Thursday, June 9, 2011

435. Summer Phobia

There are four words that strike fear deep in the heart of any parent, and those words are “no school” and “three months.” When you combine those two innocent-seeming phrases … well, I shudder to even think about it.

My phobia starts in exactly seven days. This time next Thursday will see my two boisterous sons throwing their Pokemon notebooks in the air, kicking their sandals off, and diving headfirst into 90 days of 100 degree weather and 1000 percent of my sanity gone.

All the smart mommies have made “summer plans.” I have been getting emails from the smart mommies (smommies) asking about my summer plans. My main plan is to sit in front of a giant fan from Target right on top of the air conditioning vent praying the power never goes out while fanning myself with US Weekly while yelling at my kids to stop yelling at each other. That is my plan.

Of course, I never say things like that in my email. I make cute little jokes about, “Well, we spent all our money on the pool membership, so I guess that’s where we’ll be every day!” when the thought of my pale and non-Cindy Crawford self in a bathing suit in public makes me want to move to Alaska permanently.

The boys come home from school every day counting down, like Christmas.

“Guess-what-Mommy-guess-what-Mommy! Only ten (nine, eight, seven) days of school left!”

They don’t have to tell me, it’s already circled on my calendar in thick black Sharpie like a solar eclipse, Today begins the string of days when you must entertain your children 24/7 like when they were toddlers. Have fun!

So, back to the smommies. My smommie friends have all signed up their lucky children for super-fun and super-educational camps followed by a month in Hawaii or touring Europe or other exotic locales that threaten to gobble up an entire mortgage payment in a day. We will be spending our mortgage payment on, well, our mortgage. We have opted for the more pedestrian stay-cation.

The Husband, of course, gets no vacation, not even a stay-cation. He slogs off to work June, July, and August as usual, oblivious to the fact that I have to dream up multiple meals and snack options every hour on the hour, as well as something entertaining to do.

Last year, I was full of good intentions and perhaps a little tequila. I bravely announced, “This summer, we’re going to do art projects!” and dragged the kids to the craft store. Twenty minutes and $185 later, our neon blue shopping cart was laden with things to take us well into the winter months, things like rubber stamping, mosaics, stained glass, and painting. As you can imagine, the novelty of my $185 investment wore off about the time we pulled the car into the driveway. Maybe sooner.

I harbor no illusions about this summer. We will spend it exactly the way I always wished for when I was a child: in front of the TV.

("Melting On Venus")


  1. my summer fantasy: sufficient sleep, sunshine, air conditioning, books that i can't put down, and having no need to do so. and also trashy cable tv.

  2. Megan,

    Can I move in with you? 'cause that just about sums up my idea of a perfect summer too (WAIT--did you mention the hot cabana guy? He needs to make an appearance as well! Maybe he can carry the book to me along with my sparkling spiked lemonade).


  3. A different MeganJune 10, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    As another Megan, I agree with Megan. Her summer is my exact fantasy of summer too. We already blew our summer vacation wad on a trip to Disneyland four days after school got out. Now the whole summer stretches in front of us with nothing but swim lessons scheduled in the early mornings.

    Today I came up with the brilliant idea of joining the gym. For $150 a month I can drop all three kids off at child care and go sit in the sauna or swim laps while they are entertained and fed by someone else. Just because it's a "gym" doesn't mean I actually have to work out, right? Afterwards the kids and I can chill out at their very shi shi pool. It's expensive and I'm not sure how to work it into the family budget, but I'm thinking just 3 months of time at the gym will save my kids thousands in the therapy they would definitely need if we spend the whole summer together.

  4. A different Megan,

    Oh, I like that! Sadly, the closest gym to me has very sub-standard child-care (basically, kid sits in an office area and is supposed to play with a couple broken toys for forty minutes). If I lived in Megan-ville, I would definitely join your (child-friendly) gym!



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