Monday, July 10, 2006

The Girls Of Summer.

My kids have been on vacation for just over two weeks. Anybody with school-age children is familiar with the frequently-asked question this time of year: "So, what are your kids doing this summer?" Most people will enthusiastically answer this with a list of activities ranging from theater camps where ten-year-olds put on elaborate productions of Les Miserables to expensive art classes where their kindergartners will spend the summer months re-creating Van Goghs out of macaroni, beads and dental floss. Rigel and I have gotten used to the disapproving looks when we answer with, "It's a shame, but after we sleep until noon and then make a couple of trips to McDonalds for Oreo McFlurries, there's just no time left in the day."

(Alright, we are leaving the country in a few weeks for a thirteen day trip, but that doesn't count. Everyone goes on vacation - it's the time surrounding the vacation that is in question here, the other whole ten weeks, those empty spaces on the calendar that tell the world that while all the other kids will be designing a new Mars Rover at Space Camp yours will be at home eating OtterPops by the caseful and watching you caulk the bathtub. )

I've discovered that there are two distinct types of parents when it comes to activity planning. First there are The Planners, those parents that diligently scour websites and catalogs for educational, enriching summer activities for their children and then sign them up in a timely fashion, making sure to read all the rules and regulations so that little Amber doesn't show up on her first day of Opera Camp without the proper snack or sheet music. Then you have The Slackers, those of us who wake up on the last day of school and suddenly realize that we've not enrolled our children in so much as a single swimming lesson, and panic at the prospect of three long unstructured months ahead of us. We then go without sleep for the next two days, glued to our computers trying to find a class, a camp, anything, and finally give up when we realize that the only thing that isn't filled up is a Life Drawing class for 8-10 year olds that suspiciously takes place in the home of a middle-aged man named Uncle Pete.

As one of The Slackers, I've become adept at coming up with excuses as to why my girls are watching excessive amounts of TV instead of learning how to churn butter at Amish Camp. "Oh, those classes were all filled up" I'd say, or "Our religion forbids activity between sunup and sundown." On the last day of school I was talking to another parent and she mentioned that her daughter would be spending two weeks at a children's pottery class. When I feigned interest she guffawed and said, "Oh, it's too late. The classes have been filled since February." I realized, like a true Slacker, that there was no way I would have had the foresight to sign my girls up for a class five months ahead of time. In February I was too busy doing my Christmas shopping - for 2005.

So this is what we're doing: we'll be spending our days hanging out in the backyard, going to the bookstore and loitering around our local Starbucks. We'll fit in a few visits to the beach and the park, and alternate between the roller and ice skating rinks. There'll be many errand days, where'll they'll just tag along with me to Trader Joes, Target, the post office and back to Target. They'll be forced to come along with me on at least one of the following appointments: hair, doctor, or dentist. I'll bribe them with ice cream, Jamba juices and trips to the pool. We'll get on each others very last nerve, curse under our breaths (me), scream that we're bored (them) and throw ourselves on the bed and cry (them and me.) In September, when they return to school and their friends demonstrate their mastery of Sanskrit acquired over the summer, my daughters will recite dialog from episodes of SpongeBob verbatim and proudly show off their towering room divider constructed entirely of McFlurry cups.

Lest you think we are truly horrible parents, we did actually ask the girls what they wanted to do this summer. Gymnastics? Dance Camp? Roadie School? (That was Rigel's idea.) Their answer? "We just want to hang out with you guys." And knowing that in the not too distant future their answer will be a very different one, we're happy, at least for this summer, to let the days unfold on their own.

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90 comments:

  1. Yay!!! Slackers unite!

    The DC metro area is big on over-scheduling children as well. But of course, the "camps" are really just babysitting for uber-achieving parents who can't be bothered to actually parent their kids.

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  2. We're half-n-half around here. Girlie is attending a day camp at the zoo for a few weeks this summer so that I can write and the rest of the time, she's practicing for the Spongebob Quote-Off with your daughters. I'm a slacker at heart. I looked for the first camp with openings and never looked any further. Luckily, my Girlie loves the zoo.

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  3. That is perfect - I hope you have a wonderful summer. We also have a trip planned, but other than that, we've flying by the seats of our Pampers here. Gotta enjoy these little guys while they are little!

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  4. First of all - those girls are gorgeous. And second - how cool are YOU guys that they want to hang with you. I knew you were cool - but that's beyond it.

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  5. Oh I think some parents go way overboard with camps and planned this and planned that (no offense to those that do, just that I think some parents overdo it). I see it even with toddlers. Their time is so structured and planned out that they don't have the opportunity to just hang out and be kids! And you're right: the time we get to spend with them just 'hanging out' doesn't last forever and we should make the most of it while we still have it.

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  6. Your girls are so beautiful. How do you feel about arranged marriages? I've got two boys I'll pay you to take as son-in-laws. It's good to know we're not alone in Slackersville. Actually, I realized that in boredom one truly discovers oneself. OK so I didn't sign up for camps in January either.

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  7. Aww. How sweet that they said they just want to hang out with you! Also, I have to say that getting a 13-day vacation during the summer sounds pretty nice and that totally "counts" as pre-planning kiddie activities. I think you've done your duty for this summer!

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  8. Oreo McFlurries are da bomb and a good source of vitamins and minerals, er milk, er, something.

    Camps are for wimpy parents who can't stand to be with their children for three whole months. God, how I envy them! I've only been in kid-induced tears twice since June 14th. Woohooo! Making progress.

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  9. I bet "Sweatpants Mom Camp" is the best camp ever. EVER.

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  10. Hey, don't knock uncle Pete's Life Drawing camp....I made a great still life of fruit there!!!
    LOL.
    It sounds like you guys are having a great time so far. And leaving the country? HE-LLO! You planned SOMEthing!

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  11. I feel like I'm looking into my future via some sort of Slacker crystal ball. However, I can only hope that my kid(s) will want to hang out with me. If not, can I send them over to your place for the summer?

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  12. First of all, your girls are beautiful! I'm on Team Slacker. My oldest (4) has just now expressed interest in soccer for the fall. One of my co-workers started reeling off the litany of soccer, swim, gymnastics, and t-ball lessons her 6-year-old and 4-year-old were enrolled in and I really felt nauseated! But your summer plans, or lack thereof, sound divine. Just let kids be kids already.

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  13. I agree with everyone: your girls are gorgeous and you are too cool for school (er, camp)! Boy, what I wouldn't give for "summer vacations" again. I might have mentioned this to you before, but my stepsister who's 12, asked what I did for spring break and I was felt bad breaking it to her: When you grow up? No more "breaks." (Unless you're a SAHM or a teacher, I guess.)

    Also: I missed you. Please don't ever go another 2 weeks without posting again. Thank you.

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  14. Do you mean to tell me that there are places to Send our children?

    We are enlisting Camp Grandmother, Detroit Edition in the next couple of weeks. She always comes back and tells me how gentle I am when I brush her hair....

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  15. I'm sorta with Wendy here. My step daughter (11) is alternating between driving me and herself and her father and brother insane and going to camp. This week she's driving her grandmother insane. Next week she'll be at camp then it's back at the top of the order again (me).

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  16. Your daughters are beautiful! And I think it's great that you're giving them leisure time ... something that seems more rare these days than when I was a kid, and the answer to the summer question was "Uh ... eating popsicles? Yeah. I think I'll eat some popsicles."

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  17. HA! we're not doing shit because well.. we both work, and we're saving vacation for the wedding next year- but we do little weekend trips and day trips. shit, i suddenly feel like a crappy, non real vacation giving, parent.
    thanks. lol

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  18. JY: I'm not knocking camps as a concept - really just me whining about my pathetic organizational skills when it comes to this sort of thing.

    In fact, I'm thinking of starting one that parents can attend with their kids - maybe Spa Camp or Nap Camp.

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  19. YEAH! Nap Camp. I am so there. Sign my ass up.

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  20. Yes, I have to agree, the girls have taken Mommy and Daddy's finest features and applied them to their faces.
    Remember, I have a 19 year old son, and a 16 year old nephew. That's perfect for the girls, a little older is better.
    Okay, a thirteen day vacation? What planet do you live on? We haven't had a vacation like that, EVER! As for the girls wanting to hang out with you (and Rigel), well it's perfectly clear, according to your errand list, that they are total caffeine addicts, and could not bear the thought of a day without a frappucino. Bless their little addicted hearts. I say whatever it takes to keep them close is great. Up their dosage and they'll be hangin with you through high school! That's GOOD parenting.
    Have fun on your trip!

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  21. Beautiful picture!! Gorgeous girls. I am a slacker in this sense too. Kindergarden was hard for me though. I missed having him around. I was homebound for the first few months of school because my kidneys failed (and recovered!) and I had no energy. So although my son is registered at daycare I keep him home with me on the days when I don't have appointments. I have always enjoyed reading your blog although I don't comment often.

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  22. I'd like to get in line for the arranged marriage thing too for my two boys. They have their own collection of McFlurry cups, Happy Meal toys and the older one has just about completed the whole menu at Jamba Juice. Let me know!

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  23. "We just want to hang out with you guys."

    God, that is so cute, and sweet, and flattering...but it also means you have to think of things to do with them. LOL.

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  24. Those beautiful girls of summer are so SMART. If given the choice between a couple of month's worth of SpongeBob and Sweatpantsmom versus dance camp and gymnastics, I'd be all over the first choice, too. Then again, I loathe physical activity. But I agree you should enjoy each other's company to the max.

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  25. Excellent. Brava! To you AND them! Everyone schedules the HELL OUT OF EVERYTHING! My fondest memories of growing up had nothing to do with structure. And if I ever said, "Mooommm, I'm BORED!" She'd say, "That's your own fault. You should have the imagination to never be bored. Do you not find your own company fascinating?"

    I've never been bored since. I'm close to complete madness, but I've never been bored.

    So, I hope that you all enjoy! :)
    and glad that you're back.

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  26. You know what I spent my summers doing when I was a kid? Playing in the sprinkler and reading. That's about it. Remember when opera camp would have been laughed at?

    It's a different time I guess...still I prefer a good sprinkler to an operetta any day.

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  27. We used to send the kids to a week of summer camp, and then came the horrible year of competitive soccer that took up an entire summer (no, I do not like having to get a kid to practice at 6am in the summer), and we went back to popsicles, sprinklers, and endless hours of cartoons.

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  28. I think kids have enough structure during the school year. Beyond making sure they're out of bed by 10 and back into it by midnight, I don't really plan my kids' summers.

    Or, maybe I'm just a slacker. I need to ask Uncle Pete tonight at class.

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  29. SOunds like a great summer plan to me. I sooo want a McFlurry right now.

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  30. Ditto on your girls being beautiful.

    I guess I am in the minority here. I actually do plan camp, because I know if I don't I will have to BE camp.

    Our daughter goes to a 3 week day camp and I love it. I LOVE her camp-they come to my house and pick her up at 8 am and drop her off at 5 pm. When she gets home she's exhausted and has had an amazing time- riding horses, sailing, swimming,talent shows- good old fashion camp activities.

    They win hands down on the fun stuff to do- especially this year since my options for fun are: 'Help Mommy pack!' or 'Watch Mommy rock in a fetal position as she tries to cope with all the crap she has to do for the move!'

    She passes out early and wakes up really excited to do it again. And me? I can pack up our house in peace. I love camp.

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  31. That sounds alot like what we're doing with our kiddo this summer. Actually, we aren't even taking a vacation. We're just going to the pool, friends' homes, parks, running through the sprinklers, spending too much time at Target and eating alot of junk food. The way I look at it -- is what he did this summer REALLY going to affect his chances of getting some promotion someday? Or what kind of marriage he has?

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  32. I think your girls totally have the right attitude. I mean, who doesn't just wanna hang all summer? I remember WISHING my parents would just let me relax for vacation insted of packing me off to overnight camp (which, by the way, is overrated - what with kids barfing all the time and having to make dumb-ass name tags with glitter and glue. See? Definitely overrated)

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  33. It's called summer break for a reason. My best childhood memories don't involve art camp, they involve sticking french fries up my brother's nose at the pool and eating water ice every day for 12 weeks. Kudos to you and your girls for being forward-thinking.

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  34. Most of my childhood summers were spent in similar fashion to the way your girls will spend this one. My parents generally couldn't afford summer classes.

    And I loved summers. I loved the unstructured time to myself. I loved writing my own plays and putting them on with the neighbor kids. I loved spending an entire day in my room alone reading, with no one coming in to tell me I had to put my book down so I could go to a class. I loved going on expeditions in the woods with a band of fellow child adventurers. I loved building forts and clubhouses, whether in the back yard or the basement. I loved last-minute afternoon trips to the zoo. I loved family barbeques in the park, and pickup games of kickball with the kids down the block, and . . . freedom. Just, freedom, to do what I wanted, when I wanted, on my own schedule.

    I fear most children these days are so overscheduled that they are not getting to experience this kind of boundless freedom, ever, in their lives. And that's a shame.

    So good job being a slacker mom. I think your kids may thank you for it someday . . .

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  35. BTW, Liberal Banana-- hate to break to it you, but you've got it all wrong about the SAHM gig. I know it SEEMS to the casual outside observer like we must have plenty of time to chill in our PJs while munching bon bons and watching soaps on the TV, while our lovely children entertain themselves, but, seriously, until the kids are in school full-time, SAHMs get NO breaks. Not even 5 minute bathroom breaks. Because when you're in the bathroom, invariably, someone is screaming for you in the next room, someone is knocing on the door, or someone is IN the bathroom with you watching you pee.

    And also, no sick days. EVER. Days you are sick will in fact generally be spent working overtime to care for other members of the family who are sick.

    Just doing my part to frighten, uh, enlighten the childless ;)

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  36. What exquisitely lovely girls you have! And as far as slacking... enjoy it. Except those aren't slacker girls. I read that newsletter blog thingie that your elder daughter wrote earlier in the year. Since Scheer was fired from the L.A. Times, I reckon she could probably pick up some part-time summer work over there.

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  37. Yay, you're back!

    Those girls are adorable and look so happy. And it was so sweet that they wanted to hang with you.

    Btw, I'm totally one of the slackers, too. All of that planning just seems a little too intense for me sometimes.

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  38. you so effing rock, lady. a slacker mom after my own heart, i tell you.

    and actually, i think "slacker" here might actually be a term for "stop overthinking everything and just go wid d'flo. k?"

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  39. Slacker? Umm...yeah, that would be me....
    I think it is great your girls want to hang out with you! I would take it while you can and run with it....

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  40. I love it. I am such a slacker. Well, not this summer. I'm a out-of-the-home-worker and my Mom is a slacker with the kids. :) BUT, most summers I am such a slacker. I love the idea of the room divide made out of McFlurry cups. Sounds like the look my boys are going for in their room. (hehehehe)

    And I think you're wise to realize that your girls will "outgrow" you before you know it. I tell Chad that all the time. I know they are driving us nutty, but any day now they are going to look at us and think we are the LAMEST people alive, so we need to soak their admiration up now. :)

    Oh yeah, and you daughters are BEAUTIFUL by the way.

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  41. Have I told you lately how gorgeous your kids are? Good lord, stunning.

    Slacker Mom. That has a nice ring to it. I did go through that whole Gen X/grunge thing in the early 90's. So why stop being a slacker just because I have a kid? My kid isn't even old enough for preschool yet, but I thank you for enabling my inner time suck.

    However, you don't think they have wine making summer camp for the under 3 set, do you?

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  42. Slacker Moms, Unite!!
    Your girls are so cute (next to mine, of course) and I am aligning myself with others in the summer is all about sitting around, eating popsicles, and just being. The window for the girls to have that kind of time is small, so enjoy!

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  43. Our kids are still in daycare year-round, but I suspect we'd be slacker parents ourselves. Both J and I have fond memories of lazing around our respective houses as children, with the occasional prod from our parents. I want our kids to have at least one summer like that, where we can all just spend time as a family and take us whatever direction the wind blows...

    And your daughters are incredibly gorgeous. WOW.

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  44. You are so retro, girl! ;-) it's very 50s to let the kids have a "figure it out themselves" kind of summer. And good for 'em, too. In spite of the bouts of throwing oneself on the bed and cries of "I'm so bored!!!!" it's gonna be a great time. Have a good one!

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  45. I like your blog. Lots of fun! Hey - if your kids WANT to hang out with you. You're doing something right. Life is too structured now. Hanging out with mom and dad and my brothers was what summer WAS when we were kids. Be slackers and embrace it! Have a an extra frappucino for me!

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  46. Well done!! I agree with you... it won't be long until they are too busy for us!

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  47. Just loved that post. It reminded me of so many summers with my two kids and all the guilt I felt at not having the appropriate activites planned . I was a single Mom on government assistance and camps were not in the budget. My powers of entertainment were taxed to their fullest and our patience and tolerance was put to every test imaginable.

    Every one of those crazy sumers is etched into my memory and I am grateful for each one. We spent REAL time together for years and that is irreplaceable.

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  48. Lucky that they want to hang out with you AND you happen to be one of those Slackers at the same time eh? 5 Months ahead of time for a summer class? Sheesh I'd NEVER make that. My daughter's 9 months old, and I'm already giving up on THAT idea. LOL

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  49. I want to go to Roadie Camp. Can I please go to Roadie Camp?

    Also, your site is wonderful to read.

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  50. Awww. I love that answer they gave you. I am the third category of parent. The ones who spend countless hours scouring for activities and then curse every time I have to drag my ass out of bed to get them to the activities. This year, it's four weeks of swimming lessons four times a week. Someone shoot me now please. Driving four days a week? Dressing in something other than old running shirts and underwear? WTF have I dooooone!?

    (Though I am proud of Gabe for jumping off the diving board, and glad that he can save himself since I am a terrible swimmer). Asher is screwed, he'll never get any extracurricular activities...

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  51. I'm a slacker mom, too. Welcome to the club! Or, maybe you should be saying that to me since your kids are older you've been in the club longer. ;)

    Sounds like a wonderful summer. I would have given anything as a kid to hang out with my mom all summer.

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  52. The YMCA, the two Nature Centers and the Zoo all have "camps" with structured activites and such, but they are really just daycare for older kids. My son went to one of the Nature Centers for a week last summer, but he didn't have a very good time because all the full-time kids were all cliquey with each other.

    We are doing the summer of errands with Mom, punctuated by frequent trips to the library and video store, with lots of long days of "go play outside with your friends". They are getting too old for playgrounds, but I might have to drag them to one so Kaitlyn can have her first ride on a baby swing.

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  53. You are a stronger, better mother than I! My daughter is busy (at her own request) and my son is not (at his) and him being home all day every day is driving me bonzo. Perhaps I'm the one who needs to take a look at the day and not him as I've suggested. Is it ok that he sleeps til noon, gets dressed (because I insist) and then asks ME to make him lunch (he is 14) and then gets back into bed? Maybe it is.

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  54. I have a question for all you summer moms. Do your kids watch tv/play xbox/play on disney, nick, or lego.com all day if you let them? Keeping my seven year old off the various forms of multimedia for dozens of consecutive hours is my biggest challenge and one of the reasons I force my butt out of bed and get him to outdoors activities...just curious...

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  55. 100% Slacker here. Yep, pretty much. We have one day of tutoring and all the others are spent trying to *find* something to DO!
    Monique, my oldest 2 daughters get 1 hour of computer time a day & 1 hour of TV, but we don't have cable .. so usually we all just watch a movie .. sometimes nothing.

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  56. Thank you...very funny and so true for our house. We are hanging around, watching way too much TV, going to the park, visiting the icecream shop...etc. I think they have enough structure in their lives during the schoolyear...let them chill with Mumma! Anne

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  57. Lovely girls!

    I fall into the Slacker category. Proudly.

    Monique, I let them watch tv in the mornings and then MAYBE they get the gameboy for about 20 min. in the afternoon, but they have to ask. I want them to play outside, inside, whatever, but dammit PLAY. Okay, I want them to play outside so mommy can blog.

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  58. i was going to blog this very thing. i asked a mom i know what SHE had been up to and she said oh you know, activities for the kids. i was all, activities for the who now? my kids live summer life just as i did. free from the restraints of needing to BE SOMEWHERE LEARNING SOMETHING AT A SPECIFIC TIME. we wake up every day and soemetimes we go do stuff and soemtimes we watch thirty seven hours of tv in a row. it's called summer. it is our right.

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  59. I say a nice two week vacation is great for the kids and everything else you get to do is filler!

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  60. Summer is for slacking. I think it's sick when parents overprogram their kids all summer. They'll be busy as hell every summer of their lives soon enough - let them enjoy the precious leisure they have now. And the fact that they want to hang out with you says to me that you're doing something right.

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  61. I am so comforted by the moms who encourage slacking summer. I feel so much pressure to keep Gabe (going into third grade) up to snuff academically that I make him do homework? Am I evil? Anyway, I have GOT to limit the TV!!!! One of these days I'll pull the cable, but right now, I'm pretty much having an affair with it while my husband makes his way home from Iraq :)

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  62. It's not too late to sign them up for NEXT year's pottery class. :)

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  63. I don't knwo what kind of parent I'll be when my children are school age, but I suspect I'll be a slacker who makes her own camp (because it's way to late to send them to real camp.)

    Either way, your children are beautiful. That's the real reason for my comment. What is their age difference?

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  64. I'm totally going to be a slacker mom. I'm a fan of the "when unscheduled, creativity will flower" school of thought. Unless my kids drive me crazy and it's my idea to send them to camp.

    (*Uncle Pete* LOL!!!)

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  65. Stunning IS the word for your kids. I think we fall in the middle someplace between PLANNING and SLACKING. The older boys worked as staffers at a scout camp and were gone all of June. The lazy days of summer where we hit the zoo and go for Slurpees? Gone, I think. **sigh**

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  66. Why worry? They'll become supermodels & then YOU can scoff at the Planner parents "Oh, you didn't think to make yours beautiful? What a shame. (tsk noises)"

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  67. I think your way is best. How delightful that your girls still want to spend time with you. Relaxing and revelling in that sounds like a great summer to me.

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  68. Aaaaaaaaaaaw. They want to hang out with you?? God, you guys must be some pretty damn cool parents. My 8-year-old is driving me insane with the whole "I'm bored" routine. She may be bored but I'm just plain OVER IT!

    Have fun on your big trip!

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  69. I am right on the same page as you in regards to the kids and summer! My answer to the question of what the kids are doing all summer is "we are just going to wing it", usually people will ask how do you do that? I say we just do whatever we want!
    My daily errands always include Target and Trader Joesa as well! What we wold do without Target!?
    The picture of your girls is adorable.

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  70. I agree with all of you. Who wants to be looking at your calandar all summer and dragging kids around to classes, sports, etc. What ever happened to the lazy days of summer. I think it's great they want to hang out with you.

    Here's a boredom buster I learned from my mom: I'm bored! = I must want to help with the chores. I proudly carry this tradition on with my kids. I must say that I haven't heard "I'm bored" in a very long time.

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  71. YOU are in SO much trouble, I don't even know where to begin!

    :)

    I'm just being a loser wondering if you've posted yet. No pressure...I'll wait a few more days before kicking the chair out. HA!

    Hope you're enjoying your unstructured time with the girls...the summer's flying by like madness...as usual.

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  72. Oh god...oh...oh thank you for validating me.

    Thank you.

    Not only have I been slacking on the organized activities (other than a week of swim lessons) but we've also descended into the nutritional hell of hot dogs and hamburger as staples of our summer diet.

    And once...I'm afraid to admit this...one time...I bought them Lunchables.

    And summer has never been better.

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  73. i'm quite sure you are far more interesting than uncle pete and his unsightly "wares."

    and you can learn a lot from spongebob....he's a role model in these parts...

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  74. Sounds perfect to me! If we keep scheduling our kids to the hilt, we will loose the term "lazy days of summer" entirely.

    Those girls of yours are beautiful!

    Carrie

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  75. You forgot a third category :) Those of us who don't sign our kids up for every camp and activity, and who don't want to!

    Seriously, I loved your post. My ds and I are just hanging out at home too, and even though we're occasionally driving each other nuts, we're loving it.

    Those camps are highly over rated.
    Btw, I love your blog! Can I add a link to it on my blog?

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  76. No packing lunches or getting up to be somehwere at a certain time. I think your summer sounds awesome!

    But man...ya'll get started late. School starts here in about 3 weeks and we've been out of school since the END OF MAY!

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  77. Whew I thought I was the only slacker kinda mom. I did manage to squeeze my 5 year old in some swimming lessons but other than that, we laze around, talk a walk to the park, eat, play Barbies and Monopoly. And eat. And sleep. I feel so much better now!

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  78. Hilarious ... I loved the Amish camp line ... can I borrow that?
    Im one of those mothers that has too many kids to be able to afford to send them all off to camps. I was thrilled when the 7 year old got invited to summer school! One less kid whining "Im boredddd" all day. We signed up for summer basketball and we do about 6 games a week till august! HURRY AUGUST!!!

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  79. Am I the only one that aspires to be a slacker Mom?? I think that they're the coolest Mom's anyway. :)
    Wonderful post and beautiful girls. :)
    Jenny

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  80. did you lose the map to your blog? do you need us to send out a search party? did you forget, again, to leave a trail of breadcrumbs? we will find you! fear not! we shan't let you perish in the abyss!

    or: where you be at, yo?

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  81. By day, I'm at home with my two boys, ages 7 and 3. By night, I work M-F 5+ hour shifts at a Staffing Agency. I sent my son to a half day nature camp for two weeks and he absolutely loved it! He enjoyed the program and the companionship of his peers. It's a chore setting up play dates and activities all summer. Last year I was Camp Toni and planned crafts and activities galore. This summer, I'm spent. My sons don't know the meaning of leisure time! Sometimes, I'll say, let's play "mommy takes a nap" With two energetic boys, I say a little summer break at a summer camp is good for the both of you! It really boosted by son's confidence and happiness and will enroll him again next year for sure:)

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  82. What you're doing sounds exactly right. Of course, it's exactly what I'm doing, so I *would* say that, but still.

    Sounds ideal.

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  83. YAY! Let's here it for another Slacker mom! And your day of backyard fun, bookstore and Starbucks sounds like heaven to me!

    Ultimate in Slacking--having the kids wake me in time to take them to swim class at 11:30. Oh, yeah, and did I mention I signed them up on the day classes started!

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog, but I think you are on vacation?

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  84. I have heard the McFlurry cup is a great mold for some MAD-AS$ sand castles.

    I must say ... nothing makes me more tingly than to overhear the "Well-I will-one-up-you-Mom-with-a-condescending-twist-and-two-snaps" Mom. They are even so kind to speak loud enough for us all to hear their story so we can feel compelled to ask them more questions about their amazing, dreamy, planned in advance lives.

    Bor-iNg! I love the drama of the panic, last minute dash.

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  85. I prefer the term "spontaneous" to "slacker" thankyouverymuch. ;p

    Your daughters are gorgous! Beautiful picture.

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  86. OKAY! Are you on vacation?! Come back!

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  87. You're girls are so beautiful!

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  88. I love the schedule-free summers, and I think the kids need them, too. But a trip to Japan... that will be the highlight of their summer. Where are you in Japan? My hubby lived in Kyoto for a while and is dying to take the kids there (once we dig ourselves out of school debt, that is, and can afford a plane ticket!). I hope you're having a great time. I think your blog is 'da bomb (I'm new to the blogging world and checking it all out).

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  89. Thank you for saving my sanity and helping me to recommit to my slacker approach for the season. With 3 weeks until school starting, my heart started fluttering about all I hadn't done, until I gave myself a pass - for all that I had done. Imperfectly, without my traditional schedule, and on a shoe string....but your post saved my night, and my last three weeks. Thank you.

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