Let’s get a quick show of hands: Who, exactly, are the parents out there who look forward to summer vacation every year? Don’t you do work that requires things like concentration and not needing to be the provider of endless snacks? Since when is having a house full of children considered a vacation? And are you OK if someone drops off more kids at your house? Asking for a friend.
The overwhelming number of memes and gifs celebrating summertime from the perspective of teachers and kids is understandable. But from the parents’ point of view? For real? Who are these moms and dads that look forward to child rearing 24/7? And what do they know about entertaining kids when it’s hot out and there’s no regularly structured activity that the rest of us are missing?
The fact is, unless you’re a kid, teacher, or professional snow shoveler, when the weather turns warm, your life is no different than it was when it was cold — except now you have to work double time to entertain your children during the hours they’d normally be in school. Oh, and you still have to do everything else you do the rest of the year, too.
That being said, summer vacation can also be fun for parents, too. I promise — all it takes is just a little (more) planning (than usual). OK, and wine. Because everything goes better with wine. Especially kids.
1. Get together at someone’s house or pool. Everyone chips in for a babysitter/lifeguard. The kids play safely. The parents drink. Win/win.
2. Designate at least one night a week as “Who needs dinner when there’s watermelon and potato chips” night.
3. Too hot for the zoo? Go to a pet store or animal shelter. Air conditioning + animals = everyone’s happy.
4. Still too hot to go outside? Hit up that babysitter again and send them and the kids into one movie theater to see the kid-friendly Finding Dory while you duck into another theater to see the blessedly not kid-friendly Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping.
5. Set up a tent in the yard in the morning and fill it with water bottles, sandwiches and frisbees, and tell the kids they’re in the middle of nowhere and won’t be rescued. Until dinnertime. (Then see No. 2.)
6. Two words: Oh, Grandma . . .
7. Have a spa day wherein you are the client and the kids need to take care of you. Think floating in a pool with cucumber slices on your eyes, a chilled glass of mint-and-melon-infused water, and silence. Lots and lots of silence.
8. Buy a few plants and give the kids a patch of lawn to start their own garden. But don’t give them any tools to dig. Picking blades of grass one-by-one to plant their new horticultural treasures will take some time.
9. Go to the thrift store and get an old wagon, bicycle, and jump rope. Tell the kids they need to invent a mode of transportation to get to the store down the street on their own. Then give them a list and send them to the store.
10. Make snow cones for the kids and drunken snow cones for the adults. Cheers!More On