A Vacation Survival Guide for Actual People.

Don't you dare not eat that.


OK parents: gird your loins. It’s vacation time.

Oh sure, a lot of you are ‘excited’ about vacation, and ‘eager’ to begin, and truth be told, so are we. Well, guess what? That’s only because we’ve all forgotten how exhausting vacation ‘actually’ is, and how our children have been working tirelessly at school thinking about ways in which they can conquer us over the summer. Oh yes…conquer. (That is what they teach in school, right?)

Nothing to worry about it.

We have assembled a step-by-step guide to Summer Vacation Survival. We have read countless magazines and watched countless morning show segments in which people have cheerfully told us seventy-eleven ways to keep our children amused, sun-protected, stimulated, physically fit, well-fed, hydrated, summer-camped, insect-repelled, sprinkled with chocolate chips and coconut, and engaged in hand-to-hand combat with each other in a battle for sibling supremacy.

(I’m sorry, I don’t think those last two things were real. It’s actually a bit of a blur.)

Anyway, here it is. You’re welcome. Have at it. It’s SUMMERTIME, and though the living is not easy, it is do-able. You only need to remember ten things:

  1. Children can smell your fear. They can smell a day in which you have not planned anything, and have no sharpened pencil crayons or Sculpey anywhere in the vicinity. They will sniff that day out and they will have their way with you, oh yes they will, and I hope you have a large pitcher of sangria nearby because when those kids finally hit the sack at 10pm, you are going to need it.
  2. So…craft supplies. Get some. Get a bunch. Get enough to build a life-sized fully operational four person helicopter out of popsicle sticks and then…get some more.
  3. Also—anything can be made into a popsicle. Did you know this? Any semi-edible substance on Earth can now be emulsified into a semi-delicious frozen treat. Go to Williams-Sonoma and spend $4000 on popsicle machines. Do it NOW.
  4. Only eat things from sticks. Plates are stupid.
  5. Invest in an old liquor barrel and fill it with sunscreen. Every morning grab your children by their feet and dip them into the barrel until they look like melted candles. Do this ten times a day until eventually the sun burns out and we live on the forbidding terrain of an ice planet; only then will we be safe from the scorching effects of the sun. We will have to invest in other strategies to combat Wampas, as sunscreen is not effective on space carnivores.
  6. Let your young children watch Grease. Let them watch it fifty times. Yes, there’s smoking, yes, your six year old child will learn to sing the phrase “lousy with virginity”, but you don’t have to fully explain it. Anyway, who cares? It’s still better than iCarly, and there is honestly nothing better than later hearing that same six year old girl call Kenicki “un-appropriate.” Nothing. Better.
  7. Also be willing to let your kids get crazy-dirty. Like, so dirty that if there was a casting call for ‘industrial revolution era chimney sweeps’, your kids would be too dirty and would get kicked out of the audition.
  8. Drink a kiddie pool’s worth of water morning, noon, and night, until you read the latest research which will tell you to do the exact opposite.
  9. Speaking of kiddie pools, isn’t it time you reclaimed yours? Fill it with water, put a lawn chair in it, and then put yourself on that lawn chair. Yes, I’m a hillbilly. No, I don’t care what you think of me.
  10. Finally, stop setting so many goals. Quit being such a ‘goal-setter.’ Until further notice, consider all goals ‘out of reach’. (Unless of course your goal is ‘eating chips for lunch.’ You can probably manage that one. Maybe.)


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Check out other posts by Allana and Sam:

Wherein We Discuss Diapers

And Placentas

And How To Be Mom Enough



Article Posted 4 years Ago

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