My Summer Survival Plan

By Jac

Well, my kids have “graduated” from Kindergarten and Grade One, so I’m not allowed to drop them off at the school anymore, apparently. This means that I have all four of my children home with only me, at least for a week and a half until my husband is finished teaching for the summer. The following two pictures just about sum up how the summer is going for me so far, and please consider the fact that I was standing less than ten feet away from these incidents both times.

Leather chair, meet ballpoint pen.

Leather chair, meet ballpoint pen.


Black marker, meet … never mind, actually. You two go way back.

It turns out that I can’t actually keep up with my younger two kids when my bigger ones are also home, needing food occasionally and forgetting to put their pens away. You see, I have this great plan to avoid hearing my big kids beg for screens all day, a plan I found on Pinterest and modified to be much easier (and less impressive, of course). Every morning when my big kids get up, they have to find their school binders, which we now call their “Summer Binders,” and grab the piece of paper from inside. Then, they have to complete the list on that paper before they are allowed to ask for screens.

Two kids, two nearly identical "activity charts."

Two kids, two nearly identical “activity charts.” This was the first day, so it’s by far the fanciest one.

They love this idea, and they are much more cheerful about chores and getting sent outside to play than usual, so it’s been going perfectly! … For the big kids. What it means for ME, however, is that I can’t turn on the television to occupy the little ones. I did not realize how much I relied on Toopy & Binoo until I was still in my pyjamas at 10:45 am because I had not even had five minutes to run upstairs to dress myself. I took one of the little ones up to my room with me eventually, and she dumped out all my jewellery and then drew on the floor with deodorant.

Thankfully, starting next week my husband will be around to join the chaos. It will still be crazy, but at least there will be two of us to worry about keeping the pens out of reach, and someone else to blame when we inevitably fail to do so. 

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5 thoughts on “My Summer Survival Plan

  1. Louise Chapman

    Yay for husbands almost done teaching!!! If I didn’t put on the tv, I have no idea how I’d shower each morning. I tried it yesterday and it was one of the least enjoyable showers I’ve ever had. I bet it was under 2 minutes.

    1. Jac Post author

      I was too tired to shower last night, and I hadn’t showered yesterday morning either. So, that’s why I’m wearing a hat today! Just … don’t stand too close to me, maybe!

  2. Jenny

    I just made it through my first year of homeschooling (gr.3), and my 3 year old did many of these same things while we were trying to do school work. She watches Caillou while I shower and I always exit to a creative surprise… Once she painted herself with my husband’s deodorant and happily exclaimed, “I smell like Daddy!”

    1. Jac Post author

      I have often considered homeschooling, but I’m not even going to think about it until my youngest is ready to join in. So, good work, Jenny! And my kids love playing with Daddy’s deodorant, too; why is that?? Maybe they do have positive associations with the smell… Let’s go with that explanation.

      1. Jenny

        Trust me, I didn’t plan to homeschool…. I liked having quiet days puttering around the house with only my youngest to take care of. Somehow I’ve entered a world where both girls are home and then at the end of the day all the neighbourhood kids are over too.

        Deodorant is much easier to remove than a face and arms covered in blue marker which I had to deal with today….

        I love my adult time when I get it, and that sometimes involves wine.


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