Hear that sound? That’s the sound of summer passing. With the ringing of the school bell, parents everywhere are muttering, “I know I shouldn’t wish my life away but it’s time. I NEED MY LIFE BACK!”
Even if you don’t hold down a full-time paid position of some kind of soul (sucking or fulfilling, you choose) job, summer is intense. It’s not that parents don’t enjoy spending every freaking waking moment of summer vacation with their kids. For the first few weeks it’s a wonderful feeling to have your child’s undivided attention.
Then they turn into that thing you hate most. The bored child. They eye-ball your every move.
Parent: Why are you standing there staring at me?
Child: I’m bored. There’s nothing to do. Summer sucks!
Parent: What about that new water slide?
Child: It’s busted.
Parent: How about going bike riding?
Child: It’s busted.
Parent: Well, how about watching a DVD? Don’t tell me…it’s busted.
Child: No, but Mom’s watching “The Bridges of Madison County” again and crying.
Parent: Why don’t you ask your sister to take you to the park?
Child: She’s in her room with her boyfriend trying on her new thong bikini.
Parent: You win. Get your sister. We’re going to the mall.
At some point every summer, a parent fondly remembers what it’s like to enjoy that first cup of coffee in the morning, kid-free. That’s when the countdown begins and doesn’t stop until the bell rings on the first day of school.
Here are eight ways to celebrate the end of summer-break boredom, and the return of your car keys.
1. Enjoy a second, third, or fourth, beer without a lecture from your eight-year-old on why Bobby’s Dad is back in rehab.
2. Get a good night’s sleep because for the first time in two months, the kids are in bed before you.
3. Finally find out what happens in Chapter Two of any book you picked up the previous school year.
4. Discover a new strain of mold now that you can gain access to the forbidden zone: your child’s bedroom.
5. Hit the grocery store and be back home in under an hour in the same mood you left the house in.
6. Take guilty pleasure in having your secretary say, “He’s in a meeting” when your child calls you at work for the third time to ask why Mom says he can’t take peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. He didn’t swell up all that much the last time he had PB&J.
7. Belt out the lyrics to your teen’s CD while driving the car without major eye-roll action from the backseat.
8. Discover there’s still ice cream in the freezer, and a clean spoon.
How do you celebrate back to school?