Sweatin’ out the summer

Phineas and Ferb were wrong.  There aren’t “104 days of summer vacation.” I don’t know where they live, but I’m sure their Mom is somewhere losing her mind.

Our countdown started somewhere in the 30s. Now we are T minus 6 days and counting until the last day of school and I am seriously sweating bullets! My ojida started somewhere back during spring break when I had a week alone with the kids and I nearly lost my mind! I made an emergency call to our Behaviorist Megann and she, thankfully, talked me off the ledge!

But now I gotta do this thing for real.

When I post on Facebook that the kids have colored on the (freshly repainted) walls for the umpteenth time, and poured a gallon of milk into an imaginary bowl, and then poured an entire box of cereal on top of it, don’t laugh, just send in reinforcements. Or a padded room. Or a bottle of wine. (I’m kidding. You can laugh at my posts. I’m usually (eventually) laughing, too!)

My sister always says she can’t wait til school is done because then she gets her kids all to herself again. And I agree with her… to a certain extent. I will be glad to not wonder where my child learned to armpit-fart or grab his butt cheeks and pretend to make them talk. I will happily know that if my child has come up with something lewd and inappropriate, it is completely organic (or seen on the original “bad influence:” TV!) I will be happy to not wonder from whom my child learned to call me “the worst Mommy in the world” and just assume that the thought is innate to childhood itself.

I am happy to have my kids home with me, but the thought of filling a 13 hour day 78 times (yes, I counted) with four children ages 8, 5 and 2 is (mathematically and mentally) daunting. Finn craves structure and predictability. Charlie would be happy to play his DS all day. And the twins, well, I’m just trying to keep them from escaping or taking off their diapers and peeing all over the house!

I have to keep reminding myself that these moments are fleeting. That when I look back on this summer, I won’t remember the chaos, I’ll just remember the fun.

Someone please remind that? And while you’re at it, remind me that I did this to myself!

You see, I chose not to send Finn to summer school (“extended school year”) this year. I knew what I was getting into, but I wanted to give him a “normal” Popsicle-eating-watermelon-seed-spitting-sprinkler-jumping summer.

Eating watermelon!

Eating watermelon!


Last year, when he drove away on his little bus to his “extended school year” for 5 weeks, I cried my eyes out. I felt terrible that he had to go to school when everyone else didn’t. Why did this have to be one more thing that made him different; one more thing that made things so much harder? I also knew that I couldn’t give him the consistency he would get at school, so I had to let him go. It turned out, he did terribly at summer school last year. He was completely off the rails. The “consistency” he needed wasn’t there. He had already adjusted to life at home for two weeks and then he had to transition back to school. It was a nightmare. This year, I decided to take my chances and see how it goes without summer school.

The boys on the last day of school last year.

The boys on the last day of school last year.

The good news (and I have to focus on the good news!) is that we have our babysitter (who the boys call their “older sister”) living with us this summer, so she will be a big help! And Finn is a different kid this summer. He has a whole year of maturity under his belt. The twins, however, have grown their own personalities, which have proven to be quite bossy (surprise, surprise!)

Last day of school 2012.

Last day of school 2012.

So, in case you’re wondering how I plan on surviving the summer. I’ve compiled a list. Feel free to steal from it or add to it! (Just drop me a comment, so I can do it too!) We live in an area that lacks programs– special needs, free or otherwise. (No, I’m serious! I recently found this blogger “A Centsible Life,” and almost everything on her “Free or Nearly Free Things to Do this Summer” list is not in our area! Kind of sad, but hey, there’s always the beach, right?)

Kids Bowl Free!  It’s not a scam! You sign up your kids online and they send you a coupon for 2 free games per day, per child! A-mazing! I actually can’t believe there’s a participating bowling alley in my area! Thank God for small favors!

$1 Movies at Regal Cinemas!  They have a whole list of what they offer (it’s 2 movies per week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.) They are not new releases or anything, but it’s $1 per kid! And the proceeds benefit Will Rogers Institute.

Geocaching! I’d never heard of it before, but apparently you go to the website and find get a clue and follow it to find a cache. (You use a GPS enabled device to get there… I’m not Colombo, you know). Inside the cache is a “prize.” You take the prize (if you want) and replace it with something else (of equal or greater value). It’s totally free and totally awesome! We will be caching this summer, for sure! Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt?

And then, there is our “Family Summer Bucket List,” which we create every year. See if you can guess who the contributed which…

Go to Hershey Park
Go to Knoebels
Shout “hooray” on August 2nd (a certain someone’s birthday!)
Go Strawberry, Cherry and Blueberry picking
Go to a breakfast buffet
Go to NYC and Central Park
Update the look of my blog
Walk over Ocean City’s 9th street bridge
Play tennis with Christine
Go to see “Monsters University”
Go to a water park on August 2nd
Play baseball with Christine
Go to the zoo
Grow a watermelon and eat it
Train for and run a 5k
Read a (non Autism related) book
Get a picture strip of the 6 of us on the boardwalk
Spend a night in a hotel and go night swimming
Go through the mirror maze in Wildwood
Grow live butterflies and release them
Go to the Liberty Science Center with the free tickets we won from “A Breezy Life” (thanks a million, Brie!) (Finn has to see the Skysraper exhibit, the Block exhibit and the “Grossology” exhibit!)
Go to Franklin Square and visit the Liberty Bell
Make stepping stones for Henry and Tallulah
Finish reading “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and watch the movie (while drinking Butterbeer… I think we’ll try a new recipe this year!)
Start reading the Percy Jackson series with the boys

How about you? Is there anything you are dying to do this summer? Tell me about it… (maybe we’ll tag along!) And, like I said, if you have any sanity savers for this Momma, I’ll take them! 


8 thoughts on “Sweatin’ out the summer

  1. I was just at the Liberty Science Center last Friday for a field trip and it is soooo cool! Want to bring the boys there this summer, too! The Bronx Zoo is on our list since they have a Dinosaur Safari Jonah wants to see. Let me know if you want any company on your trips to NYC and maybe we can do a beach day with you guys one day mid-week this summer. Love you!

  2. I want to take kids to the beach on my own. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it! Also would love to check out a few lighthouses.

  3. Let us know if you guys make it to Franklin Square/Liberty Bell! We have not made it to the playground yet! EVERYTIME we go we can never ever find parking……..I refuse to pay $25 bucks to park! hahahah Now everyone is bigger we can walk!!! I look forward to reading about all the fun places you guys go! You are very blessed to be able to spend the summer with everyone!!! 😉

  4. Shannon, How about Sesame Place? Ethan and I have season passes, but I get 50% off admission on certain days for guests. Also, Coke or Pepsi cans usually have a coupon on them. Regardless of cost, Finn and Charlie can play in the water and ride safe rides, and the twins will enjoy the Sesame Street aspect. My friend’s daughter s a character there, also, so she might be able to hook me up with some extra fun 🙂

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