Sunday, May 29, 2011

The First Week of Summer Vacation: A Survival Guide

We made it through the first week of summer vacation without any meltdowns, bodily injury, name-calling, sibling rivalry, sibling jealousy,mindless tv watchinggrocery store drama, fast food stomach aches, scary weather, visits from monthly friends, or trips to the ER.

See, that went well.

As evidenced by our wonderful start to summer, I feel oddly compelled and astutely qualified to compose a Survival Guide of sorts. Please, pass this around at your own discretion. I'm sure it'll be useful for years to come.

1. Arrange for Mother Nature to rear her ugly, monthly head the third day of the week. This will ensure absolute fatigue and no desire to do anything worthwhile, especially the list of wonderfully crafty things you've accumulated to keep little hands and minds busy. It will also cause you to snap over spilled milk and yell about not jumping on the bed. You will feel like crap and it will show. Badly.

2. Take your entire family to the grocery store. Even though the trip to your favorite Mexican restaurant got the evening off to a fabulous start, do not let this fool you. Once you hit the store, your children will act as though it's been months since they've been in a grocery store. Probably because it has been months since they've been in a grocery store. They'll be appropriately bored and whiny and you'll argue with your husband over nonsense (see #1). You'll also forget half the stuff on your list and have to go back for it.

3. Proclaim that "If you hit your sister one more time young man, you are grounded for the rest of the summer!" at least 40 times a day. Do not follow through on the obviously outlandish grounding threat. Grow frustrated and annoyed at yourself (again, see #1) and all but give up.

4. Decide that a trip to a fast food joint will be a nice field trip and make every one feel better. Eat cold french fries and hamburgers made out of something that does not remotely resemble hamburger meat. Leave most of the food on the plastic tray, taking only your sweet tea with you. Lament later over the flat-out wastefulness of the money you spent, telling your husband that you just as well had flushed it down the toilet. Dole out Tums when you get home because everyone has a stomach ache.

5. Learn the words to every High School Musical movie ever made. I don't know which Disney executive thought it would be a good idea to play all 3 of them in succession, with on-screen lyrics accompanying every single song on the first week of summer so that kids were home to DVR them and proceed to watch them multiple times every single day, but I've got a bone to pick with you sir. Or madam.

6. Take your youngest child (almost) to the ER when she accumulates nearly 100 ant bites on her little chubby feet one afternoon. Decide that once you arrive at the hospital and notice the swelling is all but gone and she seems to be otherwise fine, there's no need to spend 4 hours in the ER only to be told to give her Benadryl. Drive to Walmart instead and buy Benadryl, along with a coke, a magazine and a Twix.

7. Drive through your small town after a rough patch of summer storm, cringing at the sight of trees down, limbs and other small debris scattered about. Think about what it must've been like in Joplin and thank God for the blessings in your life, no matter how meltdown filled and high-school-musical'ed they are.

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