First day of summer break in our house.
We started with breakfast, some small talk and then I kicked the kids out. I politely told them I had just spent the past nine months on their schedules. What I didn’t say was I never really accomplished any task to its fullest because I had to get in the car and take them, get them, deal with them, encourage them, teach them and entertain them each and every day. This activity, this child, oh, wait, that child needs to go here and I hope I can go pick up the third, shit, where is he? Where did I leave him? I hope where ever he is he’s arranging dinner because I need to figure that out too. So instead of driving them places, picking them up from places or pretending to go somewhere really fun just to get out of the house, and instead of taking the first day of summer break to relax and unwind, maybe start breathing again after holding my breath much of this school year, I decided to try to begin the process of taking back the house. I say start because I know it’s a process that will last the next fifteen years. But you gotta start somewhere, right? So I was going to start. Scrub floors, empty back backs, throw away (or recycle rather) nine months of papers from the institution of schooling, wipe down things that had dust thicker than one little dusting rag could possibly handle…you know take back the house.
So out they go. In to the back yard. And bicker.
Then they argue.
Then they scream.
Bill Cosby comes to mind…”will you stop touching me? Will you stop touching me….Well, she’s touching me.”
While the vacuum was on inside, they got along. Surprising, eh? Mom can’t hear you argue, you don’t bother. So I turned the vacuum on and left it on in another room while I cleaned somewhere else. I’ll never really be sure if they weren’t arguing or if I was in white noise bliss because I couldn’t hear them.
And then one of my children came rushing inside with a mission.
Another quickly followed with politeness, kindness, sensibility and compassion, asking the sibling to go play something the sibling could choose.
Uh oh. I put one finger up…hold up, I need to turn off the vacuum and maybe get a video recorder because the sweetness oozing from one of you is just too much and it should be documented!
As soon as the vacuum went off, the first one through the door got to spit out what had been biting the tongue to begin with.
“Someone peed in the yard, Mommy.”
I did the only thing I could think of at the moment. I walked back into the room with the vacuum and turned it back on – only this time I pretended to vacuum the room I had already cleaned.
Part of me was crying. Part of me was laughing. What was I to say? Nothing.
They walked away.
Day two – someone else peed in the yard. This time I made them rinse it off, gave a small lecture in a loud voice about not peeing in the yard anymore and then opened a bottle of wine.
Moscato D’Asti and my vacuum will be my new best friends this summer break. I will either have a really clean house or be very drunk – either way I’ll be relaxed or won’t care.
Bring it, kids, I’m ready!