Summer is officially here now that summer school is over and I’m back to full time parenting for the next two months. I’m terrified! In some ways it gets easier the older my kids are. In many ways it gets a whole lot harder. If they have friends available to play, they’re happy and content to find things to do on their own. If nobody is around, they whine and argue and have a million reasons why they shouldn’t do any of the things I suggest or ask of them. It makes for some extremely long and trying days.
I think the only way to combat all the problems I see arising in my immediate future is to make lists. Many, many lists. That is my main intention for the week. First, I need to make a list of all the ways they can get a check mark to earn video game time (ten checks = one hour of game time). We’ve been doing this system for a few months now and it seems to work pretty well – except they NEVER want to do actual work. They only want to get the easy checkmarks. And they still ask us eight million times a day what they can do to earn a check – usually by 6am when it is the last thing in the world I feel like dealing with (I HATE starting every day with this question). Especially because they want to argue about or flat out refuse every single thing we suggest. So I’m going to make a list. They ask me, I say look at the list. No arguing, no negotiating, hopefully no more asking me over and over and over again.
I also want to work with the boys on a list of things they’d like to do before school starts. I usually aim for 1-2 day trips a week to different parks, festivals, restaurants, etc. The problem I see with that this year is that they never really want to go anywhere or do anything. Thinking up the list might be harder than it’s be in the past. But maybe they’ll surprise me. Or maybe they’ll reinforce the idea that they really just want to stay in town and do things with their friends. And if that’s the case, I’ll try to respect that choice and try to make more playdates happen, even though arranging them always stresses me out.
I definitely want to make a list of new dog parks to check out in the Madison area. I’d really like to go to one once a week. If I have a solid list of the top ten or so that look intriguing, it’ll make actually going out in the future so much easier.
And finally, I want to make a list of events or things that I want to do to make ME happy. I see so many events on facebook that look interesting, but almost never actually go to anything. Part of the reason is that I just never know who to ask to go with me, and it’s kind of depressing going to everything alone. While I do value my alone time – especially in summer when I never seem to get it – it still kind of sucks going craft fairs and movies and things like that by myself. Experience has told me that my friends never really want to do things in the evenings and it’s given me a bit of a complex, trying to avoid any more rejections because I’m way too sensitive and upset by them. But, whether I do them alone or not, I want a list of things I WILL do. I think I’ll be a lot happier if I have special events on the calendar that I can look forward to every week or two. I find it really easy to get depressed in summer. Much more so than in winter, which is maybe odd. But I think I’ll feel a lot more cheerful if I’m actively making plans to get out of the house for something FUN.
Anyway, looking to our week ahead – I was hoping to kind of ease into this whole new summer routine, but it’s actually a pretty busy week. I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday morning to check out a toe I’ve been having a problem with for over two months. On Tuesday I’m getting a haircut. On Wednesday I have x-rays and an appointment with the surgeon (hopefully the last one) to make sure everything is still looking healed and on track. On Thursday Caden has a playdate over at a friend’s house. And on Saturday the boys and Annie are having a sleepover at Grandma’s while Greg and I go to his cousin’s wedding. And on Sunday we’re going to a Mallard’s game and maybe to a pool event in the evening. Granted it’s just one thing a day Monday-Wednesday, but one thing a day dragging kids along can be exhausting! Especially when we need to also work in a half day to run errands, and hopefully a day to go to a dog park too. All while still trying to put in at least a couple of hours a day working. It’ll all get done and it’s probably actually good we have places to be almost every day. I’m just a bit nervous about everything. But the lists will help!
Once again, I’m not yet prepared to share a meal plan! Though I am planning to have jalapeno popper chicken tomorrow night. And potatoes, I think. And maybe some sort of peach pie/tart/crisp to use up the rest of the peaches. The rest of the week – who knows! 🙂