Friday, August 20, 2010

The Slackest Season

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?


Sara Padrusch said...

My kids watched three hours of Spongebob this morning.

The shame, it is deep.

All of our activities start up in about two weeks and until then I am just getting by. I'm tired of the endless beautiful weather, sandy towels and sunscreen.

Just how much fun does a person have to have?

Do you ever speechify or sign or what have you in Boston? Because I could be persuaded to leave my house to meet you...


Tracy said...

I am the Slack Mum. BUT...we don't have 11-12 weeks of summer holiday. My kids get a week at the start and a week at the end to sit endlessly in front of a screen. And I figure they deserve a little bit of zombie-ness in their lives. We do, after all, spend 3 weeks riding bikes, swimming and playing nicely with other people. All. Day. Long.

I live in fear of scholastic book club flyers. It means the kids are going to hit me up for $100 each. Or try to. Ugh.

magsmcc said...

Always. And never in practice! Clean bathroom AND sheets once a week?

wayside wanderer said...

My 14 year old is in there playing the x-box as I type. I've been trying to ween him off the past week or two because school starts on Monday. I don't think he quite understands what ween means and today I caved in.

You are a writer! That is the first time I saw this (I am slow that way). Very neat! I love Scholastic, too, now and back when I was in school. I loved having something come out of that box the teacher got that was just for me. We have ordered with our homeschool co-op, too, and I love the prices.

Pom Pom said...

I still order many, many Scholastic books from the book order leaflets. I shall pass them out the first day of school. That Darn Cat was a fine piece of cinematography.

Heather said...

I secretly thrill over the scholastic flyers my kids bring home. They are as nostalgic to me as the smell of #2 pencils.

"Chop wood, carry water" is what I say...I am sure cleaning toilets is a little hope of zen, too.

Amanda said...

The battle over electronic entertainment has ruined so much of summer for me. And yet the kids have done plenty of other playing, swimming, biking, chores...the days are so long! I truly wish I could throw away the PS3. But then I wouldn't get to sleep in while they silently battle each other on the screen!

Angela said...

And here I am with my eyes on the screen when I should really have my head in the toilet,my arms in the sink and my nose to the grindstone!
But Beloved has just gone off to enjoy the Last Day Of His Holiday with a long ride on the motorbike, so I am just going to potter about doing housework Very Slowly [I will switch this PC off soon, and begin. I will, I REALLY will!!!]