Summer is here and somehow having no schedule is just as stressful sometimes as keeping up with the weekly school routine. At least for a person like me who does not plan things out ahead of time. I have a few things penciled in here and there, but otherwise I wake up in the morning thinking- oooooh boy- gotta figure out something to do to make the day enjoyable for the kids (and me too). Which is how we wound up making recycled soda bottle “bowling pins” the other day. But that was the only brilliant idea I’ve had so far, and you can’t make those every day. Nor can you wear a deflated pool floatie everyday, as I’ve tried to explain to my son.
Which is probably why I’ve become obsessed with our library summer reading program- if I read five books with my daughter a day I, errrr…um… I mean she earns a “book buck” each day. (Up to six bucks a week.) We read a ton of books as it is because my daughter has loved a good story practically since she was in the womb. But now that there is a reward attached I am hyper vigilant about it all- “five books! We have to read five books!” And then I have to log them- and there is the breakdown. Because this year, for the first time, we have to log all of our books into an account on the computer. Before I could generally note the books we read and write them all in last minute before we turned in our log at the library each week. But with the computer, the books are logged virtually by time and date entered…so of course the day came when we meticulously counted our books to log, and I forgot to log them on the correct day, thereby forfeiting a precious book buck. (At least I think…the system may not be quite as strict as I’ve given it credit for, but my obsession breeds paranoia.) Now I find myself at 11:45pm frantically entering books so we can make it all the way to the $15 Time Machine gift certificate we have our eye on.
I’ve also been checking my phone frequently to see if anyone has texted to do something with us. (I don’t write this to imply we are friendless and miserable, just that I’m a dimwit and don’t plan things with our friends far enough in advance.) But this, too, has been complicated by the summer. No, OK really it was complicated by me jumping into the pool with my cell phone in my pocket- which isn’t ideal for receiving texts. But the summer is the root problem. I tried all the tricks I know- leaving my phone overnight in a bag of rice and everything. I got the thing working again- but it has never been the same. So my brother gave me an old cell phone to use, which was great till I dropped it on the floor at the airport. Now the phone works but whenever I get a text it sounds like a muffled cannon has fired instead of making a perky “beep”. I expect to start having dreams about the Revolutionary war any night now.
Meanwhile I’ve made actual war on the bugs in the house- we have no ants inside this year (which I’ll naively attribute to my cinnamon barrier at the exterior door) but we have earwig bugs and those awkward beetles that blunder around looking comically ridiculous….until they crash land onto your shirt. Then they are just annoying. But the earwigs are the worst- I haven’t figured out how to outsmart their tactics yet. Also some sneaky bugs are chewing up my veggies- but once I set up my garden spy cam its game over for them.
As I ponder what I’ve written, it seems clear that we need a couple more hobbies this summer- at least until swim lessons start. Any fun, cheap summer ideas from other Moms or Dads out there?