You’re not sure where the smell is coming from, but you’re pretty certain it’s dried lemonade. You’d leave it — it is even more lemony fresh than the floor cleaner you should have used 10 days ago — but it attracts ants. Hey, maybe they’ll help you figure out where to mop.
There’s sand on your kitchen floor, surrounding your washer machine, and in the sheets you just put on your bed, courtesy of little people with big plans for the summer ahead. After all, school is out and you’re not. You, you’re in your house, trying to figure out where to go today so that you don’t spend yet another day cleaning up the never-ending mess and breaking up fights.
You think about what Phyllis Diller said: “Cleaning the house while the kids are little is like shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing.” She was right, of course, but you can’t wait until school starts this fall to wipe the aftermath of the “fun in the tub!” bathtub crayons that you used to bribe, er, entice your kids to soak the backyard off their feet…for now.
You begin go wonder why do companies disguise extra work for Mom as “memory making moments”? Your mother never cared about making memories, so why should you? Oh yeah, it’s that modern mom guilt thing.
You’re thrilled that you don’t have to get the kids up and out every morning to school, to baseball, to ballet. And you don’t miss the homework, the practice schedules, the “send in two toilet paper rolls, an egg carton and one old sock” requests for the teacher’s latest craft project, which you secretly call “crap projects” before you throw them out when the kids aren’t looking.
But the dog days of summer have you wishing for school to start sooner than later. Not always, just right now, when you’ve found the source of that sticky, lemony smell with your bare feet. Yeck. Thank you, ants.
Other times though, you’re thrilled the kids are home, even if it means less “working” and more “from home.” You hope your clients decide to go on a nice long vacation without Internet access but with automated accounting, so you can get paid for riding on the carousel at the mall. Again.
You don’t want year-round school because you believe in the lazy summer day as a character builder for your kids, who, so far this summer, have run lemonade stands (obviously), organized a pick-up soccer game (Mom, can you ref?), crushed you at Guitar Hero (twice) and finished their summer math problems already.
But sometimes you wonder how you always forget that getting anything done while the kids are out of school takes ten times longer, because you have so many detours to the bottom of your To-Do list, including: an inpromptu trip to the barber (when you couldn’t get the gum out), yet another supermarket visit and a power outage that landed you at the latest animated feature film (where at least you got in a nice nap). And that was just today.
Plus, it’s still only June.
So, you remind yourself the kids are only little once and in a few years, they’ll be taking off all day for work or a summer league team practice or their girlfriends’/boyfriends’ house where (I swear, Mom!) the mother is home. Really. These are the glory days of parenting. Enjoy them. Because, before you know it, you’ll be scouring the house for stray socks and toilet paper rolls and trying to remember how to do algebra again, while dreaming of an aimless summer day like today.