Parenting is so easy! By the way, if you agree with that, we can’t be friends.
I cherish my daughters and think they’re perfect as they are, but these summertime behaviors are going to send me to the loony bin and we’re only a few weeks in.
They wake up wonderfully after a good night’s sleep, then a little thing like asking them to eat breakfast turns them into wild banshees. This is not after breakfast mind you, so this isn’t because I’m giving them too much sugar. My pre-tween girls are becoming independent. Hip-hip hurrumph!
I realize it’s a rite of passage to find their voice and personality, but come on…before breakfast? I’m not restraining and forcing them to eat what I prepare. They can decide (mostly) what to put in their bodies, but my kids are rebels and choose not to eat.
Can you hear your mother’s or middle school health teacher’s voice echoing, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” with a cheery smile and a sparkle off their upper incisor? Why won’t kids listen?
I mutter while mindlessly emptying the dishwasher. “I didn’t get this old without becoming moderately wise!”
Finally, after the sustenance has absorbed into their bloodstream, and their brains are at maximum capacity, the No. 1 summer parenting stressor emerges.
“It’s nine thirty in the morning and you’re bored?” you whisper, as your blood pressure rises and your favorite mom T-shirt collar slowly strangles you. This is where parenting can either make or break you.
You refer them to the Pinterest board of “151 summer activities you can do with your children,” threaten to do math flashcards or my personal favorite:
“It sounds like you need to get a job!!”
And when I say get a job, I don’t mean clean up your toys for loose change or make your bed for screen time. I’m talking get out of the house and pull your weight in cash.
Now I’m against child labor in other countries, but in my house all is fair in love and whining. You’d be amazed how many times my kids ask me to buy them things throughout the day.
Here are a few examples of what your child can do this summer to find employment:
▪ Dog waste removal: Poop patrol is a well-respected profession that will help your child appreciate hard work and the joy of getting his hands dirty. It’s also high in demand since no one in his or her right mind wants to perform this task.
▪ Girl or Boy Scoots cookie sales: Make your child bathe, give their hair a good brushing, tie a handkerchief around their neck, and send them on their scooter with a backpack full of cookies. I recommend snack-sized bags and fill them with Oreos, Vanilla Wafers, Nutter Butters and some of those teething biscuits that taste like cardboard for the mom with a screaming baby.
▪ Car wash: Nothing is more cost efficient than a good old car wash. Plus, you can put that disco song on their iPod so they can get their groove on while they’re working at the car wash. Whoa, whoa, whoa! This is also something that can be done with friends, which makes it more fun if your child is fine with splitting the profits.
▪ Spa water: This is a great one for runners in your suburbs. Especially, if you have an over abundance of cucumbers growing in your yard because your husband overestimates the amount of vegetables your family will consume. First get a lot of ice and some filtered tap water. Then throw in a couple cucumber slices and voila! You are swimming in the Caribbean with cherubs playing harps and a choir of Mongolian monks humming along. There is big money for spa water.
Of course, if none of these ideas are of interest, you can have your children count the blades of grass in the backyard. Make sure to tell them not to come inside until they agree on a number. They’ll be out there all day because everyone knows that siblings can’t agree on anything!
You can thank me later.