It’s quality time, dammit

By Mir
June 3, 2008

I thought it was high time I gave my children’s father something new he could tuck into the “Reasons Why The Mother Of My Children Is Actually The Spawn Of Satan” file. Why, just a few months ago when we were in court he expressed his belief that the problem with the kids being here during the summer was that they would end up “watching television all of the time,” which made me laugh out loud because I’m sort of the TV Nazi. I keep a tight rein on that remote, you know, because I gots to watch Mah Shows while I’m eating Mah BonBons. Obviously.

So, no, it’s not an endless stream of unsupervised, horrible television, here. It’s QUALITY TIME. Whether they like it or not.

The few days between when school ended and the kids left on their first trip really didn’t count, because I somehow managed to blow off all of my work and spend that time with them, unfettered. But this week, I actually have work to do. And Otto is still teaching. Needless to say, this has resulted in UNPARALLELED JOY on the part of the children.

Why, let me outline a typical day for you. And by “typical day” I of course mean “yesterday,” because has it only been one day so far? OH MY GOD yes it has.

7:00 Children wake up. They read in their rooms.
7:15 I get up and marvel at the fact that the children are amusing themselves quietly.
7:16 I sit down and start working.
8:00 Children stumble downstairs and give me hugs and kisses.
8:01 I love everyone and everything.
8:02 Children commence fixing themselves some breakfast.
8:03 I break up the first squabble of the day.
8:05 Children eat their breakfast and head back upstairs to get dressed.
8:15 Children grab their New! Bikes! and go outside.
8:17 I break up the second squabble of the day. Apparently the driveway isn’t big enough for both of them.
8:20 Everyone comes back inside in tears.
8:21 Much stomping.
8:23 I lovingly suggest everyone go play outside, maybe out back! Without bikes!
8:25 More stomping.
8:26 Monkey asks if they can go swimming. I remind him that we’re waiting until the afternoon.
9:15 It occurs to me that it’s AWFULLY QUIET.
9:16 My head explodes. The kids have been playing dress-up… with the entire contents of Chickadee’s dresser! I lovingly suggest they clean up before I stroke out.
9:17 More stomping.
9:23 The kids head back outside.
9:47 The kids return. “It’s tooooo hooooot!”
9:52 “Can we go swimming now?”
9:53 More stomping.
9:54 I suggest they go practice piano for a while.
9:56 The dulcet tones of the keyboard float down the stairs and once again, I am at peace.
10:16 Hot cross buns. Over and over and over. I put on my headset.
10:22 “We’re huuuuuuuungry!”
10:24 Snacks are distributed.
10:35 Every board game we own is spread out upstairs. I decide I’ve seen nothing and go back downstairs to work.
11:03 “Now is it time to go swimming?”
11:04 Stomping.
11:05 I get up and chop vegetables and slice chicken and put dinner in the crockpot.
11:17 I hear the water running. Then it turns off. Then it turns on. Then it turns off. Then it turns on. Then my eyelid starts to twitch.
11:19 “Yes Ma’am.”
11:22 I break up another squabble. I fantasize about year-round military school.
11:58 “Can we watch some television?”
12:00 SpongeBob Squarepants starts. I set a timer for half an hour, and try to type faster.
12:30 SpongeBob Squarepants ends. I go snort a line of coke, because that’s what half an hour of television leads to. I push back from the computer and make us all some lunch.
12:31 I’m the greatest mother ever, because there are blueberries! Yay!
12:43 “Can we go swimming now?”
12:44 I send the children back outside so that I can finish up what I’m doing.
01:20 I break up another squabble and announce that children who can not get along don’t get to go swimming.
01:22 Everyone cries.
01:48 The children are playing nicely. I tiptoe away and cross my fingers.
02:45 It’s the longest stretch of amicable play between siblings to ever occur. And I have to interrupt it to get them to piano lessons. I punch myself in the face a few times.
04:01 We are home from piano lessons and Otto is home, too. Yay!
04:02 “Can we go swimming?”
04:03 I am finally the greatest mother in history because I say yes. Swimsuits are donned in a flash.
04:04 I break up the first squabble in the pool. I resist the urge to drown them both.
04:05 A contractor comes by to discuss flooring. We look at samples while watching the kids in the pool, from the deck.
04:25 The contractor leaves. The children have taken out every pool toy and foam noodle we own. The pool barely has room for them.
05:20 We make the kids get out of the pool and tell them to go take showers.
05:21 Stomping.
05:22 I break up a squabble over who will shower first.
06:10 Everyone is showered and delicious-smelling, and we sit down to dinner.
06:40 Chickadee mouths off, then Monkey follows suit.
06:41 I express my displeasure. Monkey apologizes immediately. Chickadee glares at her plate.
06:42 Dinner is over.
06:43 I get ready to leave.
06:44 Chickadee comes crying into my bathroom, “Don’t go, Mama! I’m sorry!” We have a discussion about Her Attitude. She promises to do better. I try to act like I believe she’s sincere.
06:49 I kiss everyone goodnight and tell them to be good. (Otto tells me he’s always good, and it’s true, too.)
06:51 I leave the house to score some drugs go see a movie with a friend, leaving the children with their horrible stepfather. He, no doubt, locks them in the crawlspace after beating them senseless.

I’m hoping today will be JUST AS AWESOME.


  1. All Adither

    That sounds GREAT. How about some camp? I think they would love some camp.

  2. Lou

    So, was the mystery of the peeled paint resolved? Since the kids are allowed to swim?

  3. Leandra

    Yep that sounds about like a typical day at my house. Except no pool, but somehow there’s still whining about swimming. How did that happen?

  4. Deb

    LOL!!! Good luck on day two ;-)

  5. Katie

    lalalalala I can’t hear you! I’m not ready for summer break and I do love my children. I just don’t love them when they are all together in my house for long periods of time.

    Oh want to hear a mean “I’m thrilled!” thing? Since Indiana and Maryland are on slightly different schedules, the kids get out of school on June 13th in Maryland and go back on Aug 12th in Indiana (Indiana kids has been out since May 30th and Maryland ones won’t start until Aug 26th-ish). I feel slightly guilty they only have 60 days of summer but dude, it’s awesome for me!

  6. suburbancorrespondent

    You non-homeschooling moms have got to build up your kid endurance, you know, before the summer vacation actually starts. Sort of like not going out in the hot sun for too long your first day at the beach – you’ve got to work up too it…

  7. The Mom Bomb

    I love that you have at least a minute of stomping. At our house, we have twenty-minute stretches of whining or sullen poutiness.

  8. Elena

    Lock me in your crawlspace. Please. My children are not getting along either and that liquid dripping from my ears? IS BLOOD.

  9. Undomestic Diva

    Was Starbucks factored in there somewhere? Did I miss it?

    Selfishly, I take my boys to Starbucks, sit on the patio with them and share some quality time with them there… It’s getting outta the house BUT WITH CAPPUCCINO INVOLVED and truthfully, the love doing it just as much so I’m just going to remove the word “selfishly” and insert “martyr.” Thankyouverymuch.

  10. Taylor

    My ovaries are positively quivering with the desire to have children now!

  11. Tranny Head

    I say crank up Sponge Bob and pour yourself an alcoholic beverage. Use the time to research summer camp options on the internet along with museums/zoos/etc that you can get them out of the house to do. Repeat drinking.

  12. Megan

    Hmmm… older children=less stomping AND more snide remarks. Maturity is a wunnerful thing.

  13. E

    Maybe the kids can get some freelance jobs, too. Then you all can sit quietly next to each other while typing, and they can also earn money to use towards their college education. Perfect!

    What? That won’t work?

  14. Jamie AZ

    I guess this is why I choose to work outside the home (for the most part) and love day care. :) Of course, all of the above happens at our house from the moment we get home until the moment the little people go to bed. Nice to see it’s not just my house where it’s happening.

  15. MaryP

    WHAT are those children doing up at one in the morning?

    I know, I know. Tidy you was only making sure the colons lined up. Blame my military grandfather and my sailor friends…

  16. Shalee

    Oh my lands… I’m laughing so hard, knowing that as soon as The Girl returns from camp, I will be writing a post just like this one. Then it won’t be so funny.

  17. Caution

    How is it that I miss my kids so much while they’re at school, but once they’re home? I miss school.

  18. laurie

    They read before waking you???? How did you train them to do that?!

  19. themuttprincess

    And they always tell you to have 2 so that they can play together.


  20. Cele

    Oh mi gosh now I know why we did Vacation Bible School, summer school, afternoon crafts, day camp, summer camp, baseball/softball my poor mother had four of us.

    Reminder send mom more flowers.

  21. Deb

    Same tune different verse…Are we there yet? I love your wit and wisdom. Thanks

  22. Tara

    Aren’t you glad they are back :)))
    Can’t wait for my step-daughter to get here on Friday, because your writing is so a description of a day in our house too. With two 11 year olds. Kill me now :)

  23. Sheila aka Manic Mom

    That my friends is the story of my life! Which is why I have a Swedish Aupar. Love her, she is great with all three of the kids! We truly got her because with my Lupus life can be unpredictable. But, life is better with her.

  24. Sheila aka Manic Mom

    I was just thinking about my Blog post yesterday I title it “let’s get High”. I was having a fun filled day too.

  25. celticbuffy

    Sounds a lot like our house, except no wicked stepfather (yet) and throw in a teen so that I have to be both TV and computer Nazi. We’re up north to we are anxiously awaiting warm enough weather for our stupid (err, wonderful!) community pool to open for the summer. Right now all I can say is thanks God for the Wii on these many, many rainy days that we’ve had since school got out.

  26. Deputy's Wife

    Oh, those first few days of summer break. Dontcha love ’em?

  27. Lacey

    Hope you loved the movie…I am going tonight! Please, please let it be good since this is one of the few nights I am away from my daughter! This mama needs a good night out!

  28. katrin

    Can I just say I am amazed you get your kids to bed by 7pm? For that alone you deserve a medal!

    That is the kind of summer we have. My kids hate camp, and it’s too expensive anyway. I work from home, so I try to juggle everything at once. I have strict rules about TV and break them, very occasionally.

    Okay, sometimes.

    I feel guilty very occasionally.

    Okay sometimes.

    I want to spend hours on end playing with my kids–wait a minute, do I? Let’s be honest, let me rephrase…

    I want to have time to hang with my kids when we all feel like it (that’s better), but when you have deadlines to meet, you just can’t be a full-time chauffeur, money-machine, playmate, professional book-reader, project manager and imaginarium director on call.

    It does them GOOD to be bored sometimes.

    Okay, a lot.

    co-author, Mothers Need Time-Outs, Too

  29. Kristi

    Please share your drug suppliers name. My kids have 8 days left of school.

  30. merlotmom

    My kids are still in school, until June 20. Ahhhhh….
    My son told me this morning, and every morning for the last few months, that he hates camp. He just wants to stay home and watch tv all day long….hahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahaha!!

  31. mommytherobot

    sounds just like MY day except i only have one kid. give me the name of the coke dealer wilya?

  32. zeghsy

    i’m just curious about what the typical summer day would be like at “dad’s” house. my monkey chose a ton of summer school classes, viola lessons, a trip to montana for 10 days, and some short trips to nana’s for the summer. all because i said the telly would NOT be on at all during the day if she didn’t find things to occupy her time with otherwise. evil at it’s very best. :)

  33. ImpostorMom

    I hear the Y and Leisure Services have some good half day camps. :)

  34. jennielynn

    Now I’m a bit curious. Are you the spawn of Satan because you’re his ex or because you got married and moved to another state? Because my ex was fine, until I remarried and then suddenly, everything I did came under the microscope.

  35. Sue

    I have two more weeks before I can share some of this joy! Maybe it’s time for Chickadee and Monkey to start a blog – that could take up at least 4 minutes.

  36. Dani

    Because of this crossed out thought: “I go snort a line of coke, because that’s what half an hour of television leads to.”

    I am now officially sure that I love you. You are so damned funny I can’t STAND it.

  37. Astrogirl426

    Wow, things are good – you only almost-stroked-out only once!

    Ha ha, yeh, that whole thing about just-have-one-because-you-won’t-have-to-deal-with-the-sibling-squabble-thing? Yeh. A complete and total lie. Maybe it’s just my kid (and it could so very well be), but he will find ways to squabble, even if he has to squabble with the cat.

    I guess I should consider myself lucky – Bunker Monkey is in a special-ed preschool that goes all through summer (thank the angels), so we don’t have the same sorts of issues. But oh my, yes we do have us some doozies of an afternoon some days. Two things I’ve discovered work like the dickens: threatening to leave him out for the bear (it helps that the bear paid us a visit and The Child got to see him), and drinking. Heavily. Starting around 10am (helps me, anyway!).

  38. Kirsetin

    Ah, just another glorious summer day. Good fun.

  39. Danielle-lee

    You mean, you weren’t drinking the entire day? Or snorting coke the entire 30 minutes of Sponge Bob No Pants? REALLY???
    You kill me!

  40. The Other Other Dawn

    He beats them senseless BEFORE he puts them in the crawlspace? That’s just so wrong. Crawlspace first, then beating. Stepparents, eh?

  41. Flea

    Hmm. Something’s a little off here, Mir. You’re missing something … think, think, think … nope. You’re doing everything right, including leaving them with the evil stepfather. Keep up the good work!

  42. StephLove

    My first-grader’s in his second to last week of school. You are SO not making me look forward to summer. On the plus side I only work a few hours a week so I don’t have to juggle quite as much as you do, but on the minus side, my other child is two. ‘Nuff said?

    The older one will be in day camp half the summer. Last summer I felt kind of guilty about spending so much money on camp when I’m an at-home mom. I got over that.

  43. Daisy

    My suggestion: audio books. Headphones on each child, quiet for you, and the instruction that they must listen to at least one CD or tape before they talk to each other or you again. Who knows? They might get into the story to a point that they want to keep listening!!

  44. Jackie

    You have to love the ex’s don’t ya?

  45. threeundertwo

    Sooo funny. I can say that because mine are still in school.

  46. Michelle

    Your days are hauntingly similar to mine, only there’s more biting and whining, what with three extra boys here these days.

  47. Inzaburbs

    I am jealous of that 1.45 to 2.48 stretch.
    Mine wake me up at 6am and don’t sleep until 8pm. I am only typing now because I cheat, an hour or two of PBS Kids is not *really* TV, you know?
    No coke dealers in these parts, I have to preserve my sanity somehow.

  48. Spice

    Oh man, my 3 kids last day of school is today. I only have one more day of peace until the above happens. And guess where I’m spending my last day of quiet solitude – volunteering up at their school! Yay!

  49. Kristi Ottmar

    sounds like you like summer just as much as me.
    I really did hear myself saying last week “I love when school is over” I am confident I was drunk, but I don’t drink so I was well whatever. We’re singing the same tune at our home and its just day one.

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