Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Exactly When the Hell Does School Start?


(Post, copyright 2011, Dawn Weber)

Ah, summertime. When a kid can be a kid. And bathing?

Is just a concept.

Me: "Son. When was the last time you took a bath?"
Son: *Crickets*
Me: "SON! WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU BATHED?"
Son (lifting head from Nintendo DS): "Well, I went swimming Tuesday."
Me: "It's Friday. And I'm not asking about swimming. I'm talking SOAP. I'm talking SHAMPOO. I'm talking WASHCLOTH in your BUTT-CRACK."
Son: *Crickets*
Me: "GET IN THE TUB NOWWWW!!!!"
Son: *Stripping streak*

This is not totally his fault. He and his sister have been very busy, you see.

It begins each morning, after 11 hours of sleep. They log onto the computer for their daily dose of online shopping: Toys Backwards R Us, Amazon, Foot Locker online, Game Stop online... Decisions are made. Items are listed. Virtual shopping carts are filled.

And every evening, after my ten-hour workday and two-hour commute, the 19-page lists and shopping carts - printed with Epson ink costing $67 per milliliter - are shoved in my hand before I can put my purse away. Then I know what I can buy for them that particular day. Isn't that thoughtful? And all accomplished with such diligence, such attention to detail!

You know, I'm really glad they're taking the initiative here and working on solutions. Because they have a dreadful, serious problem.

They're bored.

The poor darlings! I feel awful for them. 159 video games on three different systems. A puppy. A trampoline. Two computers. A four-wheeler. Three mp3 players. 213 dvds. Five bikes.

An in-ground damn swimming pool.

Tragic, no? You can see here why the little lambs find their world so very dull.

Yes, it's truly a difficult life they lead. Every summer day is a struggle.

I can tell, because obviously some kind of terrible tussle takes place at our house before I get home at night. Popcorn bags scattered, candy wrappers dangling from the dog's mouth, cereal milk souring on the kitchen table, eleventy billion effin' drinking cups on every effin' surface...

My brave children. Must get so tired of fighting off the thirsty, popcorn-scarfing marauders invading our house that they can't clean up the resulting mess. So exhausted indeed that they cannot STAND to go outside.

No - the unbearable heat has turned out to be too much for my fragile flowers, who will surely wilt in the sun.

Teen Daughter: *Complain* *Grumble* *Whine*
Me: "Go outside and play!"
Teen Daughter: "But Mom - it's too haau-uutt outsiiiiddde-duh!"
Me: "Then go swimming!"
Teen Daughter: "But I just washed my hair-er!"
Me: "GO OUTSIDE! NOOOWWW!"
Teen Daughter: *Complains, *grumbles*, *whines* out door.

*Returns 9 minutes later.*

Teen Daughter: "But Mom - it's too hauu-utt out there-uh!"

Kill me now.

You know whose fault this is besides mine? Air Conditioning that bitch.

Believe it. Back in the Groovy Day? When I was a kid in the summer? You wouldn't find me in any stuffy, damn, 80-degree house. No sir. You could find my little ass one place only.

Out-damn-side.

I biked! I nerd alert roller discoed! I skateboarded! I played catch and weirdo alert Peoples with Marshall the Neighbor Boy!

I did not know this word you call 'Bored.' And I did not return to the house until the streetlights came on.

Because my mother locked me out all day. Then retired to the only air-conditioned room in the house: her bedroom. And that was that.

But that's O.K. It was the 70s, man.  Everybody locked out! Everybody weirdos roller discoed! Everybody dehydrated sweaty!

Air Conditioning? Nintendo DS? Water? Basic shelter? Ha ha-flippin'-HA!

You kids these days. I laugh at your cool air, your video games, your health and safety practices.

Bunch of amateurs.

27 comments:

Laura said...

I don't have children, but I can't wait for them to go back to school. Then I can have my beloved Frankie's Fun Park to myself again.

Heidi-"Heidi in Real Life" said...

I laughed out loud--still smiling, in fact. LOOOOVEd the Levi vs. the Bath water scenario (lived it). Thanks for my morning happy place!

Wanda said...

Loved this one. Wish you had been around to argue with my kids. Oh, wait, I had one son you couldn't keep inside and one you couln't book outside.
My mom didn't lock us out. Didn't have to. We had no a/c anywhere. Well the rich kids did but they lived in town. We lived on the bay or as the rich kids referred to it - down the highway. Wouldn't trade it for the things kids today.

R. Jacob said...

Yea, i did the same thing too. But we did have an evil alternate plan. Be best friends with the one kid in the neighborhood who had whole house air conditioning! Word would get out and we would all swarm over to play inside. But alas, nobody liked him that much and we would all leave. To shudder, play outside!

Samantha said...

I was scared to death to utter the words "I'm bored".
My Gram was full of ideas to cure boredom/maim children.

Hilarious post..enjoying your blog! :D

Dawn in D.C. said...

I think my kids were the last of the "go play outside" generation. The played street hockey during the day and when it was dark, they played "Ninja" (not really sure I want to know what that was!)

Oh, and I will totally be the Gram who is full of ideas for bored kids. In fact, I'm not going to clean my oven until then, just so it's good and dirty when the time comes.

Eva Gallant said...

What a great post! And so true!

Joanne said...

Loved it! My kids always played outside but then again, we didn't and still don't have AC! My one son can't stand the heat and used to lay on the living room floor watching TV until he fell asleep. He got a job doing yard work one year until he wound up with systemic poison ivy!

However, whether they're inside or out, it's ALWAYS good when school starts again!

Audubon Ron said...

I was just thinking yesterday I don't remember it being this hot when I was a kid and lived here, but it was this hot, and I never noticed the heat b/c I was oww-ut-side, mostly chasing girls.

I miss those days.

Linda G. said...

LOL! I eventually drilled into my kids' heads that when I heard the word "bored," my brain automatically translated it to "Mom, may I please clean out the garage/mow the lawn/ pick up the dog poop from the yard." Wasn't long before they were afraid to even LOOK bored around me.

Christy Lee said...

Couldn't have said it better myself! Wimps! We talk about this all of the time (as we watch the eye rolling...swear their faces are going to stick like that)!

That Uncomfortable Itch said...

So totally true, these pampered vermin we're raising. It's really quite tragic how difficult their existance is. My youngest considers baths entirely optional when wearing a swimsuit. Maybe it's the breathable, mesh panties under? All I know is that it cuts down on my laundry time, and who really wants to be stuck in a hot laundry room....

barbsblast said...

Funny as hell! I bet there are kids in China sweatshops (making toys and games) who don't know the meaning of the word "bored."

Nurse Mommy said...

You funny. Can't even put your purse down without being bombarded with the wishlists. Painful. Just turn off the A/C right before you go to work one day. See how that goes. Oh, don't answer your phone that day at work either! :)

Cheryl said...

I learned at a very young age that if I said "I'm bored" I would be given an endless list of chores! Better to go outside and find fun stuff to do. So, when I was a single working mom w/3 kids I gave them chores, book lists, and other things that I checked on when I got home. When I got home, they were free to run wild til sundown and I had a fairly clean house!

One Bad Pixie said...

Bwaaaaahhhhhaaaaaahhhhaaaaahhhhhaaaaa!

We were also outside all the time. Or running barefoot across the pavement to the neighbors house to play in their yard/ pool/ sprinklers.

We would also go to the school (shocker, I know)to play on the playground and run amuck in the nasty irrigation water, which we thought was the best! thing! ever!

The ice cream man seen us and sped up before stopping in a spot with no grass to stand on so we would hop around and wait for our cold, bomb pop rewards...

Those were the days. *sigh*

Bagman and Butler said...

The problem is that there are only 159 video games. I played with sticks and blocks (neither of which had batteries)and my imagination which could come up with infinite variations.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

True. Kids don't know how lucky they have it, and yours sound extra special in this way. I was out-damn-side back in the day too.
Hang in there with your rugrats!

PS Thanks for taking some of the choco-test.
xoRobyn

Zella said...

Thanks for the laughs - glad to have found my way to your blog...

Pearl said...

Ah! The sounds of summer!

Your dialogue rings true, my friend. :-)

Pearl

Kerbi said...

We didn't have a/c for years either when I was a kid. (Heck, I took 3 showers a day just to cool off!) We did, however, have a nice pool. That's where my summers were spent. Sometimes we'd ride our bikes, or use the tire swing at the park, or try to dig to China in my friend's back yard, but mostly we swam...
I have your kids. It's too hot for anything. (I can't really disagree.)

Al Penwasser said...

Polyester shorts, silk tee shirts, and platform sneakers.
All that and the Brady Bunch.
What's NOT to love?

BlackLOG said...

What kids need today is a cardboard box and.....well that’s about it really.

I remember in my childhood if you had a cardboard box it could keep you amused for the entire summer....

Hey give me a cardboard box now and I could probably pass a couple of days reminiscing…

If that fails try a straight jacket and a gag and pretend they are in a mental institute it should keep them quiet for a couple of days until social service come to pick them up…

Robert the Skeptic said...

I come from an era when air conditioning in a new car was an "option" that you paid extra for. Homes didn't have air conditioning where I grew up (the San Francisco peninsula) as winters were warm and wet and summers were... well, Mark Twain said: "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco". The whole area is naturally air conditioned.

But I don't recall being all that bored when I was a kid. Now my grandson demands the I-pad within two seconds of entering our house. I tell him no then he tells me he's bored. It becomes an intellectual challenge between a 62 year old and a 5 year old. Nuisance usually wins out and he gets the I-Pad and I get some peace.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Laura - Keep the faith. School's starting. Happy parking.
Heidi - You say the sweetest things. Thanks my dear. :)
Wanda - I don't know if you want my help. I'm not very successful in talking my two into anything. You're right, though. I wouldn't have traded those happy outside days for anything.
R.J. - I admire your conniving evil in playing with the nerdy kid who had A/C.
Samantha - My Grandma's house was a whole different story. A whole 'nother post.
Dawn - you're a lucky, lucky lady.
Eva - thank you. It's funny because it's true.
Joanne - SEE!? SEE!? It's the A/C. I'm tellin' ya, it's the truth.
Ron - some things should never change. ;)
Linda - you are very wise, sensei.
Christy - Exactly. And I hear myself turning into my mother more and more every day.
Itch - Yes, the bathing with the boys is a constant challenge,no? You're right about the laundry room, though.
Barb - Exactly. And that is why China is kicking our ass.
Nursey - yes, the lists are killing me. In Epson ink costs alone.
Cheryl - you are a wise, wise woman, and I shall use your wise wise ideas. Awesome.
Pixie - We also played at the school playground. It was great, until a creepy teenager exposed himself to us there. Yuck.
Bagman - I had an imagination like yours, because I had toys like yours. I truly worry about the kids' imaginations these days. Truly.
Robin - Thanks for the good wishes. I need it dearie. Have a great week!
Zella - Thanks for finding me! I found you back - great stuff!
Pearl - I thought of you when writing this. Our childhoods sound soooo similar.
Kerbi - at least you had a pool! Marshall the Neighbor Boy had one, but Mom didn't let me swim till I was older.
Penwasser - Seriously. The 70s. What's not to love?
Black - Yes, the boxes were a rare and wonderful thing. That was back when appliances lasted 20 years, though, so boxes were never much available.
Robert - My kids saw your post about "Ipads." They're on their way to your house.

Jody Worsham said...

Don't hate me but my kids never uttered that phrase the entire summer. Well, I think they did once but when I repeated "You want some chores?" They got very busy. They tv'ed. The 6 yr old "worked" at all kinds of things. The 10 year old took gymnastics, tumbling, and violin all summer. I guess she was too tired to be bored. Good post. http://themedicaremom.blogspot. Currently on Grand Bloggers.

muffintopmommy said...

Well damn, I'm just gonna go on my next vaca at your house...a pool! Candy! Trampoline!
I'm in! Middle aged haufrau alert!!