Tuesday, May 26, 2009

School's Out!

My two oldest children attended their last day of school on Friday. They've just finished the fifth and third grades. I remember fondly that time of year when the entire summer stretched before me, offering a smorgasbord of fun: beachcombing, fort-building, neighborhood softball games, long bike rides, berry picking, running through the sprinklers, and playing with friends. I want this to be a back-to-basics summer, full of relaxation and fun and family, so I've come up with some rules for our household:

1. No scheduled activities. I am not enrolling the girls in summer programs of any sort. No camps, clinics, or classes. The lone exception is soccer, because my eldest daughter already plays on a team. And before you go thinking, Yeah, right! You're one of those crazy soccer moms and you know it! let me assure you that basketball is my sport and I'm rather insulted that my kid has picked a game I know nothing about—she really, truly loves to play soccer.

2. No TV. This restriction won't be so hard on my two oldest girls, since they hardly watch television anyway. I'm not so sure how difficult the withdrawal will be for me the twins—they're used to a little shot of Elmo in the morning and a movie in the late afternoon while I prepare dinner. I remarked to my husband how I won't be able to use TV as a crutch anymore, to which he responded, "You mean a lifeline."

3. Lots of time outdoors. This change in policy is beyond my control, since the twins basically sprint every morning from their beds to the front door and begin wailing until they're let into the sunshine. Fortunately, their older sisters and the neighbor children also like to play outside . . . I'm going to need all the help I can get in keeping an eye on my 3-year-old explorers, especially if I hope to get any gardening accomplished this summer.

4. Lots of arts and crafts. I have to confess that I've used the twins as an excuse to avoid sitting down with my older girls to work on anything creative. The mess! The time I could be spending on other things! The mess! I'm making a vow to myself and to my readers (but not to my daughters, because I don't want them using it against me if I can't follow through) that Friday is going to be Craft Day around here. As soon as I put the twins down for their nap, I'll pull out something fun for us to work on together.

5. Nightly bedtime rituals. Reading to my twin toddlers is a lot like reading to a pair of wriggling eels, and I'm so exhausted by the nightly process that I usually just shout up the stairs at my older girls to "Go to bed!" without tucking them in, praying with them, or reading to them. Now that I don't have to worry about everyone being in bed at 8:00 and up in the morning by a certain hour, I'm going to reestablish some nightly routines that work for everyone. My husband and I will take each twin into separate rooms to spend individual reading time with them. And my 8-year-old should get back the snuggle time with Mom that she's missed so much these past few months.

So, in conclusion, I will most likely fail miserably with my summer plans and, come June 1, the kids will all be shipped off to summer camp somewhere in Minnesota while I spend my days passed out on the couch under a blanket of chocolate wrappers, with an occasional spasming foot kicking an empty bottle of moonshine onto the dirty floor.

Dinner last night: cheeseburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, cous cous & cucumber salad


Helene said...

Kim, I totally love your summer schedule! I esp love the idea of doing a craft every Friday! I'm guilty of the same thing...I often don't do fun things with the older twins b/c I know the little twins will make a huge mess. And we don't do a lot of "field trips" b/c I can't keep an eye on all 4 at the Children's Museum, amusement parks, etc.

But I'm gonna try to do things differently this summer and see how it goes. I like your idea of splitting the twins up and reading to them separately. I don't think I've EVER had one-on-one time with my kids at bedtime so that would be nice!

I'll hope you'll post your Friday crafts so I can steal....um, I mean, borrow your ideas!

Unknown said...

hilarious. my summer will be busy, unfortunately it involves the same ol thang: clean, cook, have jacob learn to walk, have a giant garage sale, move out, oh and teach a summer camp for 3 weeks. poo, that doesn't sound relaxing as yours....

twinmamabee said...

LOL! You crack me up! I think that you have a great plan. My husband and I did a no TV summer one year and we made it until I got pregnant with my girls and was told to take it easy so the TV was promptly returned to its spot since I apparently was unable to read a book during this time. (Geez, no wonder my kids love the TV....gotta work on that...)