It’s the last week before the school year starts here. So, naturally, everything is shut down. As I like to call it: forced vacation. No summer camps. No preschool. No daycare. Nothing to do but take time off. And spend it at home. With the kids. Which wouldn’t be a big deal. Except that- oh yeah, we just took vacation TWO WEEKS AGO. I’m still catching up from that. So, Dan and I decided to alternate days. One of us goes to work while the other stays home with the kids. Then the next day we swap.
Jacob: It’s a patter-in. Why do kids always add an extra syllable to this word? Jacob: . . . Daddy, Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy, Mommy . . . Something like that. Monday I had the kids. Jacob had been pining to spend some time at his favorite local arts-and-crafts-type place. This place is run by lovely people. Who clearly have terrible judgment. In short: they ran a program all week in which parents could DROP OFF THEIR CHILDREN and said children were fed and entertained. While also having at the arts supplies. Of course, before I just left my five-year-old there, I asked the owner several probing questions to make sure that this would be a safe, quality experience for my child. Questions like “SERIOUSLY?” And, “Don’t you think you’re undercharging for this?” Jacob had the time of his life. On the way home Monday, he started his campaign to return on Tuesday. “Ask Daddy, ” I said. “Tomorrow is his day.” Anyway, while Jacob was getting his inner artiste on, Emma and I were all business. Me: Are you ready for a snack, Emmie? Emma: ‘MOOOTHIE. We hit the nearest smoothie shop. Fifteen minutes later Emma’s tummy was easily three times its original size and sloshing around like a water balloon. Emma: Mommy- DAT!! She wanted a muffin too. But no time for muffins. We had some serious back-to-school shopping to do. My children currently have nothing to wear once the temperature dips below 65 degrees. And apparently the local schools frown upon children showing up naked after the first frost. WHATEVER. So, I took Emma to a nearby clothing store. Where the toddler clothing is conveniently located RIGHT NEXT TO ALL THE TOYS. Awesome. Emma: Mommy, I was DIS. Mommy I want DAT. Mommy, DAT!!! We barely made it out of there. No clothes were purchased. But I’m pretty sure I saw Emma making out her Christmas wish list in the back seat of the car on the way home. (Who’s going to be the one to tell her we don’t celebrate Christmas?) Tuesday, as I mentioned, was Dan’s day. I drove down to Rhode Island for work. Ah, work. You have never been simultaneously so chaotic and so serene. Dan had the kids. He dropped Jacob off at the artist colony. And then set off on his daddy-daughter morning with Emma. I’m not sure of all of the details. But I know they ended up having lunch at a Lebanese restaurant that Dan has been wanting to try. Because nothing says child-friendly cuisine like skewers of cute animals on a stick. Dan: She loved the grilled cheese! It was actually a block of cheese. Grilled. Anyway, she loved it! Wait. Let me put on my shocked face. I saw my children again around 5 o’clock. They were not wearing the clothing I had dressed them in that morning. HELLS. NO. Jacob was still wearing his pink shark shirt. But he had sat in something at art camp. And now had on a pair of shiny iridescent light blue shorts. They are reversible. I have never bothered turning them inside out. Because . . . oh, right, the inside is SHINY IRIDESCENT LIGHT BLUE. Emma was wearing some grey shorts. And her beloved Elmo top. Sorry, her beloved Elmo PAJAMA TOP. Yes, my child was flitting around in her jamies. (Did I mention that I met up with them in a public place?) And then there are the obsessions. For some reason, this vacation week has inspired both of my children to begin fixating on certain things. Emma (tilting head): Mommy. RAISEH BOCK?? Me: What? Emma (tilting head like owl so that it is almost upside down): Raiseh bock, Mommy? Raiseh bock? What the hell is she saying? Emma: RAISEH. BOCK. MOMMY. Oh. Right. I get her one of those individual-serving-size boxes of raisins. Cue ten minutes of bliss. Followed by another ten minutes of post-raisin contentment. Followed by a request for another raisin box.
And Jacob? He has become obsessed with rainbow loom. Yes, rainbow loom. The craft that turns little colored rubber bands into bracelets. He has made about six of them so far. Most of them have required us to watch a 15 minute video online. And then spend the next half-hour “helping” Jacob make the bracelet. Dan: I’m so glad HE has a new hobby. By which I mean I’m so glad that *I* have a hobby.
A few weeks ago I found out that the kids in Rhode Island (where we used to live) are starting school this week. Before Labor Day. I thought it was cruel. (Starting school while it’s still SUMMERTIME??) I think I’m starting to see the virtue in it. Yes, yes. Yes.