At the end of the school year we were all ready for school to be done. Even ME. I was tired of multiple drop offs and pick ups (Syd to elementary every day and Elijah to preschool for 3 hours 3x a week). Tired of the grind of packing lunches and peeling kids out of bed and getting homework done and shuffling through paperwork and schedules and forms. We were so ready to be done, the lot of us.
And then it came! School let out! John headed to Africa for work and the kids and I drove North for a blissful long weekend with friends. We came home and I began digging through the laundry. Elijah had a few more days of school. John came home. Elijah graduated from preschool. And suddenly things settled down and it began: “Mom. Mom? Mom! MOM. MO-OM! MAMA! MOMMY! Mah-muh?! Momomomomomom.”
And here we are. It’s been weeks since I had my thoughts (much less my body or the house or ANYTHING) to myself. All is a Catch-22. If they’re quietly “entertaining” themselves, this is what’s happening:
If they’re not trashing the house, they’re asking to watch tv for the hundreth time (no), asking for a millionth popsicle (no. You’ve already had two!), pummeling (and in Lucy’s case BITING) each other to tears, waking the baby up from her nap, asking me what I’m doing, touching what I’m doing, turning their noses up at any activity I suggest, interrupting me one billion times so that even completing the smallest task is infuriating …
Guys? It’s not going well. I’ve hired a teenage neighbor to be a mother’s helper who comes once a week to entertain them and give me the space I need to FOLD LAUNDRY (how SAD). I take them to the YMCA several times a week – they are basically sponsoring this post by the way because that’s how this is possible! – they go to the playroom for 2 hours and I hide in a “stretching area” corner of the locker room away from the crazy naked ladies and try to have a little quiet time before pounding out my frustrations on the elliptical. And YET, despite these things, I feel crazed. I have begun to hate summer.
I keep wondering if it’s because I’m an “introverted extrovert” and I need quality quiet space to recharge … and can that really happen in the YMCA locker room with hairdryers buzzing in the background? Or on the elliptical while Ina Garten makes guacamole salad? Probably not. But at least no one’s yelling or making a mess.
I keep wondering if it’s because my kids are all still so little. Still 6, 4, and 2. It’s just still physically so hard right now. They’re not old enough for things like summer day camp and pool days yet. AND I have a two year-old whose twos are definitely terrible. SIGH. “It will pass!” I remind myself. Soon they will be bigger and won’t need to be told to put on their shoes 324 times before it’s done. One day they will be old enough to ride their bikes around the block 500 times without supervision! There will be summer camps and day-long playdates with friends and pool days! Real Summer!
And then at night I rock Lucy before bed and look down at her little face and lament, “IT WILL PASS!” SOB! Little hands wind into my hair and little faces lift to mine for a kiss and I cannot figure out what is wrong with me. Why is it so hard for me that they NEED ME? They want my attention! I cannot wait for it to pass and it will! And then… It will be gone. And I will hate that too. Won’t I?
Let me know if you figure it out. I have an elliptical date with Ina to keep. School starts for my two older kids on Aug. 17. Until then … I will be surviving summer.