I will be honest. I really don’t like summer. While many love having the days of sleeping in, vacations, pools and more, for me it means something different. In a word – FIGHTING. Wait, let’s make that three words – NON-STOP FIGHTING.
I have three kids, who I truly love with all my heart. I really do. They range in age from 6 – 10. They have different personalities. They are passionate about so many different things. They love summer and swimming. However, there are days when it feels like what they love most are the endless days of …….. fighting.
Each day seems to start with the same ideology that today will be different. Right? Who am I kidding?! I wake wishing and hoping that today will be the day when they won’t fight or argue about who gets to sit on the sofa or which episode of Paw Patrol will be played on the TV. Is today the one when they will not complain about their brother annoying them by dressing as a police officer for the 47th time in a week? Pffffttt……that only happens in fantasy land.
They fight. Somedays, it feels like they fight non-stop. No matter what we try from the coin discipline method to tickets and even fines….nothing seems to work. Short of locking them up in their rooms all day long, there is nothing I can seem to do to get them to get along. There are days I’ll admit that a cocktail sounds good….and I look at the clock and it is 9:22 a.m. (It is 5 o’clock somewhere, isn’t it?)
We do have a lot of fun together. We visit the store and check out the toys and games. We will have lunch out (and even an occasional picnic). We spend LOTS of time at the pool. We’ll visit arcades and an indoor bounce house. We’ll download a movie and make snacks and curl up together on the sofa. I am doing my best to make summer fun for them and to give myself a break from the bickering. When we partake in these fun activities, it is very welcoming. I get that much needed break from the arguing. However, as soon as we are done or headed back home, it seems that they pick right back up where they left off. Can you say instant headache?
Of course, there are times when I try to have fun with the fighting. I will whine back at them just like they do. That often makes them laugh and they forget that they were mad. Yet, there are those few times when it does have the opposite effect and makes them more angry. We do time outs and alone time in our rooms. My personal favorite is when I make them give one another a hug. They really hate that, but what more can I do? Oooo wait….maybe I need to have them sit on the sofa for 5 minutes holding hands. THAT would be fun!!!!
To be completely honest, I am in countdown mode to school starting again. Now, before someone says I am trying to dump my kids onto teachers, please note that is NOT true. I do love my kids and actually – I really like them too (outside of those times they are fighting). It is NOT because I don’t like to be around them. They are funny little people who say the most amazing or hilarious things. In fact, just a week ago, my 10 year old told her dad that she thinks he makes $956.24 every two weeks and her grandma made around $325. I was laughing so hard I was nearly in tears. They really are fun to be around….most days.
To be completely truthful, there are a few reasons I like school. First of all, it gives them more structure and a regular routine. We still do some routines in the summer (regular bedtimes and eating schedules) but we also try to not be as rigid. After all, they are kids and need down time from the daily grind (as we all do). Sure, they love the lazy days of sleeping in and playing, but even they admit that they get bored.
That is another reason I like school….they have something to do. I can’t entertain them all of the time. I tell them that too. I spend plenty of time doing things with them (see above) but I can’t be a playmate all day long. I think I’d lose my ever loving mind!
The final reason I like school is the break we get from one another. You see, that is why they they fight. They are together 24/7. There is no break given to them. They do not have very many opportunities to bond with friends without a sibling being close by. They thrive through those friendships and the socializing that they get with those who are their own age. They need a chance to get away from one another and those few hours at school each day seems to help.
I love my kids with all my heart, but the summer…not so much? Three full months away from school is a bit overrated. I, for one, am ready to see the Back to School signs coming up and knowing that we are just a few weeks away from getting back to school, and THAT’S okay!
Now, where did I set that glass of wine?