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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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Monday, June 4, 2012

Regressing For the Greater Good

People all over the blogosphere are sweating kittens because their kids have recently started, or soon will start, summer vacation.

Moms who work outside the home and moms who stay home have different challenges at this time of year.  Like many of you I've been in both sets of shoes, so I understand.

A SAHM freaks out that the upcoming summer will be spent chasing unwilling children with alternating doses of SPF 50 and DEET, trying to come up with rainy day crafts, and dealing with a constant three-month-long exhale that sounds like this:
Hey Mom look at me Mom are you looking hey hey I'm up here at the top of the hill standing with one foot on the seat of my bike are you looking Mom Mom Mommy I'm going to do a cannonball Mom can I have some fruit snacks Mom hey are you awake yet Mommy is it time to get up I shaved the cat while I was waiting for you Mooooooooom...
A Work-Outside-The-Home Mama deals with cramming trips to the beach and zoo into the same short weekends she's had all year, Love-Hating the smiling caregiver who holds her kid's hand and waves while she has to drive away to work, and getting bummed out that she's missing out on all those extra hours of sunburns, bug bites, and bicycle injuries.

Hmm, so many great options from which to choose...


However, home or not, we can all agree on at least one point.  With the relaxed atmosphere and absence of school's structured days, summer provides kids with about 1000% more time and energy to devote to getting into trouble.

In order to save my sanity, vocal cords, and the speed-dial fingers of any neighbors prone to calling Child Protective Services, I thought it wise to prepare myself with the following reminder.


In order to help me internalize my new mantra, I've decided to review some of the not-so-stellar things I remember doing when I was a kid.  Hopefully regressing to my Mini Me mental state will help me relate a little bit better to my kids, which will come in handy in the (likely) event they do stuff this summer that makes me wonder, What the hell are you thinking?
  • I can admit it - at one point I genuinely believed that stepping on a crack would break my mother's back.  So when walking to the playground takes eleventyteen hours because someone is being super slow extra careful about where she walks, I should take a deep breath and just be grateful that she's concerned about my health.
  • As my kids crawl all over the couch like it's a slightly less germ-infested extension of the McDonald's PlayPlace, despite my repeated threats to strangle them within an inch of their lives if they don't cut it out, I'll remember how my friends and I thought it was the most fun ever  to close each other inside the fold-away sofa bed until we all developed raging, lifelong cases of claustrophobia.  So, couch-wise, it could be worse.
  • When I'm pushed to the edge by Zoe's made-up stories that she calls "jokes" but are really probably closer to "lies," I'll think back to the time I carried my Real Baby™ doll around and tried to convince my younger neighbor that it was a (non-TM, actual) real baby, and kept it up for hours even though she clearly wasn't buying it.
  • Instead of blowing my stack when the kids make a mess, I'll calmly recall a story my mom likes to tell about the time I made a beverage for myself in a lidless blender and then woke her up to tell her there had been a chocolate milk storm in the kitchen.
  • If it starts to get on my nerves that the kids sing along to the same song, over and over, at top volume, "LOL LOL LOL," even though I keep telling them the lyrics are "Oh well, oh well, oh well," I'll reminisce about the hours I spent singing my heart out into a hairbrush along with Bonnie Tyler, "I'm living in a pile of cake and giving off sparks."
  • When Maddie puts something gross in her mouth, I'll remind myself that I once tasted gasoline that was sitting in a can in our driveway, just because my mom told me not to.   I also ate a piece of dog food in an effort to prove that I was going to starve to death if I had to wait 20 more minutes for dinner to be ready.  For extra Dumb Points, I did this in the shed where no one could see me and then never told my mom about it.
  • Instead of opening a lemonade stand, I once tried to sell pee in a cup.*  I think that pretty much covers the perspective I'll need for any other heinous deeds my kids perpetrate this summer.

1 click below = 1 vote!
Then you can ease the stress of your kids' summer wildness by making your own list -
or just by thanking your lucky stars you aren't my  mom.
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*Shut up, you know you thought about doing it, too.  If it helps, I didn't have any customers because I took it out to my deserted backyard, immediately got bored, and poured it out.  No judging.   Also, "Sorry, Mom.  I know you thought your days of public humiliation were over.  Unfortunately, you were wrong."

Linked up with Finding the Funny at My Life and Kids and Kelley's Break Room!

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing - and so I don't get all lonely. I get extra-pathetic when I'm lonely.


31 comments:

  1. LOVE it!
    We still have four weeks to go until summer break starts and I am frantic already.
    I wish I could take the summer off with my kids, just to watch what they come up with. They are 10 and 14 years old and pretty good at entertaining themselves, like putting gummi bears in the microwave and cutting up shoes and shoving them down the toilet.
    They probably get that from me, I used to fling applesauce onto my grandma's living room ceiling and stuff like that ;)
    But really - I know they will be fine, but I would just like to be THERE.

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    1. I feel your pain - I hated being at work while they were at school, but it was worse in the summer when I knew I *could* have been with them all day (though I suspect with kids ages 10 & 14 left to their own devices at home there's a whole other level of stress)! Boy, we sure do get back tenfold whatever grief we gave our parents, don't we?

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  2. This is very funny! Mine are 15 and 8. So, the youngest will probably drive me crazy and this list is a good one to keep in mind! My teenager will sleep until noon and then make me drive him all over the place. And the dog will do what he always does--follow me around until I take him for a hike in the woods. Ah, summer...

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    1. Haha, you're getting both ends of the spectrum, aren't you? The youngster up at dawn, probably right around the same time the 15yo goes to bed - never a kidless moment, eh? ;)

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  3. so THAT'S why you weren't falling for my "you want some lemonade" trick the other day. if it's any comfort to you, i'll be certain to be arriving home each afternoon in an increasingly cranky mood as the days get hotter and i fall further behind on my to-do list. you're welcome.

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    1. Good, I'll add you to my list of people to avoid all summer. Kids? check. Husband? check. I'll be by the pool. Don't trouble me with details, like the fact that we don't have a pool. I'll find one.

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  4. HAHAHA! Great post! I need to read Tiger Mother (or whatever that book is) so I don't feel bad for telling my kids to get off the tv and do something productive with their lives. 'Cause I blog, and look how far that's getting me.

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    1. HA! I have that problem - trying to convince my kids to do something productive is pretty hard when they can see plain as day that I'm not doing jack squat. But when they're on the TV all day, sometimes I miss episodes of House Hunters - plus, if they're watching TV with me I'll have to share my snacks. Not cool.

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  5. Your lyrics are *way* better than Bonnie Tyler's.

    You forgot about the guilt that not having children gives; feeling like there is something fundamentally wrong with you while at the same time being grateful that you don't have to share all the good food.

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    1. Bonnie Tyler actually called me to ask if she could change her lyrics to mine, and I flat out said no way, because I JUST finally learned the real words.

      Just remember that every mom in the world is sick with jealousy of you every time she has to cram half a chocolate bar in her mouth while crouched in the back corner of the dining room, or watch ANOTHER %&#@ episode of Dora instead of an action movie with cursing and partial nudity, or is at Chuck E Cheese for a birthday party. ;)

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  6. I love that you ate dog food. I especially love it that you did it to spite someone who never knew you did it to spite them. My friend's grandma fed me a dog biscuit once and my friend told me she ate them all the time. In retrospect it may have been one of those "Let's see if Marian will eat this. She eats EVERYTHING." kind of tests. Or the grandma could have been senile. I think I'll go with grandma was senile.

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    1. I suck at spite. I still do, and I also suck at holding grudges; I'll remember forever that I was mad about something, but I forget what exactly it was about 5 minutes after it happens.

      I've heard some dog biscuits are delicious. Our generic dog pellets, as I recall, were not delicious.

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    2. Because I admitted to eating dog biscuits, I can also admit that they weren't terrible. That being said, you'll never catch me at the supermarket as an old lady buying cat food for myself.

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  7. Holy crap, all of these killed me. Most notably milkshake storm in the kitchen, because I know it's only a small amount of time before this becomes a reality for me. Oh yes, and, "I'm living in a pile of cake and giving off sparks." may have just made my week.

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    1. It's true, just wait... For me it wasn't a milkshake storm, it was snow. Actually, an entire container of baby powder which was all. over. everything. Talk about fun to clean!

      Sigh, wouldn't it be nice to really live in a pile of cake? Dare to dream.

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  8. There have been many varieties of storms here in our house, but we haven't had a chocolate milk one, yet. Bless your mama's heart!

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    1. We also had a rain storm in the kitchen, but I don't think anyone blames me for the burst pipe. :)

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  9. I am bookmarking this post and returning to it if/when (who are we kidding? It's definitely a "when")I hit my crazies this summer with the kids. At dinner, I was reminding myself - out out in front of my husband, of one of the many reasons I left the 9 - 5 work world - which was to give my kids "summer." But sometimes, the days are long. Thanks for the reminder that they don't always think the same way we do.

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    1. I always have grand plans for giving my kids the Ideal Summer, full of bike rides and picnics and Learning About Nature. Then they start bickering and it's 90 degrees outside, and reality sets in, and it's hard to remember that goal I started with. :)

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  10. Thanks for the reminders! lol And I am a stay-at-home mom of a 21-month-old so I'm not dreading summers yet!

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    1. Nice! Those are fun times - the baby's old enough to go out and do fun stuff, but young enough not to feel deprived if you stay in. :)

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  11. I HAVE DONE BOTH JOBS AS A MOM MYSELF BUT AS A FULL TIME WORKER NOW I AM HAPPY TO SAY THE TIME I GET TO SPEND IN THE CAR WITH MY 9 YEAR OLD AS I DRIVE HER TO YMCA SUMMER CAMP ARE SOME GREAT MOMENTS THERE AND BACK SHE LOVES IT AND I AM GRATEFUL I CAN AFFORD TO SEND HER. WE LIVE SO AWAY FROM KIDS HER AGE THIS IS PERFECT BALANCE FOR HER TO MEET NEW KIDS WORK OUT SWIM AND BE TIRED WHEN WE GET HOME SHE DOESN'T DRIVE DAD CRAZY. WIN WIN :}

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    1. I have to agree, my saving grace when my kids were in daycare was reminding myself that, as a total homebody, daycare was about the only way they'd ever learn to be social creatures that didn't just sit in the corner at school, chewing their hair and making grunting noises.

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  12. Just one small correction at the end of this post: I thank my lucky stars that I AM your mom.

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    1. Well thanks, lady! I'll tell my real mom you said that.

      (Gah, I'm TRYING to protect your identity!!!!)

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  13. WAit...parents get a break from their kids all the other months of the year???
    When do I sign my child up for that?
    PS. You drank gas??? How do your tastebuds feel now?

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    1. Well, you can't sign them up, you have to wait until a bird comes flying in the window with a scroll to tell them they're invited... Oh wait, I'm thinking of Hogwarts. Or the stork.

      Yeah, I just took a wee little taste. I htinks ti affecktid me brryne cellz mor thin ma tastt budz.

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  14. I'm sorry but when we did those crazy things as kids it was cute and charming and we were always safe and in control (at least that's how I remember it). But times have changed or something so kids should just knock that crap off.

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    1. I really should give the kids a childhood like the ones we had - lawn darts and rickety merry-go-rounds on cement playgrounds. Then my summer would be nice and quiet, and when I missed them I could go visit them in the hospital.

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  15. I would totally be happy living in a pile of cake. It just sounds so cozy and delicious. Also, I'm assuming the cake magically replaces itself with fresh cake every day. Otherwise there's going to be quite a downside.

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    1. Absolutely correct. Also, the magical cake has negative calories, so occasionally you have to climb out and eat some fudge or you'll lose too much weight.

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