Saturday, June 27, 2009

First Day of Summer with My Kids...

...and the verdict is: BORING.

Or so says a letter our five-year-old wrote to me and taped to the water cooler this evening:

I am not Happy today but maybe I will be Happy soon. This morning was Boring the Birthday Party was sad or when I was watching Mamma Mia that was bad.

Of course I had high hopes for today, my debut into summer. Husband working, it would be just me and the girls and we would have fun, FUN, FUN! My plan was to take them to the pool--the cool pool with the beach entry and mushroom fountain.

But first, I needed to make cupcakes. That was boring, apparently, even though daughters helped me measure and stir and got to lick the spoons. And then I needed to take them to my sister-in-law's pre-pole-dancing-lesson birthday lunch party. Because her cousins had been dispatched elsewhere and she and her little sister were the only kids in attendance, the party was, despite food she loves and even CUPCAKES, sad to our little first grader.

Things went downhill as soon as we left my sister-in-law's house...whining, fighting, and general unpleasantness paired with sloppy parental response encapsulated in The Threat: We will not go to the pool if you don't behave.

Now, nine times out of ten (nine times out of ten, I am inaccurately using that tired cliche), when I threaten my children, I also recognize that if their bad behavior can be attributed to Utter Exhaustion, they are virtually powerless to control it. And when my kids are Tired and Unpleasant, I both feel bad about delivering on my threats but also know that Tired and Unpleasant People don't belong wherever we were going in the first place, like the pool.

Unless, of course, they take a nap.

So I hopefully employed the weak nap strategy called Video on Mama's Bed. Which means, kids choose a movie (Mamma Mia, really? Here we go again...), we all lie down, and I hope they fall asleep while I fall asleep reading my book or magazine.

Once in a while it works (four times out of ten?), and there is peace in the valley. But sometimes, the whole notion of curing distemper explodes, crashing and burning into Worse Than Where We Were Before. So it did today, with the girls kicking each other and then ramping up their constant repositioning into near-throwing of themselves onto the bed. Over and over again.

So I snapped that movie off mid-cheesy-Pierce-Brosnan ballad and declared that we would NOT be going to the pool.

At which point, sniffling daughter retreated to her Craft Corner to write me her note, complete with the key on the back to the faces she drew:

We're going to work on some "Yayy! Happy" days ahead.


Kris said...

Gosh, a note on the water cooler?! I LOVE the fact that your daughter feels the need to "inform" you that you had better step it up for the rest of the summer. And just so you are clear... a chart of moods to aid in any activity decision making.

Mama Deb said...

That is hilarious!