I'm ready for the kids to go back to school. I want my kids to go back to school. I NEED my kids to go back to school.
It's not that I don't love them. It's just that I don't entirely like them very much...at least not right now.
Every morning for the past four weeks since we've been home from our trip to New York, my kids have come into my room, jumped on my sleeping head, shaken my snoozing body and said "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy??? What are we doing today?!"
Usually they were happy with my answer. Sometimes I'd say "You all have playdates." Or, "We're going swimming." Or, "Ben has a playdate and the girls are going to come school shopping at the mall with me." Over the course of the summer we went to the beach, we picked fruit, we visited friends, we saw family, we hit museums and parks and ice cream shops and even the car wash. All of these things were greeted with varying degrees of enthusiasm depending on how much each child assumed they'd get out of the activity.
But there was one reply I threw out there occasionally that consistently elicited an equally horrified response from all three children. "We're not going anywhere. We're staying home."
"HOOOOOOOOOMMMMMEEEE!?? But MOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!! We don't want to stay HOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMEEEE! Home is BOOOOOOORRRRRING!!
For the record, home is definitely NOT boring. How do I know this? I am the one who shelled out the money for all of their toys, video games and American Girl Doll crap precisely so they would not be bored. I responded to pleas of "Can I have it?" and "I'll play with it all the time!" by purchasing these items my children swore would entertain them at home. I set aside an entire room and filled it with these toys, and hundreds of other brain-building activities, art projects and items that were guaranteed by toymakers to be "hours of fun"!
But what do I hear? "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM...we wanna GO somewhere!"
It's remarkable to me that they don't realize that all we do is "go somewhere". We spend all year running around to gymnastics practices, karate lessons and art classes. There are endless errands to run, trips to the market, and doctor's appointments. We are never home.
And I love to be home. Isn't that why I pay rent? What's wrong with being home? We have toys, art supplies, clean bathrooms? That's more than I can say for the beach. We have sprinklers, Direct TV and an endless supply of chips. That sounds good to me.
But it doesn't to my kids.
So today, on our last day before returning to school, I am going to indulge their request to "go somewhere" for one last time this summer. We'll probably hit the mall and go for frozen yogurt and do numerous other things where chips and clean bathrooms are not readily available.
I'll spend one more day listening to them whine, complain and fight with each other. We'll avoid "home" like the plague because it's their last day of summer and that's what they want to do.
But tomorrow, after I wave goodbye to them from the other side of the school fence and they march off to their first day of classes, I'll head back to my empty home and enjoy my silent heaven. I'll eat chips and use my clean bathroom and enjoy the home I've worked so hard to create.
At least until I have to go to the market.