Summer Vacation: You've Made It Halfway. Now What?

Now what, hot shot?

I have made it all the way to the middle of summer in my house.

Right now, I have a house full of wiggly kids, a completed “summer bucket list” on the calendar, and very few new ideas on how to have fun for the rest of the summer. Hell, I am out of ideas on what to make for lunches at this point. And I am starting to get pretty wiggly myself.

We have officially entered into a new season. We are no longer in the season of structure and order, as we had during school season. We are no longer in the season of summer freedom.

This is the season of Summer Whining.

The dazzle of summer isn’t as dazzling as it originally seemed in June, back when the kids chucked their empty backpacks into the garage with abandoned mirth. Now it's just hot.

Summer is halfway through, and the days of finding the elixir of life (amidst the radiation) in every sunbeam are over.  The kids started the summer by waking up at the crack of dawn to run outside and scream their little lungs out while turning the sprinklers on and raiding the orange Creamsicle stash, well before you were even remotely close to the coffee pot.  No, now they stumble out of bed at the crack of dawn in order to be the first to play Minecraft. Instead of raiding the orange Creamsicle stash, they have a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios next to them. Not the whole grain kind, either. Their hands are slow and robotic as they move from task to task: cereal bowl, mouth, find and kill the Ender Dragon. Repeat.

What is not hypnotic is the whining when they discover, with hysterical indignation, that there are more of them than there are computers. The concept of “sharing” has escaped their memories. Just as the concept of keeping the Cheerios in the bowl, rather than in trails leading around the house, has, too.

We are at peak whine.

Peak whine begins at sunup, and refuses to cease until sundown.

Oh, sure, I have thought of ways to combat peak whine. Unfortunately, I have run out of sprinkler days, ice cream days, park days, clean-the-house days, play outside days and “find the magic of summer” days.

Now I am stuck with “Why are we so bored? Oh my God, Mom, she just BREATHED ON ME” days.

I have gone through as many “enjoy every moment” and “childhood summer in the '70s” lists as I can find. I played outside with the kids until it was dark, we all drank out of the garden hose, and we've already walked barefoot outside until our feet were sore.

I have planned day trips to a lake, birthday parties, fireworks shows, fishing, and hiking.

Dammit, we have done it all, and there is still a month and a half left of summer to go.

At this point, even I am tired of orange Creamsicles. What I wouldn’t give for something warm right now. Like brownies.

Except all I have left in my pantry is a box of gluten-free brownie mix someone gave me six months ago, and I didn’t want to eat it then, either.

My brain seems to have stopped functioning at its full capacity, and I am simply going through the motions of loading the car and unloading the car at this point. Kids? Check. Purse? Check. Shoes? Check. Towels? Purely optional. Sunblock? Check.  Except this time, when you were getting the kids to find all their shoes (by themselves, this time) and out the door to go to the pool before lunch, you mistook your evening eye cream for sunblock in the bathroom basket you throw all your bottles into. On the plus side, you and the kids look absolutely radiant. Sunburned, but radiant.

By now, I know the baristas by name due to the number of frappuccinos I have added to my diet. I have also begun to use choice curse words due to the amount of brain freezes I give myself.

In a last ditch effort to stop bitching at inanimate objects while nursing my poor brain, I finally find that summer book reading list that I am totally going to finish this year! Small victories!

Except, I find the list underneath my workout clothes that I apparently haven’t touched in . . . a while. But honestly, I am so happy with my plus-sized bikini, I kind of lost my (already weak) incentive to work off the baby weight. Is it still baby weight if she is in preschool?

I don’t know. You know what I do know? The concept of limited screen time is stupid, and Firefly marathons can save the summer whining streak. At least until they ask me why the second season isn't on Netflix.

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