I had a realization this week that feels obvious when typed out here: it’s impossible for kids to understand what being a parent is like.
I don’t just mean that they are being obstinate or immature. I mean they literally can’t understand. They have no frame of reference for understanding. I’m not sure why that took so long to sink in. And it made me feel better about some of their reactions to (what they see) as my constant, annoying reminders or worrying. All they understand is the outcome. And they don’t often like it. And that’s ok.
Their reactions and inability to understand isn’t their problem. It’s my problem. It’s the burden of parenting. So I just have to Dad-up and deal with it and ask them to empty the dishwasher again, or turn off that light again, or put on their helmet, or go over the flash cards, or give them an embarrassing hug in public one more time.
Even if it’s baffling to them and obvious to me.
Wait, maybe that’s how they feel about glitter?
Week one of Camp Dad is in the books. After a rocky start (by everyone) due the jet lag, we were mostly back to normal by Wednesday. That included our first trips to the pool this year. One thing the girls definitely noticed at the Cefalu beaches were the bikinis. The very tiny bikinis. On everyone. One piece bathing suits were definitely in the minority.
During vacation, after convincing Michelle to get her an appropriate Italian bathing suit at the Termini market, Ally was thrilled to be living the European bikini life. Ce was appropriately horrified (that’s my girl!). Thankfully, we basically convinced Ally that European bikinis are illegal in the US so our pool visits this week were done in appropriate Puritan modesty.
I’ve got enough problems without introducing bikinis at age six.
We made it. Despite synced calendars, a multi-tab spreadsheet and electronic funds transfer, we somehow managed to double book camp last week. That left this week looming with an entire five days to both work and act as cruise director for the kid’s summer enjoyment.
What happened? Nothing. And it was perfect. With a little benign neglect, some help from the grandparents, and a pack of Sculpey clay, the girls made it through the week with only a few moments of whinging boredom.
Cries of boredom were ignored. Unless there was blood. Then I threw a box of Band-Aids down the basement.
Conference calls were taken. Work was done. Less than a case of wine was drunk. I’m calling that a successful week as a summer cruise director.
You might have had plans for sun, fun, waves, ice cream and lobster rolls, but now you are staring down a forecast of storms and showers. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. You are on a summer vacation and the day is a complete rainout. If you don’t have a back up plan, your vacation can quickly turn into bickering, boredom and second guessing.
Here are 11 things you can do with kids on the Cape to salvage that rainy vacation day.
Father’s Day eve was a dishwater gray day, all day. In truth, I don’t mind a drizzly day once in awhile. There’s less pressure to wring every ounce from the day. I take it as a personal invitation to slow down. Mow the lawn tomorrow. Maybe read a book. Definitely take a nap.
These hard-earned nuggets of fatherly wisdom are, of course, lost on my children. They just want me to stop talking in front of the TV and maybe, could you hurry up toasting those Pop-tarts?
What other indignities did I endure yesterday? Let’s find out….