Careful What You Wish For

My kids are out of school this week for “Ski Week.”


Yeah. Ski Week. Officially, it’s called Presidents’ Days and Break, but as I listen to my kids fighting again in the other room on this sixth day of the break, I’m thinking it should be called Hell Week.


?        ?        ?


What I want to know is, Where the heck was this week when I was in school? I gotta think this is a way better gift for a kid than a parent who now has to scramble for some made up holiday break to keep their kids entertained.


So Logan and Whitney, who moan every school morning, “Why do we have to go to school? Why can’t we stay home?” have finally gotten their wish.


And now they’re moaning, “I’m bored. What are we going to do?”


At seven and nine years old, the irony is totally lost on them. It’s not even fun to tease them about it because then they just think I’m being mean.


Here’s my thing: I don’t get Ski Week. It’s business as usual here. Bills to be paid. Groceries to be bought. Deadlines that still need to be met. In fact, I have the added bonus of trying to meet my normal responsibilities, but now with two whining, fighting, disaster making kids underfoot who think I should be dancing to the tune of Let Me Entertain You.


I’ll tell you what’s entertaining. When one of the kids comes to stand over my shoulder while I’m furiously typing at the computer, trying to get a little work done while they’re distracted for 37.2 seconds with a mind-numbing Disney Channel show. After they don’t take the hint that I’m ignoring their Excuse-Me-I’m-Bored-Here sigh, one will inevitably ask, “When are you going to be done?”


Ah, the naïveté of youth that they can’t smell the deep doo-doo before they are about to step in it.


“When am I going to be done? When am I going to be done?” my tirade begins as I swivel around. “You mean when am I going to be done playing waitress, serving you up three meals a day and snacks? When am I going to be done playing maid, cleaning up the messes you’ve left behind? Or drill sergeant for trying to get you to help? When am I going to be done arranging a week of playdates, indoor adventures and outdoor excursions together? When am I going to be done renting movies, making popcorn, making errands more exciting and planning them around your grumpy cycle?”


Slowly the frightened child backs away, only now aware they took one unfortunate step too many. But, I’m not done.


“What do you think Mommy does all day while you’re at school? Do you think I sit around eating bonbons? (My favorite go-to phrase, BTW). Do you think this is Disneyland where everything is just magically perfect? Mommy works! Mommy has work to do! Mommies don’t get vacations!”


As the bottom lip trembles, and tears well-up with youthful disappointment, I cave.


“Okay, as soon as I’m done here we’ll go for a bike ride.”


Someone must have wished for a guilt-ridden push-over for a mother.

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