Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sucking In The Summer

Do you hear that giant sucking sound? That’s the sound of the last of my summer leaving me, the end of Daddy Time. And what a summer it was. The Trio became The Quartet, I had back surgery, we traveled through four states, and scattered in among all of that were leisurely mornings in which I didn’t have to think about waffles or cereal or socks or little clothes matching. I left for work most mornings before anyone else was awake - and without having to share a bathroom - and spent my mornings with a leisurely cup of coffee and the newspaper. It was quiet and solitary and just what I needed to help break up the year. Most nights I fell asleep before anyone else because I was the only one with any sort of objective the next day. I hope The Quartet enjoyed their time off as much as I did. GK spent the majority of her first summer nursing, pooping and napping, which is really the way to spend vacation time. The kids met with friends for playdates, spent time at the library, jumped through sprinklers, and generally relaxed between sporadic adventures in and out, in and out, in and out the front door (my utility bill should see a break with school starting). And best of all they got to re-establish their bond with Momma, a bond which, surprisingly, didn’t involve handcuffs or gaffing tape.

They don’t actually begin school until next week, but will be eased into the school year routine this week as Kristy starts back teaching and GK learns what a sitter is and is not. The other three will spend the week with me, a week in which I reassert my authority, remind them that there is life before 11 a.m., and we all become reacquainted with Caillou, Snook and Bert. It’s not going to be easy, and others have suggested that we slip them into it over several weeks, inching their “bedtime” back a half hour every night. Nah. I’m throwing them into the deep end. It’s sink or swim time, waffle or toaster strudel, red shirt or white. I’m going to assign tasks, scream out encouragement on the quarter hour, denounce all whining and march them out the door single file every morning. I’m going to make them glad to see their school for the respite it gives them from the real world. This is the plan I spent the summer coming up with, a sort of a.m. boot camp, and it all sounded pretty good a few weeks ago while I was sipping espresso with not a child in sight, but those of you who know me, or have been reading Urf! for some time, know that I don’t have the stamina or attention span for daily reveille. This post from back in April is the tried and true guideline I'll be using. But we may go through a week of the tough stuff, just to shake off the lazy summer, ensure they’re awake and that I’m in charge, and that we all realize that the main goal every morning is still to keep Daddy sane.