Summer is officially here and we are finally settling into our new routine which is in fact, no routine. Who knew the adjustment could be such a difficult transition for kids, and for moms for that matter. We limped our way across the “end-of-the-year” finish line, ready for a break and ready to put our feet up, ditch the homework, ditch the strict bedtime routines, ditch the alarm clock and the mornings where I’m force-feeding bleary eyed boys their breakfast, and move on to the lazy days of summer.
The first day
This isn’t my first time on this merry-go-round, so how is it I woke up on Monday morning shocked to find that all my dreams for a peaceful, carefree, lazy day were shattered. I may have turned off the alarm clock but no one informed Levi we were sleeping in today. In fact, my children (with the exception of the teenager who has perfected the art of sleeping in), who drag themselves out of bed on a regular school morning, seem to have no difficulty whatsoever hopping cheerfully out of bed when there is absolutely no good reason to do so.
My first groggy thought was to put on the TV and try to grab a few more minutes of sleep. But I grew up with a mother who bounced out of bed and never wasted a precious moment of daylight and since her voice still reverberates in my brain, I chose to haul my sleepy self out of bed and start the summer with as much bounce as I could muster and attempt to mirror their cheerful smiles. So what if my peaceful, carefree, lazy day started earlier than expected, it was still going to be wonderful.
But by mid morning I wasn’t so sure. How is it that kids who so desperately wish for no homework or responsibilities all year long, discover that after an hour of freedom they have nothing to do. They’re bored. Seriously?!!!!! And boredom means trouble. It means the harmless teasing that happens between brothers ramps up to the kind that makes me want to pull my hair out. It means they get into mischief that undoubtedly ends with something being broken. It means my plans for revelling in the company of my charming children ends with me unceremoniously chucking them outside (with the exception of the teenager who is still sleeping) and slamming the door behind them.
The Mischief Begins
But the mischief that led me to evicting them from the house only escalated outside. The sounds of the lawnmower revving its engine brought me running to my kitchen window in time to see Drew careening out of the barn, leaning back in the seat with his arms folded behind his head, driving at top speed with his feet no less, Aiden grinning in the attached wagon and Levi and Owen running for cover.
By the time I had doled out the appropriate consequence to one child, I turned around to discover Owen and Levi had found and successfully turned on the spigot to Steve’s 50 gallon rain barrel filled with green slimy water and happily bathed themselves in it.
By the time Steve got home, I was exhausted. His cheerful greeting and innocent question of “So, how was the first day of summer holidays?” was met with an answering growl of “Holidays?!!!! Holidays for who?!!!” So much for ditching the strict bedtimes, it was early to bed for a few boys around here (with the exception of the teenager who was FINALLY out of bed).
We have a couple weeks under our belt now, adjustments have been made and no routine has become our new routine. My kids still get into mischief (I just showered Levi who fell into the pond while trying to “catch fish” in his boot) but it’s no longer every 5 minutes. They’ve even followed Caleb’s lead and have slept in from time to time. We are loving the lazy days of summer though I’ve given up on the peaceful part of it. And I’ve even managed to put my feet up a few times and revel in the company of my mischief making, heart attack inducing, occasionally bored, early rising and still through it all, charming children.