This is how long my children have off from school for their holiday break. If your kids don't go to public school here in Los Angeles, I'll bet your jaw just dropped to the ground.
As a child, I don't remember being home for anything for three weeks - unless it was to recover from the chicken pox...or mono. What the h-ll am I supposed to do with my kids for three weeks? It's just not fair. To the children, I mean...
As the holiday season rolls around every year, all the moms and dads at our school look at each other with masked smiles as they help out with classroom holiday parties and paint scenery for the school concert. "Oh yes...we're very excited about the holidays."
"We're going to my sister's in San Diego for Christmas." one friend tells me, trying to sound optimistic - the furrow in her brow betrays her. That should keep her kids busy for, like, two days.
Lots of facilitites around town offer what they call "Winter Camp" - an activity filled alternative to the hours of television and Nintendo DS that would no doubt otherwise occupy their time. But my kids don't want any piece of that. "We're on vacation" they remind me.
Sure I'm a "Stay at Home" mom, but that doesn't mean I want my children to "stay at home" with me. I have a life! And I can't live it with three children hanging around the house fighting with each other and bugging me every five minutes to say "We're bored. Let's do something fun."
I throw out a few ideas. "I have an idea...let's go to the gym! They have a babysitting room and I'm sure they'll let you watch movies or something." The horrified look on their faces suggests this idea is not going to fly. "NOOOOOO!!!!!" they shout in their first unified statement of the vacation.
"How about we make popcorn?"
"Let's ride bikes."
I try to get clever. "Why don't you clean your rooms?"
"NOOOOOOOOOOOwaaahh!" The "waaahh" tacked on to emphasize that this line of thinking is unacceptable.
I'm at a loss.
In the past week they've been to Arrowhead, had playdates, sleepovers, made beaded necklaces, played cards and even went on an impromptu trip to Disneyland (a desperate move on my part to show how "exciting" I can be). And I still have two more weeks yawning out before me. I'm running out of ideas...and patience.
So with no new toys left to open, friends out of town, and a bad case of cabin fever already setting in, the song "Let it Snow" keeps playing through my mind and I've made up my own lyrics:
"Oh the fighting inside is frightful...
and my daughter's feeling spiteful,
friends are gone and the schools are closed....
Make them go,
Make them go,
Make them gooooo!"