I know I’ve been one of those annoying moms and I’m sorry.
I’m the one who says stuff like, “Ohhhh I can’t WAIT for summer to get here so my kids can be at home! We’re gonna make crafts, cuddle, braid each others’ hair, and have pillow fights and QUALITY TIME ALL SUMMER because I LOVE having my kids at home!”
Yep. That’s me, in MAY. And truthfully, I DO love having them home. Our situation is such that my girls leave me for two weeks at a time, all summer long, and those two week spans that they’re gone are less than fun for me.
I hate those two weeks. I just roam around the house all day in my bathrobe drooling and bumping into the walls, because I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s a quiet, empty, lonely, dark time in my life. I’ve come a long way since 2010 when I used to darn near have to check myself into an institution to cope with it, but still… I’m pretty much useless when they’re gone. I BASK in the contentment of having all my chickens in the nest.
But then a switch flips at some point in August, and I’m done with the togetherness, and if school could just go ahead and start already, THAT WOULD BE GREAT.
I’m not sure what exactly happens to cause the switch to flip – like, there’s some sort of mental quota that when it’s reached, everything snaps – but all I know is that quota was reached this morning, August 10th, seven whole days before school starts. Something about being asked to go shop/buy/get/enter-any-other-synonym-for-‘spendmoney’/ for the 5,000th time. You know, AS IF I have ever sent my kids to school WITHOUT adequate supplies and/or appearance, EVER. They think I need to be REMINDED that we haven’t bought school supplies yet, when I THINK I’VE PROVEN THAT I CAN BE COUNTED ON TO BUY MY KIDS THEIR SCHOOL SUPPLIES EVERY SINGLE YEAR, YO. In all the first days of school between the two of them, they have NEVER not had a backpack, number two pencils, or even a first-day-of-school outfit that was even a little less than stylish.
I go above and beyond, is what I’m saying.
One of them, I can’t remember who now and it’s not important, asked me AGAIN this morning about shopping because SHE LIKE, LITERALLY, SERIOUSLY, NEEDS A KATE SPADE AGENDA/NIKES/HAIR DONE/EYEBROWS DONE (Yes, for the love of all that is holy, she NEEDS ALL THAT before school starts, you know, AFTER we’ve basically spent the entire summer and all of my money shopping for back-to-school), and something inside me began to boil, and I finally
yelled snapped barked replied gently, “STOP ASKING ME. I HAVE NOT MADE YOU GO TO SCHOOL WITHOUT SHOES OR SCHOOL SUPPLIES ONCE, IN ALL THESE YEARS. IF YOU ASK ME AGAIN, YOU HAVE TO WAIT ONE. MORE. MONTH. BEFORE YOU GET ANYTHING ELSE NEW.” And I meant it.
This morning, I was getting Susie dressed, when Kid #1 wanders in and wants to take over the dressing of Susie. Susie’s everyone’s favorite doll, after all.
Kid #1: *chooses outfit* Is this one ok?
Me: Perfect. *leaves room, with Susie standing on the changing table in Batman panties*
TEN MINUTES LATER, AS I’M GOING ABOUT MY USUAL MONDAY CHORES…
Kid #1: Can we go to Academy today and get my Nikes? (Keep in mind that she’s asked 16 times a day for the last 95 days if we can buy school supplies/clothes/shoes/otherwise spend money to get ready for the critically important first day of school)
Me: No. We have too much to do today.
Kid #2: When are we going to go school shopping?
Me: IF ANYONE ASKS ME AGAIN, WE’RE NOT GOING SHOPPING FOR A MONTH. (Haven’t I already said this? Yes. Yes, I have).
Fifteen minutes later Susie comes wandering in wearing only Batman panties.
Me: Kid #1, why didn’t you get Susie dressed?!?!
Her: I didn’t know I was supposed to.
That’s when it happened. That’s when I saw both of their lives flash before my eyes, threw my hands up in the air and cried out to Jesus to take the wheel. Just take it from my hands, Jesus.
And then it dawned on me: At this time, it would be preferable for the children to just go back to school. When the only options for saving your sanity are homicide, liquor, or baking and eating an entire batch of cookies to soothe your nerves, it’s time.
It probably would have happened sooner, but I have amazing neighbors with a pool.
Everyone should have neighbors with a pool. I love my neighbors.
I have sent my children across the street to their pool for 99 of the last 100 waking hours. I have no idea what’s in it for the neighbors, other than possibly my kids can keep theirs distracted from asking them the same thing over and over 16 times a day for 95 days straight.
When you look at it that way, I’m actually doing THEM a favor, sending my kids over to play in their pool for 12 hours a day. You’re welcome, neighbors. Just doing my part to keep ALL the neighborhood kids alive, and keep us out of the liquor.
But still, I should probably send over a gift card to Outback to express my gratitude.
Or at the very least, a Kate Spade agenda, some school supplies, or a cute backpack.
Seeing as how I totally slacked on buying one for anyone else…
One week, y’all. One. Long. Week. I’d better go bake some cookies.
They don’t even sell liquor in this county anyway.