Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Break (Batten Down the Hatches!)

This week is one of those idyllic times for school-aged children. And hell on earth for their parents. That's right it is spring break. School had unleashed our children for a week of non-stop fun... and fighting... and whining... and tearing up the house... and fighting (Trust me, 'fighting' needs to be listed twice.). Luckily for me, spring break coincided with some really amazing weather for March. It is currently 80 degrees outside, and I am sitting in shorts and a tank top. The windows are open to catch the breeze. It is beautiful. It would be more beautiful if my table wasn't covered in Cocoa Pebbles and there weren't toys strewn about my home. But I digress.

I have said the words, "Go outside and play", "Stop fighting", "Don't slam the door", and also "Shut the door, you weren't born in a barn" about a billion times in the last few days. (I have also said, "I need a drink" more times than I can count.) It has been a very long week. It is only Tuesday. (Oh God.) I never realized how much my kids eat throughout the day. It is like having Hoovers instead of children (or maybe Dysons because I haven't noticed any loss of suction). They can really put food away.

Isn't it funny how we dread the day that our children start school? We see it as independence from us and it breaks our hearts a little bit. Once we get used to them being gone for the afternoon, however, it is not easy to adjust to them being home. I had gotten used to the silence during the afternoon when the older two are in school. It is blissful, and I can get so much done. But today (after only one whole day of the kids being home) it looks as though a bomb has gone off. One with toys for its shrapnel.  Just when I have finished with the bomb squad and cleaned up the carnage, the little terrorists have detonated another bomb. It's a never ending cycle.

I think I understand that method behind the madness of spring break. The school administration realizes that classes will be let out for the summer in a little over two months. They do this to prepare the parents of their students for summer vacation. It is a little like the rumble of a volcano before a major eruption. We need time to prepare ourselves for our kids to be home full time. We have to build up our stockpiles of food. There a contingency plans to instigate. Activities to plan. Reservations with grandparents to make (for when you either get them out of the house completely or turn into a raving lunatic).

Prepare yourselves for the onslaught of summer. Your kids are going to want to be entertained. You will be their entertainment. Unless you are going to sit them in front of the television, of course. Use spring break to train yourself. I have trouble with letting myself roll with the punches. I'm getting better. Having kids has helped me realize that I can't always control everything. Oh, I can try. I only end up stressing myself out and annoying my husband. (Oh yes, my darling husband. I know I annoy you. I can see you when you roll your eyes at me.) The house will get messy. The kids will FIGHT. Accept it. It's inevitable. It's life. Don't sweat the small stuff. Spring break and summer vacation can be fun if you let it be. I intend to.

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