Friday, August 25, 2006

Things I Won't Miss When School Starts Next Week

Just a side note: The worst (non-emergency) thing to wake up to is the sound of your dog vomiting her dinner all over your bedroom. Hello, last day of summer vacation. :(

Okay, things I won't miss. Many of these are universal:

1. The Bickering
My kids really aren't that bad with this, and I try to just let it go. But then the older gets all pissy at the younger, who is very crafty about baiting her sister, and I lose it. I used to bicker with my brother, and wondered why it bothered my mother so much, since it wasn't about her.

Now I understand.

So, I won't miss them saying "I can't wait until school starts so I can be rid of you!" to each other.

2. "I'm Bored."
Don't think I need to elaborate on that.

3. Making Meals
They've been getting their own breakfasts, poor things. But I'm tired of making lunches and dinners every day. Though they've been doing a lot of that, too. Doesn't matter, though, I still hate it. The elementary and middle school lunch menus are so much better than what I had as a kid, and fairly balanced (they offer salad bar and fresh fruit at the middle school!) so I don't worry when they buy. And I think the $1.40 or $1.75 they spend isn't much more than what a pack lunch would add up to.

They offer breakfast at school, too, with which I am less enamored. I make them eat fruit most mornings if they want the donut or muffin at school.

Which just leaves dinners. I am a decent but uninspired cook. They suffer from my ennui.

4. Constant Errands
Especially in the last two or three weeks before school starts, we're running all over taking care of things. And we're never good enough or have the right timing. We come back, and realize we forgot something. Or we get a letter the day after we went shopping, with one more thing we need.

5. Interruptions
For the most part, the kids have been good. They allow me my writing time. But if I'm trying to do anything else that doesn't involve them, it's constant "Mommy" this and "Can we" that and even just talking about stuff that I'd love to hear, but not at the moment they want to say it.

6. Bad parenting
Too much time that the kids aren't directly occupied means too much giving in to watching TV. Meal-preparation fatigue leads to junk food lunches and ice cream dinners. Not a lot! But once is too much. And I'm not a playmate kind of a mom, so every day that I don't play with them means more guilt. I'll be very happy to shed that.

The structure of the school year makes everything easier. No TV during the school week. More physical activity. Compartmentalization between work, family, and household. Defined activities at pre-scheduled times, which means unscheduled, undefined time is more welcome for everyone, and easier for the kids to fill. I can't wait.

Balance, here I come.


Erica Orloff said...

Hi Natalie:
I am the opposite. I am mourning them going back next week. :-( I love the aimless relaxed way we can just "be" with each other. I hate the regimented routine . . . hate it! I like how we can sleep in, eat breakfast at noon if we want, and spontaneously go for a picnic for dinner with no worries over whether there's a project or homework due. I am so sad another summer is gone! WAH!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I can totally understand that. In a "boy, am I not that kind of parent" kind of way. LOL I can mourn for you, though. :)

I do like all that stuff, too. But I'm not a very maternal person, and I'm also a very solitary person, so the 24/7 gets to me.

Also, this is my first time working alone at home as a writer since I was pregnant nearly 12 years ago (and that was technically "unemployment"), so that trumps everything else. I'm so EXCITED!

And I should be writing. Going, going!

Shannon Stacey said...

I am so with you on the not making lunch every day. When noon comes and my oldest says "What's for lunch?" it aggravates me. I make dinner, and you want lunch, too? Go to school if you want lunch. *g*

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

LOL, Shannon. My kids have learned not to ask that question. They now ask, "Do you know what's for lunch/dinner?" For some reason, that grates less.

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