Our bags were packed the night before. One gym bag and a two swim bags. I woke up early, got some work done, started laundry and felt ready to tackle the day.
Then the kids actually woke up.
They fought over ponies, tiny toys from a fast food place and the rain began to pour down the sides of the glass.
I sighed and thought, “Maybe we won’t start swim lessons today. Maybe just the gym and errands.”
I coaxed kids into swim suits, found errant flip-flops. Fed tiny tyrants who decided that cubed watermelon was distinctly not the same flavor as sliced and railed about the current state of the economy and the price of wasting food.
The rain sprinkled and turned us cold as I fed The Fifth Element dry cereal and her sisters huddled under a tent to listen to Red Cross Swim rules. As we trekked back to the car we got even more wet and cold and I called off the gym. We headed home to fight over Polly Pockets and beg for umpteen snacks.
I broke out the popcorn and a movie at ten a.m. It was all I could do to seem like a “fun, nice mommy” and not the unraveling one I could feel morphing inside me.
In my head I heard my own voice saying, “Holy crap! It’s only the first day of summer! WTF am I going to do with these kids? They can’t stop fighting.”
The baby got a black eye from fighting over popcorn and falling off the couch. She didn’t care.
I called poison control because someone took too long to get a band-aid and The Comedian decided to eat a fistful of teething tablets and some children’s Pepto. I still don’t know how she opened that bottle.
I thought of all the crafty bloggers I know who post about fantastic summer activities with kids and wanted to cry. We had already painted, played out with friends, gone to the rainy pool, watched a movie and decorated heart-shaped boxes for who knows what. How do they do it? How do they find such joy and inspiration? Are they not working with three different age groups at once? Do their kids never fight? That’s not possible!
It wasn’t even lunch time.
When nap time came for the two youngest girls I got ready to get down to work again. The oldest gave me a sideways glance and we both decided computer time was in order for the both of us. But this can’t happen every day. Especially when I promised H and teachers to continue summer reading lists, vocabulary words and practice math and handwriting skills.
I felt myself cracking. How is this going to work? How will I work? How will we all manage to get through the summer without having a Strawberry Shortcake crammed into someone’s eye socket?
The day passed into dinner and I poured a glass of wine. I had done my best. I sat the girls down to discuss how summer could be fun as long as we could “all just get along.”
The day ended with one kid biting another one on her butt. Do I even need to say who was the biter?
I feel we are all in need of an adjustment period.
*Image courtesy of letbirdzfly.blogspot.com