Summer is here: and for kids, that may mean beach days, pool parties, long days spent digging holes in the backyard, or whatever kids are in to these days (playing with their smartphones outside?). But for parents this long holiday can be a complete and total "shit show," as mommy blogger Karen Johnson describes in an epic Facebook post about a single day in her life as a stay-at-home mother-of-three during summer break.
This story is a roller coaster: it's up, it's down. It's a journey, at times harrowing, sometimes gory. But it has a happy ending, involving a huge mug of beer:
So. How's everyone's summer going? Here's an excerpt from mine so far, one that accurately depicts our day to day shit-show.
Scene: I am cooking grilled cheese on the stove for the kids' lunch. 8yo asks to go get the mail (the box is a few houses up the street). Not to ever miss out on anything ever, 4yo pipes in, "Me too!" Okay, fine. I give them the mail key and out the door they go. How could this go wrong? Such a simple task.
The thing is, my boys fight. All day. Every minute that they are awake. And sometimes in their dreams. So apparently a battle breaks out at the mailbox. (I still don't know the whole story.) As I am cooking their grilled cheeses on the stove, my 6yo daughter (the reporter of all things non-compliant) comes tearing into the kitchen, yelling, "They're fighting at the mailbox! And then mail went flying everywhere all over the neighborhood!"
So I abandon lunch and sprint outside. I see both boys scrambling around from yard to yard, trying to grab pieces of mail. We live in Kansas where it's windy 364.5 days of the year, so that helps.
My 4yo is now approaching the corner where our quiet cul-de-sac meets a very busy street, and I know him. He'll think nothing of running directly into the street in order to capture that last piece of random junk mail that Mommy will be tossing as soon as we get home.
I am now chasing him, screaming his name, and also trying to pick up mail that is blowing all over the neighbors' yards. I finally catch up to him, prevent him from darting into the busy intersection, and we all turn around to head home, hands full of papers.
But because he's 4, refuses to walk anywhere ever, and is on an anti-shoes campaign this summer, my son of course runs down the street barefoot and falls. He rips open his foot on a rock or the pavement or whatever is in the road because THIS IS WHY WE WEAR SHOES.
So now I am half-carrying, half dragging a bloody-footed, crying 4yo, a crying 8yo who thinks he's in trouble because of mail-mageddon, and piles and piles of junk mail and flyers that I will never look at ever back to my house.
Once the papers are tossed and the bloody foot is bandaged, we all smell the sulfur of burning grilled cheese and I remember what I was doing before this all happened.
So I did what any good mother would do. I scraped off the burnt parts, threw them on plates, and said bon appetit, kids. And I poured this beer.
So tell me, how's your summer going?
Damn. I'm exhausted just reading this.
The post clearly resonated, with thousands of "likes" and hundreds of comments from parents who can most definitely relate to Johnson's struggle.
If you're a parent reading this right now, congrats on tearing yourself away from your kids for a few minute! Or congrats on lounging at home in your PJ's thanks to your genius decision to send them to summer camp this year. You're a survivor!