One day down!

By Mir
June 21, 2006

Lemme tell ya, this summer vacation thing is no sweat. I mean, you sleep in a little (6:40… WOOO WE ARE REBELS), you run some errands, you go have some free lunch, you throw the kids outside, you yell at the kids to go BACK outside, you let the kids come in and then they fight and then you send them to their rooms for time-outs and then you have a nice cold diet coke with lime punctuated every five minutes with “NO, you may NOT come out yet!” and wonder what you’re going to do for the NEXT two and a half months!

(Hint: It may involve rum.)

Oh, I kid. I’m a huge kidder. I haven’t touched rum since that unfortunate incident in high school. (Note to my parents: I mean, someone else had some rum, and I disapproved! Mightily!)

My little Frick and Frack are the lights of my life. Truly. I cannot imagine my world without them. But sometimes I wonder if they’re being raised by wolves when I’m not looking. Individually, I can almost tell that I’ve had some influence on them. Together? They egg each other on until someone’s head pops off.

Let’s take lunch, for example. I had this coupon and I thought it’d be a nice treat to take the kids out. This was made all the sweeter because today was one of those rare PERFECT days, weather-wise. We parked the car and walked up to Panera and all of the outside tables were full… and then a family got up to leave. Timing is everything.

“Okay!” I said brightly, as the kids staked out their chairs. “This is great! You two can sit right here… and I’ll go in and get our food… and see, I can see you and you can see me right through the window!” I gestured widely with my arms as I talked, trying to convey the ALL-SEEING EYE I planned to employ from inside the restaurant. “You will SIT. RIGHT HERE. You will not get up. You will not torment each other. You will not speak to strangers. You. Will. Just. SIT. Comprende?”

“COMPRENDE!” they chimed, in unison.

I timed it so that the place wasn’t too busy, but still, I was worried. Because, see, I’ve met my kids.

While I stood in line, Chickadee got up and came up to the window and shielded her eyes to look in and find me. She spotted me, waved, and I waved back. She wandered away. Then Monkey came up and did the same thing. Then it was my turn to order.

When I turned back to the window, both children were making blowfish faces against the glass.

I grabbed the pager the cashier gave me and scooted back outside as quickly as possible. I found my children seated, grinning from ear to ear, cartoon halos askew over their heads. All of the other outdoor patrons were shooting me decidedly dirty looks.

“Which part of SIT RIGHT HERE AND DON’T GET UP was unclear to you?” I looked back and forth between them while they studied their laps. I sighed and tossed the pager onto the table, and Chickadee grabbed it.

“What’s this?” she asked.

“It’s the pager for our food, in a minute it’ll–” the pager leapt out of Chickadee’s hands with the force of its vibrations, and she flinched away from it like it had bitten her. “–well, it’ll do that. Be right back. DON’T GET UP THIS TIME.”

I grabbed our food and managed to get back to the table before anyone ran out to play in traffic. It was a lovely meal, made even better when I realized that I’d only been charged for my food. (Although the coupon claimed one per person per visit, they gave me both kids’ meals for free! Thanks, Panera! You rock!) We ate and talked and enjoyed the sunshine and only squealed a little when the wind started to blow.

In fact, the kids were so appreciative of this rare dining out with me, at the end of the meal they turned to me, eyes full of gratitude, and said, “Can we go get ice cream?”


So, let’s see… other than lunch, there was the delightful outing to order Chickadee’s new glasses. That was actually even easier than usual, because she’s getting the same frames again. The visits where we put every pair of glasses in the store onto her while she whines “But I can’t SEE!” (and I always want to respond, “What? You can’t SEE? And here we are trying to get you some glasses? WHAT A COINCIDENCE!”) are not my favorite. We were done with HER in no time, and she and Monkey actually played calmly in the children’s corner while I took a deep breath and asked to see some cheap frames for sunglasses.

I broke my sunglasses about three months ago. No, don’t ask. But they were old. Really old. My logical solution to this turn of events has been to… not have sunglasses. And to have a lot of headaches. (Hey, I lay claim to being frugal, but I never said I was SMART.) Anyway, with the walk coming up (and a lot of very squinty training walks under my belt) I decided it was time to bite the bullet and get myself some shades.

And it was all going really well, too… we’ve used this optician for years and he gives us some good deals… he found me a good frame that was being clearanced for less than a third of its original cost… this was going to be fine….

And then he told me the lenses would be $160. And I died.

Apparently if you piss someone off in a former life? You come back with bad astigmatism.

Anyway. When my new sunglasses are ready? I am going to SLEEP IN THEM to make sure I get every penny’s worth of use out of them.

So there was all of that, during the day, and then the playing outside and the whining about playing outside and then the misbehaving INside and the time outs and then, finally, during dinner, the UPS man came and brought me some really ugly shoes. Oh, lord. So ugly. THEY ARE SO UGLY.

And soft. And squishy.

And comfy.

And LIGHT. Super duper light. Like… take ’em on the 3-day where there is a 35-pound luggage weight limit but you need shoes to knock around camp and shower in light.

Also? Crocs come in a box with airholes. Dude, I couldn’t send those shoes back even if I wanted to. The kids made off with the box and started playing Pet Store the second I took the shoes out. So, really, it’s their fault.

Do you SEE what summer vacation has driven me to, ALREADY??


  1. Carol

    “Because, see, I’ve met my kids.”

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. Finally, you’ve been able to put into simple words what I’ve been struggling with for years. THIS is precisely what I’ve tried to convey to others yet all I could really come up with is, “My kids are assholes…”

  2. Susan

    Goodness–if you’re ALREADY in love with those ugly shoes on DAY ONE, what will have become of you come Labor Day?

    I shudder to think.

  3. Karen Rani

    Ha ha ha! I ordered the SAME SHOES! What colour didja get? I ordered chocolate brown.

  4. Cele

    Ah summer vacation, I’m going back to work now.

  5. Katie

    Ha, you bought the shoes! I’m still holding out because I spent my shoe allowance on a pair of cute espadrilles at DSW.

  6. peek

    Perhaps you should start counting the days down on a calendar so you feel like you are making progress.

  7. tori

    When I was little, my dad was a teacher and stayed home with my brother and I in the summer. He used to count the days until we went back with a little paper chain thing. I always thought it was a horribly mean thing to do until I had my own kids that are home for the summer. I would still never actually do that because it made me sad when my dad did it, but I can somewhat see why he might have needed that. My kids have been out for 2 weeks now and we are finally starting to get in our “summer time groove” and things are going much better thank goodness!

  8. InterstellarLass

    As Bill Cosby once said “Children are BRAIN DAMAGED.” You think you’ve taught them English, when in fact, they speak some kind of alien gibberish. Children are also deaf. “I didn’t hear you.”

  9. Laura

    Yay for the CROCS! You will totally adore them – get dirty? just run them under the faucet. And you will have sore tootsies no more. (Mine, btw, are purple.) They make them in the town I just moved out of, and 90% of Boulderites wear Crocs constantly. Do you know they also make super-comfy flip-flops?

  10. Elleana

    What is it with kids who can be nearly angelic when they are separate, but turn into hell spawn when they are together?

    And I love “Because, see, I’ve met my kids.” One of the best statements ever.

  11. Elleana

    What is it with kids who can be nearly angelic when they are separate, but turn into hell spawn when they are together?

    And I love “Because, see, I’ve met my kids.” One of the best statements ever.

  12. Laura

    Glasses. I wear glasses, my son wears them, my daughter wears them. My youngest (also a daughter) wants them. Oh, she pines for glasses. Foolish girl.

    You’re so right: it’s the lenses that cost. Phew. I never, ever get out of the opticians without having spent $300+. For any of us. We don’t get expensive designer frames. No, it’s just cuz we’re all flippin’ BLIND!

    Stupid gene pool…

  13. Ashley

    My 11 year old daughter tried on a pair of Crocs at Wild Oats the other day.(Hot Pink) She was going to die, right then and there, in the health food section if I did not buy them for her. She has since started to work on my ex-hubby, as her hard assed, frugal Yankee Momma said…NO!

    Hell, I don’t have a pair yet!

  14. Jackie Joy

    Oh Mir…I love you. I love this blog. I love the other blog too! But those shoes? I do NOT LOVE.

  15. lena

    HA! On the glasses. I think it mught be cheaper to get laser surgery…with a coupon. ;)

    And your description of your day made me laugh and laugh. Similar to my day, but with me and all the neighbor children – dear God help me.

  16. Tug

    LOVE my bright orange crocs! (I called my daughter’s ugly for a very long time before breaking down & getting my own) And I’m also cheap – I buy the clip-over shades @ Wal-Mart – they fit my frames perfectly!

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