Alright. I'm just going to lay it all out there. It is this stupid, asinine, DIY night light project I created that inspired me to write about the horrors of staying at home with my kids this April vacation. Anyone who is a parent and reads this is just going to laugh, nod their head in painful acknowledgment, and empathize with what I am about to write. Not because they are just a parent, but because if they have school aged kids like me, they also know what parental torture it is to have your kids out of school for an extended period of time without any scheduled activities. There have been some comments to my parenting rants on my social media accounts from people without kids who clearly have no idea what parents mean when we say these four words: STAY-CATION WITH MY KIDS.
So, what does a "stay-cation with kids" mean? I'll break it down for you in very simple terms. It means this:
EVERYDAY UNTIL SCHOOL RESUMES, ALL THE FUN THINGS ARE SUPPOSED TO SPONTANEOUSLY FLOW FROM YOU (NON-STOP) FOR 12 HOURS LIKE SOME FRIGGING ELF WITH MAGICAL FUN DIARRHEA.
It starts the first day away from school. The rapid fire questions on repeat (as if you never answered them at all). "Is it a school day today?!" "Can we go to a fun place?!" "What are we going to DO today?!" "WHY AREN'T WE HAVING FUN YET??" And then, before you can even open your mouth to groan a hoarse response, or push the button to your coffee maker for that oh so lovely rocket fuel you need to endure the next 11 hours, the arguing starts. I still haven't cleared the sleep from my eyes, and I don't even think I got to pee yet... They've been up for 5 minutes. "I'm STARVING MOM!" Then the arguments commence. Non. Stop. Arguments. ALL DAY. One every 5 minutes. You can't let it go, because if you don't intervene, it escalates quickly into eye clawing, head butting and biting. (Yes, at 7:00 AM.) So, you do what most parents think to do - get them outside, ASAP. I scheduled play dates, took them to fun centers filled with bouncy things, and did basically anything to keep them occupied. I have done this every day, for 5-6 hours each day, and adding ice cream trips on top of that, then fun art projects, with even more fun dinners and followed by fun shows/ movies to watch at the end of the day. At the end of this 8 hour escapade there is little thanks (unless it's prompted), and all I have actually done is set the bar higher. Just when I am thinking, "Phew! Either I have contracted a scorching case of mono, or I'm just completely exhausted from my kids!!" This insane boot camp schedule is TOTALLY going to make them go to bed early and sleep in a little. I'm such a good parent." NOPE. Nice thinking though. (How positive of you!) Of course they wake up an hour earlier the next day - just for poops and giggles. They are even more revved up for a new day of talking back, fighting, stealing from each other, whining, screaming, tantrumming, aggressiveness and overall nastiness. And that's exactly how they acted during the arts and crafts project I did with them out of the kindness of my heart.
Oh, and while you are wondering what kind of lazy, no good, awful parent I am for writing this... Well I'm not an awful parent. I'm a good parent, and in fact, I'd say I'm pretty darn good parent. My kids have schedules. They eat balanced meals that are organic. I closely watch their sugar intake. I help them with their homework. They read and do arts and crafts more than watch TV, and they didn't even know about video games until 3 months ago. I'm a hands on parent who seldom takes time for anything but taking care of my kids - I don't just throw Twinkies in their mouths across the room while letting them absorb into unsupervised TV land. But this stay-cation crap is for insane people! Just know that if a parent is posting some random thing about doing a DIY craft with their kids and happens to mention that they are screaming for a margarita, it is because anyone in their right mind would have run screaming down the street by 2PM after a day like theirs. It's because, if Dante had ever revised his book to include an 8th circle of hell, it would be a stay-cation with your kids. If enemy countries were seeking out new versions of torture, it could easily include a week with your children without school. Do you feel like being a cheerleader of fun for 10 hours a day, every day, for 10 days or more, without compensation, with little to no sleep, and barely breaks for food, or breaks for peeing?? NEITHER DO PARENTS. But we signed up for it, and do it gleefully in the presence of our children. Why? Because we love the little hormonal buggers. With all our hearts and every morsel of our soul. But, when and if we can steal 60 seconds to poop, we may occasionally "potty post" about how horrid the day has been and how we can't wait to have an alcoholic beverage later to soothe the massive stress that has accumulated throughout the day. So sue us for not being Facebook happy and perfect, and for counting down the minutes until we get that glass of wine/ margarita, beer, or whatever.