(Originally posted May 24, 2011)
You want to know the biggest reason I'm really disappointed that the end of the world has been postponed until October? Because that means I still have to get through the entire summer break with my kids, by myself. Honestly, dodging brimstone and earthquakes sounds slightly more pleasant to me.
So, since today is the last day of school here, I thought I'd share my tips for having a Super Fun Summer while being forced to spend time with your children.
1. This one is the most important. Ship your biggest troublemaker off for the summer. Between camps and grandparents who live far away, you should be able to arrange for at least one of your children to be gone for the entire vacation.
2. Buy a good pair of headphones and never take them off. If you can't hear the whining and fighting, it's a lot easier to pretend your children don't exist. Bonus: Once your kids realize you can't hear them bugging you for stuff
3. Invest in a large bottle of melatonin. Slip five or six tablets into their Cheerios in the morning, and you're guaranteed to have a quiet, restful day!
4. Fake a drug problem and check yourself into rehab. That should buy you several weeks of being able to use the bathroom without children wandering in to tattle on a sibling. Have a "relapse" if you need more time.
5. Rent Swiss Family Robinson and have your kids watch it. Make a big deal of it and how "fun" it would be to be stranded on a deserted island. Then suggest your kids play Swiss Family Robinson in the playhouse in the back yard all Summer long! Give them each a sleeping bag and box of snacks, and tell them you'll see them when school starts again. Remind them that the real Swiss Family Robinson didn't come in the house for bathroom breaks or to watch Sponge Bob or to eat dinner.
6. Play lots of games with your kids, like The First One Who Makes a Single Sound Has to Scrub the Toilet. Or, Mommy's Really Sick and if you Whine it Might Make Her Die. Or, Hide and Go Seek (in which the children hide, and you seek...when you get around to it).
7. Lemonade stands are always a fun Summer activity. Set your kids up at the end of the driveway and tell them they're not allowed back in the house until they've made at least $500. It will teach them invaluable lessons about entrepreneurship and innovation. And should keep them out of the house for at least a week.
8. Use the summer as an opportunity to meet your neighbors, and then send your kids over to play in their yard. Every day.
9. Kids love crafts. Teach them to create "vintage" jewelry, and have them work on it for 8-10 hours a day in
10. Play "Spa" every day. They think you're playing with them, but you get a massage and foot rub out of the deal.
Happy Summer Vacation!