Easing Into Summer Vacation

For the past three years, we’ve had summers that were, in a word – awesome. This year, so far – less than. Is it the weather? The kids? The really bad hair days? Hm.

The Captain and the Little Miss were never bosom buddies, but this summer they seem hell bent on pressing each other’s buttons until one of them dies – or more likely, until I kill them both. We’re on, what is this, day four of the summer break? And already I cannot count the number of times I have yelled, or separated children, or sent everyone to their rooms so they could THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY’VE DONE, and seriously? That is less than awesome.

Plus, we are doing daily swim lessons these first two weeks. I am a big believer in swimming as a Life Skill, so the kids all take lessons even though they are not big fans. We have found that the daily summer lessons do more to advance their skills than any once-weekly type classes, so we do it every year, but oy vey, does it ever eat up your day. This year, I could only get all three of them in sequentially, so it’s one kid in and out, then another kid in and out, then third kid in and out, all the while I’m fighting to defend our chairs from poachers and encouraging the kids to do some math worksheets in the steaming hot crazy noise and struggling not to think about what my feet are currently touching.

It’s two full hours in the pool area each day, and right now my hair looks like this:

My Hair After Two Hours Poolside


Our lessons are sort of late morningish, and then we come home and the girls are STARVING. They eat and eat and eat – we have been through a week’s worth of groceries in the past three days. And then the Captain? Who you may remember is on the small side? Declares he just “isn’t hungry right now,” this despite it being hours since he last ate and with exercise in between. Head, meet wall.

So that leaves a very small window of time in the afternoon, mostly devoted to me yelling at the children in between them begging to play video games. We did make it to the Museum of Nature yesterday, where they declared the Oil exhibit to be “stupid” and “boring” (in actually: Earth-shattering and fascinating and life-changing and deeply meaningful and you should go NOW, but without any stupid and boring children in tow).

And we also did make it downtown for Canada Day, where I learned that if you envision yourself and your children spreading out a blanket to enjoy a picnic lunch during the noonday concert you are LAUGHINGLY IGNORANT of the whole Canada Day On The Hill situation, and also, you need to pack more water than that, and also, stilts would not be uncalled for. But I was within 800 metres or so of Chris Hadfield! So it was worth all the arm and back pain from holding up kids who could see nothing and could barely breathe in the heat of the crowd! Right? RIGHT?

So! To sum up: my hair looks like ass, I’m losing my voice from all the yelling, and my kids may be dead by the end of the week. Awesome, no?

At least I have Dance Show to keep me warm. GAH.

9 thoughts on “Easing Into Summer Vacation

  1. Eileen

    Lynn: I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I laughed all the way through your tale of trial and tribulation! It’s a priceless piece of writing.

  2. Javamom

    We lasted till yesterday, Wednesday, before I uttered the words “how many more weeks?” for the first time….

    We have NO activities at all. None. For the first time ever. This is to a) save money and b) save [my] sanity from the endless get up and go somewhere. The only thing left to do is two rain-date tennis lessons (Fridays at 4 pm, and it’s raining again). Still…not sure if I’ll last 8 weeks of this.

    So I hear you.

    But. Our trip to Ottawa begins Monday and I hope to see some sights. Plan is Museums and Gatineau Park, plus some other sights listed by you and the fishbowl Andrea…at the very least I won’t be doing dishes or laundry for 4 days and hopefully the kids will be tired enough to sleep 10 hours every night.

    Grin and bear it my friend. Also get some hair oil.


  3. Chris Hadfield is here! Right now! He’s the Stampede Parade marshall and although we are not going to the parade I feel a little star struck. HE’S SO CLOSE TO MEEEE.

    Hope your summer improves soon! Also your hair. My hair gets limp and stringy in humidity, it is also not a good look.

  4. smothermother

    the hubby has already sent the jellybean to his room a number of times as well. i’m hoping for him (and you!) that it’s just working out the kinks of a new routine.

    and i’m jealous of your near brush with the Colonel.

  5. omg, that picture, too much! dying laughing over here, totally at your expense, totally because it is kind of my life too – you will make it (I think?) what kills me is how much energy they spend hating on each other. i really don’t get…..

  6. Oh sweetie I feel your pain. We packed the kids off to day camps for the first two weeks but the rest of the summer is looming and I already have a tenuous grasp on my sanity. I’m thinking we will spend a lot of time at the local pool if we ever get a day without rain!
    Personally I am a big fan of decompressing with friends or the hubby after the kids are in bed. A glass of wine. Sitting on the porch. Listening to the crickets.
    I hope your summer gets awesomer (yes, I am making up words). Only 8 more weeks until school starts!

  7. I’ve got 6 kids in the backyard as I’m typing this. I always find if you throw another kid (or four) into the mix, then my two somehow get along better. Of course after awhile, it then becomes a chorus of 6 voices asking to play video games, watch a movie or whining “We’re BORED!” My new summer mantra is “It’s good for them to be bored…it builds character…”

  8. OMG you are doing daily swimming lessons with *3* kids?! Holy crap. I couldn’t handle the idea of more than 2x/week with my ONE. And even for that 30 minutes, her baby sister is starting to get restless. (Who wouldn’t, being stuck in the stroller for an hour total once you count the getting ready/rinsing off stuff?!) I do agree about Life Skill, though.

    Not much to offer, just a wave of solidarity from Seattle 🙂

  9. this made me laugh so hard…not that I don’t feel your pain (especially re: bad hair)
    the camp I had Lulu signed up for this week is now cancelled due to the flood here in the GTA
    But at least I don’t have to tell her to stop bickering with her sibling (one bonus to having an only child)
    Hang in there- only 8 more weeks to go…

    and yeah SYTYCD is my salvation this summer.
    in the words of the super annoying (yet also endearing) Mary Murphy Whooo Whooooaaa!!

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