At the beginning of the summer, I came down hard on TV watching and video game playing. "If you think that's what you'll be doing all summer, think again," I told my children in June as they reached for the Wii remotes. "You will be romping in the sun, developing interesting new hobbies, and working to end world hunger. You will not be sitting slack-jawed in front of a screen."
And mostly they haven't been. In part, this is because they've lost impressive amounts of screen time this summer simply by making me miserable. There is a hard and fast rule in these parts: Do not make the mom miserable. Don't dish misery out if you can't take a double dose in return. Vengeance is Mom's, sayeth the Lord. Or something like that.
But here we are, in the final week of summer, and I have turned into Slackest Mom Alive. A little TV with your lunch? Why not? A little extra time in front a computer screen? Have at it!
It helps that the boys have been very sweet this week, even to each other. Sometimes I can't believe they haven't figured out that the nicer they are to each other, the slacker I get. Here's some candy, I say. Let's go to Target and buy some baseball cards. All they have to do is love each other. So simple, so impossible.
On Wednesday, I went to Charlotte to speak at a meeting of Scholastic Books sales people. Most of my speechifying was spent talking about how much I loved getting the Scholastic Book Club flyer in school and ordering tons of books, and how much time I've spent as an adult trying to track those books down. My parents, sad to say, did not hang on to my impressive collection of paperback titles that included That Darn Cat and Herbie the Love Bug and several biographies of The Fonz.
After my talk, I signed books (mine, that is), and almost everybody I talked to had sad tales of what their parents had thrown out the minute they left home for college. A lot of Mad Magazine collections hit the bins, is what I'm saying.
I will spend this weekend cleaning. Honest. I will. Start the new year off with a clean slate and a clean toilet, I always say.
Isn't that what you always say, too?
The Christmas Elf
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