Reality has set in. The first half-day of summer vacation, it rained. The second we went to run errands. The three-day weekend involved two adults. Today, it was just me and two kids.
I had no plan for today. I thought about making a plan and then I thought, no, I will WING IT because people do, all the time, and nothing bad happens. Wrong! People do, all the time, and they suffer for it. Make no mistake. Learn from mine.
6:00 The kids are up.
6:30 I am up.
7:00 SA leaves for work.
8:00 The kids have finished breakfast and TV time and they go outside to sell rocks, a task which involves paper and pens and making signs and deciding on price points.
8:30 No customers. Sadness fills the land. They decide to make bookmarks instead. I try to help them make nice straight bookmarks but they are all about the speed. Eli scribbles madly on a bookmark. I am unjustly irritated by this. “What is that?” I ask. “It’s SPACE,” he says. Fine.
9:00 No customers. Sadness fills the land. They come inside and paint each others’ faces with face paint and then decide they will paint peoples’ faces instead of sell rocks.
The same problem occurs, namely that there are no customers. It is Tuesday. People are at work, on holiday, or our lovely retiree neighbours J & B, who have bought their share of rocks already and are no way in hell going to get their faces painted.
9:45 I offer to take the kids to the park. They decline, insisting they will wait for face paint customers.
I feel good about this, I guess, because they are self-amusing, so I can tidy the kitchen and read things and do laundry and not talk to anyone but I also feel out of sorts because we go out in the mornings, it’s what we do, and I feel like I can’t commit to anything unless the proper protocols have been observed which is why, in a nutshell, I cannot WING IT. There are protocols. If I start something, I will be interrupt–
10:00 We need a snack! (see?)
They eat a snack and then go back outside to wait for face paint customers.
10:30 I ask them when they might want to go out and get some apples. We are all out of apples. I have given up on the park but I will not relent on the apples. Eli says in 30 minutes. I take a shower.
11:00 Arlo decides he wants to go out after all! and spend some of his birthday money on a toy. He proposes Toys R Us. I counter-propose Superstore, since I can get apples there. We agree.
11:30 – 12:30 Superstore. I walk past the fitting room in the clothing section and hear two children fighting and their mother say “That is IT there are NO MORE CHANCES,” and I almost go over and knock on her door to tell her it will probably all be OK but I have to stop my children from hitting each other with clothes hangers.
Arlo buys a small gun that shoots darts. Eli brings $2 of his money to spend and while I appreciate that my children are careful shoppers seriously oh my god just buy something I am going to die here listening to Peter Cetera and other peoples’ children fighting in the fitting room. Eli buys two bottles of scented bubbles and is very happy with them so that’s a relief. No bubbles buyer’s remorse.
I buy apples.
3:00 We make an afternoon trip to the park across the street. We are so lucky to have a park across the street. If the park was further away I would *really* be annoyed that Arlo just sits there next to me the whole time we are there while Eli runs around playing, and then whines and complains when I say it is time to go. “I was having fun,” he insists. “It didn’t seem like it to me,” I insist back. “Next time just ask me,” he says. Oh you bet I will.
6:00 Dinner: barbecued chicken, couscous salad with broccoli. SA comes home and takes the kids over to the community centre for Arlo’s first karate class. At first I plan to go too and then I think better of it. If I’m going to survive this summer, I need to take whatever scraps of solitude I can.
(Don’t worry, tomorrow I have a plan.)