Can you smell that? It’s your kids. It’s barely spring but they already smell like BO and cheesy feet. That’s because summer vacation is coming! You know, that idyllic time when parents are home with the kids and the kids never close the door so you have flies in the house. So it’s you and the kids and the flies and a $25 a day ice cream habit. Just you and the flies and the kids and the ice cream weight gain and that one day when everything goes perfectly and things pan out the way you expected. Summer vacation is going to be just great, what with this one perfect day and the other 80 days that will break you.
Grab your anxiety meds, mommas, summer vacation is coming and it’s time to panic:
Sunscreen is now on sale at the warehouse stores. Remember, if you don’t buy it now, you can’t misplace it in June and have to run to the drugstore to pay three times as much for the same bottle of SPF 30. But your kids have probably already burned on that one hot and sunny day in March, so really, what’s the point?
2. Bug spray
Coat them in pesticides or risk them getting mosquito-borne illnesses? JK, you won’t even remember to spray them. Save your money for mosquito bite creams and save your panic for worrying if those bites they can’t stop scratching are going to leave a scar.
3. Bathing suits, kids
They were on sale in, oh, February. Didn’t snag one? You’ll have to pay twice as much and order online, because the stores only have one size left and it’s the wrong one. You could make your middle schooler wear one of your suits, but it’s better if she doesn’t hate you for the next six years.
4. Bathing suits, yours
Soon you’ll have to put a bathing suit on and the exercise plan you were supposed to start in January was replaced by the eating plan called “Girl Scout Cookies.” It’s too late for diet and exercise, time for panic and cute cover-ups.
You don’t have enough. Just been to Costco? WHO CARES? Go back. How much did you get? GET MORE. Because summer has one thing the rest of the seasons don’t: neighborhood kids raiding your pantry on the daily.
Right, your car is packed with snacks from Costco, where are you gonna put all those juice pouches? But you’ll need them, because if yours is the only house handing out cups of water when the gang rolls through, don’t be surprised if yours is the only house with toilet papered trees come Halloween. Kids are short, their memories are long; plan your bribes accordingly.
7. Outdoor play
Someone’s gonna want to take the training wheels off this summer. Start planking now to strengthen your core so that you can spend hours hunched over an unwieldy person on a small, wobbly bike. While planking, make a list of the other outdoor things you’ll need: sidewalk chalk, bubbles, balls, frisbees, kites, and a nanny.
Summer camps are the hallmark of childhood, memory-making, and why you’ll spend 25 hours a week in the car. What you can afford you can’t book because it’s already full. What isn’t full you can’t schedule because of conflicts. What you can schedule your kids will say, “I hate that mom, OMG I HATE IT.” Take a deep breath and remember this summer camp Irish blessing: May your kid’s lunchbox be packed the night before and the damp swimsuit he brings home not be forgotten in the back seat of your car.
There’s booking the vacation (Did you wait too long to reserve? Enjoy the only available cabin at Lake Itchywanna, it doesn’t have indoor plumbing.) And there’s paying for souvenirs ($157 on keepsake shot glasses!?). Nothing sucks the fun out of vacation like planning one. Don’t forget the $500 worth of dollar store items for the kids to fight over during the road trip/flight. Vacations: What doesn’t kill you makes you $2,500 in debt.
Take heart and remember to hydrate, parents. Summer eventually ends, right in time to start panicking about school supplies and school clothes and homework.
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