Popsicles, movies, and bubbles

Everyone starts the summer with dreams and ideas of what they’ll do with their free time. My kids dream of playing all day, swimming, and going on adventures. My husband dreams of catching up on all the literature he needs to read to stay current with his profession. I dream of keeping a clean house full of happy children and creating fabulous memories. This summer, my husband and I also dreamed about running a summer school writing and handwriting intensive for our school aged children. (I don’t know if “dreamed” is the right word, maybe conspired.)

So, we started out in June with tons of excitement and gumption. We took our children on adventures around our neighborhood. We dutifully held our summer school, every day for two hours. Our chores were done twice a day. There was a routine and structure. June was a great month. Things went smoothly.

Now, it’s July. We’re only partly through July, and already our summer school has fallen by the wayside. My husband gets home from his summer job and blithely asks if we’d worked on school that day. If we had, it was only for a few moments. But lately, my answer is no. We do complete our morning chores, but that’s about as far as it goes. And my children are B O R E D (or so they say) of all their toys and every other form of distraction I can think of. I have a good reason for this. It’s hot, really, really hot where we live. Melt crayons on the sidewalk kind of hot.

This is the time during summer that I resort to some underhanded tactics to keep it all together. I use popsicles as bribes for children who finish their chores. It’s amazing how much quieter the house becomes when everyone is involved in eating popsicles. Also, I use the TV. I admit it. I let my children watch TV. Every day, after lunch, I sit my children down and make them watch a movie. I also turn the TV down a lot so they all have to be quiet in order to hear the movie. If I’m lucky, I get to catch a short nap in my chair, thanks to the movie. And if I’m really desperate, I pull out the bubbles. I have a little bubble blower that I set up outside on my porch. After a while, the kids are worn out from running around and come back in much quieter. That’s how we survive July.

Finally, August comes around. That’s when I start to panic. School’s starting in a few weeks at that point. We need to read, do math, and write. We need to get school clothes ready. We need to get rooms de-cluttered and ready for school to start. Then there’s back to school night and meet your teacher day. And all the things that go with starting school, so we’re not BORED anymore. We get really busy.

So, I guess it’s good that July is spent quietly. That way we can save up our energy for August.


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