There were so many things I had planned for us to do as a family this summer and we didn’t do any of them. The kids are 9, 11 and 13, and finally old enough that we don’t have to pack juice boxes and diapers to go anywhere. But, it seemed like we had the money but not the time, or the time but not the money.
George and I wanted to take the kids to Disney World, but we didn’t have enough money, so we ended up going to Tanger Mall and Dairy Queen. The kids got to buy videos, clothes, and hideous posters for their rooms. I think we spent almost as much money, but saved on gas to Florida. We loaded them up on high fructose junk foods and ice cream for the ride home to put them in a sugar coma so at least we’d have peace on the journey.
We hoped to enjoy several boat outings with Uncle Mike this summer, but Mike’s engine never got repaired. So, we busted our shocks driving the kids out to Shell Beach. We tried to get them to cross the channel on their air mattresses. We figured the current would take them toward Riverhead till they hit land, and that would give me uninterrupted time to clean and purge their rooms. But they were wise to us and wouldn’t take the bait. They made some threats about calling CPS and requesting that they be put in a foster home instead of living with us. George and I got all excited about them leaving, but then those rotten kids reneged and they’re still here.
We thought we might take them for an educational trip, to see West Point or something like that. We ended up taking them to Mashomack Preserve for one of their tours. George and I managed to lose them in the woods and slip away for a box lunch from the IGA. But then we got a call from the Preserve, some rule about you have to leave with as many kids as you brought, so we picked them up. They were full of ticks, so we made them sleep on the porch until they were sure they got all the ticks off. Then George put Lysol in his garden sprayer and hosed them down.
Then we thought, let’s try to eat healthier and make a veggie garden. They were trying to text their friends while planting seedlings. This only would have taken half a day, you’d think they could put down the phones for four hours—oh God forbid! They might miss something! They never got serious and ended up throwing dirt at each other and then I got a big clump in the face, and if George hadn’t been there to get the ax from me, I don’t know what would have happened. He thought I was going to attack the kids with the ax. But I was going to use the ax to destroy their phones. I was going to use the hammer to hit them.
George thought, if they’re like this when they’re 18, we could invent our own Witness Protection program. We could change our names and sneak away in the night. And in two or three weeks when they notice no laundry is done and there’s no food in the house, they’ll realize we’re gone, but by then, it will be too late.
I love my Georgie, I can always count on him to see the silver lining…
Dear Diary: When Do the Kids Leave?