Summer vacation is over, and the children are back at school. I do love my kids, but summer vacation is hard on everyone. As a dyed-in-the-wool hare, having no structure to the day sends me and everyone else into a tailspin. The first echoes of “I’m bored” were heard not 48 hours after eighth grade graduation. By July, inquiries were being made as to when school was starting. One child was counting down the weeks, and one was assessing each day, “I’ve done nothing this summer.” And others were honing their skills in “crazy-making” behavior. So, below is my final progress report for the summer of 2012.

Uses of Various Forms of Media — Since I had two writing projects to accomplish this summer, I was depending heavily on our favorite babysitters, Ms. Cable and Mr. Internet. I was tempted to prepay the cable bill three months in advance just to be certain these two were around to help placate the children. They scored high in utilizing electronic media. New accounts at Club Penguin were made, Minecraft was played so much it crashed a computer and various forms of music wailed…I mean wafted up the floor boards. They pass this section with flying colors.

However, use of literary media remains at an all time low. I love books, and I always have suggested to my children that reading them was a way of alleviating boredom. I really did say that, in English; however, it did not translate well into their minds. They need improvement in this area. To one child’s credit though, while reading his summer assigned book from school, he said to me, “Mom, why didn’t you tell me there were good books?” The temptation to defend myself was overcome with my joy that there is hope for these kids and their relationship with literature. “Yes, there are many,” I responded with muffled glee.

Physical Education — my children met standards of sufficient physical activity. One honed her swimming skills, one learned a new trick on the skateboard, hikes were taken, walls were climbed…you get the picture.

Interpersonal Skills — Unfortunately, this is where my children exhibit exceptional skills. Bickering was taken to a new level. The older children have abandoned bickering altogether and have resorted just to yelling and throwing previously said literary media; but the younger ones felt their need to explore how far their talents would take them on this road of excruciatingly annoying communication. “I’m smarter than you.” “No, I am smarter than YOU.” “No, dummy, I am older, that makes me smarter.” Crying, “Mom, she said I was dumb, am I dumb?” Multiply that conversation by the number of days of summer and you know why I had to dye my hair by the end of vacation.

Like I said earlier, I do love my kids, but now I am becoming reacquainted with peace and quiet, and am enjoying their company, at least until 3 o’clock. “Mom, there’s nothing to eat.”


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