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Summer. The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Summer is the best. It is a scientifically proven fact. 

No homework. No scheduled activities. No waking up for school. 

During the summer, my girls and I make the long drive home to hang out with my family in St. Louis. We have access to two beautiful pools and a roster of family and friends who keep our dance card full for at least a month. We swim, go bowling, see movies, go to museums and hang out at barbecues and birthday parties.

Happiness in a Photo

During the summer, my girls get to be with the people outside of our four walls who love them the most. 

We eat ice cream and pancakes and popsicles. Every day. We get tan and sweaty and fall asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow after spending all day in the sun. We binge watch the Great British Baking Show with reckless abandon.

My dad sneaks my girls root beer floats every chance he gets. My children would commit a war crime for a soda, so this is the equivalent of an entire bag of dark chocolate pretzels from Trader Joe’s for me. I get it. 

We get up late and take naps. A nap is the greatest of life’s indulgences in my book.  We have no schedule and can come and go as we please. 

Summer is also the worst. It’s an objectively proven conclusion. 

Driving 15 hours with two young children isn’t my idea of a Swiss Picnic. I don’t care how many great podcasts we listen to or how carefully you’ve packed your Snacklebox, it stinks. Kathie Lee sleeps, Hoda will not. So, when we get to our destination, Kathie Lee won’t sleep and Hoda and I are ready to go to bed immediately.

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In the past few days, I have had to break up no less than 870,987 fights. I have had to express my utter indifference at the amount of real estate each of them is allowed to occupy on the ONE barstool that they both insist is their “spot.” There are four total.

I have had to teach and reteach the lesson that if you cut something in half, your sister gets to choose her half first. I have put on a dramatic show of breaking a DVD in half after a consensus could not be reached regarding whose turn it was to pick the movie in the car. No regrets. 

We are pretty rigid about no TV on weekdays throughout the school year, so I try to loosen the reins a bit in the summer. I have watched those bizarre Barbie movies on Netflix so many times that I have started to mindlessly sing the lyrics to the fashion fairy montage in my head. There is something that just doesn’t sit right with me about these movies, most of all the obviously made up names like “Delancy.” No offense to anyone named Delancy, I just think it’s made up is all. 

I have had to ask my children not to lick each another’s feet, their own blood, each other’s blood, the chlorine bobber in one of those beautiful pools and the Popsicle juice off of the pool deck. It’s amazing how many times a child must be told not to eat candy or popcorn off of a movie theater floor. Did you know the ushers spray the floor with poison after people leave?

I have cheerfully set out to BUY MY CHILDREN SCHOOL CLOTHES only to have both of them equate walking around a mall to the Trail of Tears within the first ten minutes of the outing. 

I have had to implore them not to hang onto me, or crawl on me or be touching me 23.75 hours of each day. My limit is about 2 hours a day, and I think that’s more than reasonable. Only my dogs are allowed to lounge on me for the entire day. 

We have no schedule, so I start my runs later than I should because I slept in too late. I come back after a very hot and humid 30 minute trek wondering if this is how my children feel when we are shopping. 

We eat all the sweets in sight because the Great British Baking Show entrances us into thinking we need some sponge, pudding and biscuits, immediately. I have become a very discerning judge of what constitutes a proper English biscuit, even though I am pretty sure I have never had one. I feel as though Paul, Prue, and Mary and I would be proper mates. 

I just took a DNA test and I’m 100% TBWG (That Basic White Girl.) I start to daydream about the crisp fall days in which I can walk from my front door to my car without needing a shower. I imagine myself in black leggings, a cozy fleece and shoes in which I can wear socks. I refuse to buy anything short sleeved, unless it’s REALLY on sale. I think about how pretty my neighborhood is when the leaves change. I wonder why everyone has their underpants in such a bunch over the August release of the PSL

My girls start to ask me if they can be XYZ for Halloween this year. It changes each day, so the answer is always yes. Yes, Hoda, you can be Delancy from Barbie Fairy Princess School for Halloween. We all know that’s never going to happen, but I like to be the fun mom every once in a while. 

I find myself bringing up who we assume my daughters’ teachers will be this upcoming year at least seven times a day. My adrenaline surges when I see the school supplies at Target. I don’t get overtly hostile because someone has parked their cart in the middle of the pencil aisle that is clearly designed to accommodate one way cart traffic. I muse loudly, “Teachers certainly don’t get paid enough these days,” anytime I see a small child. 

I even get excited about football. 

It’s safe to say we’re about over it. But, guess what, that’s awesome. Bring on fall. Fall is the best. 

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