It’s that time of year again when I am swirled in conflicted feelings of anticipation vs dread, joy vs overwhelm, eating indulgently vs OMG stop eating because the spandex on my bathing suit is planning to betray me with the next inhaled ice cream cone.
Summer is coming, and sooner than I realized. Surely I’m not alone in thinking that it’s still May and not the latter half of June? Maybe I’m a time traveller. That would explain why I can never find anything.
School is done in two weeks, so I am pretty much prepared to coast into Canada Day weekend on fumes at this point. Surely lunches can be cobbled together from the backs of the cupboards. Let’s face it…the teachers are already writing the report cards…we can drop a food group or two for the rest of the year and they can still be surgeons. God that’s a terrifying thought. I can see the interviews on 20/20 now…yes, we understand that as a child she left her water bottle at school with alarming frequency…the warning signs were all there that she would leave surgical instruments inside the patient…we’ve traced it back to her mother “checking out” each June and “half-assing” the lunches.
The school tried to throw a curve-ball our way by ending the milk program two weeks early. Well school, I see your “Rickets” and raise you a Costco-sized case of yogurt drinks and frozen pizza with extra cheese. BOOM! And because our dishwasher is still broken, leaving my hands looking like two lizards who have gone on a juice fast, you can forget about litterless lunches. I’m using enough sandwich bags to make my own plastic island. I wonder if I’ll have room for a cabana and swim-up bar?
Just when I thought I had this whole coasting thing figured out, Nerdguy got called to go away for work for the entire week. He hardly ever has to travel so I’m not even sure his story checks out. I think having us drop him off at the airport was just an elaborate ruse to throw us off his scent. And let me tell you…there’s a scent. The man cleaned our bathroom the day he was leaving. Are you comprehending that? Our ensuite normally looks like a bus station bathroom. That may even be a generous depiction. He’s either feeling guilty about something or he knew I would never survive a week alone with the kids and he wanted it to be clean for when relatives came through to pick out clothes to lay me out in. But I don’t care if he has been shacked up with a supermodel or he has wives in every province…my bathroom is clean!
While bathroom cleaning is highly suspicious behaviour from Nerdguy, he is essential to the everyday flow of managing the kids. He gets Maggie ready for school every day while I pack lunches and herd the other two around the house. He helps with the bedtime routine, often running it himself while I clean up the kitchen. When Maggie is home and awake, even sneaking off to use the bathroom is risky behaviour without him being here to keep her from spraying the kitchen with condiments or creating a stairway waterfall. And every time one of the kids has to leave the house for anything I have to load Maggie in the minivan, which never ends well when she discovers we are not going to Toys R Us.
This has not been a banner week at the Nerdfamily household.
I dropped Grace off at a non-existent activity. As in, a stranger had to phone my house to tell me to come and pick up my child. Yesterday I dropped Maggie at school holding her hairbrush and socks because I was tagging out. She had been awake since 4am and that still wasn’t sufficient time to accomplish basic hygiene. Today we were 20-minutes late and she wore the same T-shirt she had been wearing for 36 hours. We have had so many fried meals this week that Molly and Grace acted like I had packed them lunch bags full of cash when they saw the salads inside.
They jumped up and down about salad.
I’m claiming reverse psychology rather than lazy parenting. I have my minor in psychology to back that up for when the CAS inevitably knocks at my door. I may start babbling about double-blind trials and placebo groups just for an extra layer of authority.
As eager as I am for the school year to be over, I am nervous about the summer. Molly has a camp the first week and she has to be there 45-minutes earlier than she does for school. I hope she is also a time-traveller. And even scarier is that Maggie is home the entire first week. She’s been extra mischievous this spring and I’m nervous about what she has in store for me. And Grace has absolutely nothing planned. By which I mean she has extensive plans to play Minecraft while she hides indoors from the wasps that are plotting her demise, while asking me every four hours how much allowance she has left. None, Grace. Always none. I told her she is attending Mom’s Housecleaning Camp. She’ll be running away from home or enrolling herself in the military before the Canada Day sparklers have even fully-dimmed.
But tonight I felt my first genuine swell of excitement about the impending
doom season. We had another busy evening of running around and on a whim I pulled into the park at their school. Maggie had her newly-purchased bucket and shovel in her hand, and instead of running for the play structure, she took off across the park, giggling and pointing to the sand pit while declaring “SHORE!”
And like magic (or due to a skunk sighting) the park cleared out, so it was just me and my girls. Three sisters working together to make castles, run barefoot in the sand, and chase each other around the park like the long-ago years of toddler joy. Maggie joined in, copying her sisters in their games and cartwheels. Instead of running off to her own world of snacks and Caillou, she joined their worlds and invited them into hers.
I’m excited now for a summer full of simple moments of childhood bliss. They’re 12 and 10 now and soon time travel to their younger years isn’t going to come so easily as they become firmly entrenched in the teen years. This summer I’m loading up the DeLorean (it just looks like a minivan because we don’t like to be showy, but don’t be fooled), and we’re going to fly. Because where we’re going, we don’t need any roads. Just sand, grass, creeks, and unlimited popsicles. Oh, and naps. Because time travel is exhausting.