. :)

Char said...

Michelle I am right there with you!!! Except that my son, who is the oldest, has been the easy one this summer. It is the two girls ages 8 and 5 that have about driven me to the edge and back multiple times. They wake up fighting and continue to pick at each other all day long. Mine go back on the 27th - and NOT A DAY TOO SOON.

Loralee Choate said...

50 hours 32 minutes and 29 seconds to GO.

I have to keep a mental ticker in my head at all times so I don't stick a freaking fork in my eye.

katherine. said...

not that you can see the family resemblence or anything.

schools in our part of California don't start for a few more weeks....

Tamara said...

My boys (actually all 3 of my children) leave a path of destruction behind them also. I am so excited for school to start too! I have two going to school (one all day and the other half day kindergarten) and only one left behind. I love my children dearly and we have had a great summer together but they are beginning to bicker a lot with each other and I am getting very tired of hearing the arguing. So I can totally identify with you being excited about your children going to school.

Stacey Kannenberg said...

I happened across your blog and smiled. I am counting down to September 4, for the sound of silence.

I see you have a child in Kindergarten, I would love to send you a copy my book, Let's Get Ready For Kindergarten! for you to enjoy! If you are interested, just email me at Stacey@cedarvalleypublishing with your address.

My friend Rachel had an awesome post proclaiming that it is time for moms to LEARN the 3R's: Relaxing, Recharging and Reclaiming!!! For more:
http://rachelhamman.typepad.com/

Happy Day!

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

michelle: i love the way you write when you write like this. "50 times..." was amusing. and "lions..." adorable -- made me think of a national geographic special. i miss my girls when they were little.

count your blessings, kathleen/grateful

ps. yes, we'll walk soon. sounds good.

Jenn in Holland said...

Oh, aren't you the lucky one with less than a handful of days of summer left.
I too love my children. I say it to myself everyday just so I know it's true....
Happy end of Summer Vacation!

kailani said...

I know I'm thrilled to have Girlie Girl in school!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

This is why, when my first boy was born, I had a nervous breakdown. I have three younger brothers so I knew what to expect and I knew I couldn't handle it. Every day I think, "Please, just make it to 18. After 18 it is YOUR fault if you maim yourself, or die some freakish death. Just don't do it on my watch." May these last few days pass quickly.

MC Milker said...

Ahhh, I have mixed feelings. sending my first off to kindergarten. Right now I look back on the summer and wish we had done more things. I vow, we won't do any camps/schools/etc next summer- just spend all summer doing lots of things....I suspect my feelings will change next June :-)

SabineM said...

Wow, we have two more weeks until our school starts! I am looking forward to it, just not the homework! I enjoyed this summer! Always goes to fast, doesn't it!

wwaaww said...

I am a single parent by choice. Since I have to work year round my daughter (now 7) is in care during the summer. It costs me around $1,000 for the summer to know that she is in a safe environment and don't worry about her when I drive away. I am looking forward to school starting in a week from a financial standpoint since money is so tight. Sad, but true. Thankfully she loves school. Vacations kill me because I can't take time off.

The Estrogen Files said...

ROTFL! Love the kids. Mine don't go back until 17 September due to new construction! I'm goin' out of my mind. Glad to hear yours are back at school SOON!

The Lazy Organizer said...

You just have to rub it in our home schooling faces don't you.