Friday, June 26, 2009

My Own Private Hell...

...begins today.

Yup, today is the official start of Summer Vacation. Altogether more than 9 weeks of glorious togetherness for me and my horrible children.

Oh, the bickering! Oh, the boredom! Oh, the unceasing demands for popsicles and change for the convenience store! Oh, the futility of trying to get Firstborn out of his jim-jams and into clothes every day!

I go into each summer with a vague sense of dread, the joy of not having to get up in the morning for more than two months tempered by the realization that my kids are now mine to deal with. This dread is usually amplified by the impending arrival of my stepsons, and often the older one's girlfriend and various buddies who also come out for a couple weeks.

Between my recent separation from my soon-to-be ex, and school issues with the boys, they won't be coming out this summer. I'm bummed, because I love them and miss them, but at the same time, I'm relieved that my first summer as a single parent won't be complicated by fourteen+ hour round trips to pick them up at the airport, finding room for them to sleep in my tiny house, and dealing with all the mayhem that accompanies their visits.

And now that my youngest has decided he doesn't hate the water, I'll be able to send him and his sister to the pool on nice days (nice being defined as warmer than freezing with winds slightly less than hurricane force), and the park IS just across the street. Firstborn will likely plug in the moment he gets up this morning, and stay attached to his computer for the full nine weeks. If he thought he could get away with it, he'd get a feeding tube and a catheter to pee through so he'd never have to get up. I console myself with the fact that he's doing actual, real constructive stuff on there--he's got an animation hobby and some of his scenes are pretty damn good. He's as obsessively fastidious with it as I am with my writing, and as lazy about everything else in mother, like son.

But still, I am now outnumbered in my own personal fiefdom, and after a week or two of freedom, the serfs, they get restless. Time to hide the pitchforks.


Cathy in AK said...

We've been on summer break for a month and by some miracle we are all still alive and sane. Mostly.

Your Firstborn sounds like mine. She would work on her favorite fanfiction and plays Sims all day if I didn't threaten her with NO computer time unless she goes outside. DD #2 is better about engaging in other than plugged in entertainment. They do have more organized activities scheduled and friends to see, but a lot of folks are gone or going away on vacation. Sigh. I gues *I'll* have to do something with them... : )

kirsten saell said...

Sigh. I gues *I'll* have to do something with them... : )

See, now, that's a defeatist attitude right there, lol. Me, I refuse to spend quality time with them! When they get truly crazy-making, I'll force them out into the yard with me to cut grass and pull weeds, bwahaha! A little back-breaking labor and they'll know to make themselves scarce.

As for outdoor time, I do make Firstborn take Blammo out every now and then. Park-time counts as outside, even if he's just sitting on a bench whining about all the stuff he'd rather be doing. But he doesn't go out if I don't make him. His best friend lives a five minute walk away, and the two of them didn't share the same physical space for the whole summer last year. IM has a lot to answer for...

And it's to be hoped their dad follows through on the three days there, four days here thing. If he does, I might be able to get some writing done this summer. That would be a refreshing change...

Cathy in AK said...

My girls have learned not to complain about boredom because yes, a yard full of work (dog poo patrol tops the list) or their disaster-area bedrooms await such utterances. I'm guilty of being plugged in/less attentive but they usually keep unruliness between them to a minimum. Fights disrupting my concentration are resolved with a shovel and a plastic bag ; )

Oh, I love mini vacations away from the kids. So nice not to be Mom for a few days.

kirsten saell said...

Oh, I love mini vacations away from the kids. So nice not to be Mom for a few days.

Oh, hell yeah. When the kids hit grade five here, they go on a one week school trip to camp, and I've seen parents actually cry when they see the bus off. I just have no concept of how those parents' minds work, lol. I'm dancing a freaking jig as the bus drives off!

Same with those women who are all "If he doesn't pay his child support, he is NOT seeing his kids!" Um, dude, TAKE THEM! I don't care about the money, just get them away from me for a few days before my head goes all explody!

Mothers who can't stand letting their kids go away for a few days have got something wrong in the head, I swear. Or the most cooperative, quiet, tidy, best-behaved kids ever...

MB (Leah) said...

I know every woman who has kids says they wouldn't change that for the world. But right about now I'm kind of glad I never bred. :)

Good luck Kirsten... :)

It's only a couple of months and life will get back to normal.

kirsten saell said...

It's only a couple of months and life will get back to normal.

Well, as "normal" as it gets around here, anyway...

Thanks Leah. :)

laughingwolf said...

hey k... it does get [a bit] better once they leave the nest ;) lol

older daughter [yup, the other k] got her master's, so will do well from now on... younger, and son, still trying to figure out who they are

a week ago wednesday got my new pup, so tons of time needed to get him properly housebroken, he's all of 9 weeks old :O

have a good'un :)

laughingwolf said...

oh yeah, grats on the july release, too :)

kirsten saell said...

a week ago wednesday got my new pup, so tons of time needed to get him properly housebroken, he's all of 9 weeks old :O

OMG, I so would not want to go through the puppy thing again. When Slip died in January, I knew the kids would want another dog, and being a single mom, I kind of wanted one, too. Just feels more secure. We were so lucky to have George fall in our laps. Three years old, housebroken, mostly trained and very well-behaved. Stays off the furniture, too.

oh yeah, grats on the july release, too :)

Thanks, Laughingwolf! It's a busy summer for me--two print releases and an e-release in June, July and August. Oy.

Amy C said...

My son just started his summer vacation also. Thursday was his last day of school. I think this is going to be a decent one though. Now that he's older, he can go off on his bike to the park with his friends!! He actually spent the night at a friends last night. Me and the hubby liked that idea ;).

kirsten saell said...

Now that he's older, he can go off on his bike to the park with his friends!!

Well, we're off to a lovely start. A friend of mine popped into work last night to tell me she'd seen my daughter and her two friends, and my youngest--who were supposed to be playing at the park only--across the street in the churchyard, using the nine foot ladder from my carport to scale the maple tree next to the church.

Needless to say, I was furious, and my friend went and told Daughter and Blammo to GO HOME NOW. When I got home, we had a lonnng talk--after I cleaned up the spilled varnish and broken glass that got knocked down when Daughter dragged the ladder back without any help from her "good friends". Oy, those two girls. Both Daughter and Blammo said it was the other girls who went and grabbed the ladder while they were in the churchyard getting their ball out of the bushes. And Daughter was smart enough to not let Blammo climb up it, thank god. But it seems every time those two girls are over, they get my kids into trouble.

I come home to find my dog barking and barking (she hates those girls with a passion), and the house a mess, so I tell Daughter NO friends in the house. So a couple nights later I come home to find the yard a mudhole and the siding soaked (probably underneath, too), the hose still on and an inch of water on the concrete under my balcony, and my table-saw wet (and the poor dog going nuts). So I tell Daughter no kids allowed in the yard when I'm not home. Then I come home to find Blammo covered in scratches because they talked Daughter into going to buy a $2 kite and hiking to a park on the edge of town (cougars and bears are a problem here), dragging Blammo with them, and then sending him through a bank of salmon berry bushes (major thorns) to retrieve the kite. Oh, and they bought marshmallows and built a fire on a public beach (illegal) with no adult supervision, to roast them--ALL without me being aware that they were not safe at home!

Blammo told me the first time Daughter told them they couldn't come inside because I wasn't home, their response was "So?"

They have no rules. Their parents don't give a shit. They leave the house at 7 AM and don't come back until after dark (which is past ten here in the summer), or at all sometimes, and their parents don't worry about whether they've eaten or where they are and when they don't come home they just figure, "Oh, guess they're sleeping over at someone's house..." They're only 11 and 12, for fuck sake! What the fuck!?

Still, they're the type who would take me to court so fast and sue me for every dime I've ever made or ever will make if one of their kids, say, fell off my fucking ladder and broke her neck. Just think of all the beer and cigarettes and pot a multimillion dollar judgment would buy them!

On top of that, the girls have chronic problems with headlice, they don't bathe and often wear the same clothes for days, or even weeks. I won't have them in my house because I refuse to have them sitting on my furniture. And now I've had to tell Daughter that she is no longer allowed to play with them AT ALL. EVER.

Next time they come around, I'll be telling them they're not welcome. Sigh.

kirsten saell said...

So then they come by today, and I tell them they can't play with Rachel because of the ladder thing. And they tell me, "It wasn't our idea. She told us to go get the ladder. It's her fault." Nice.

Blammo swears up and down that Daughter asked them to get the little plastic footstool next to the garbage cans, and they came back dragging the ladder instead. And then left her to put it away all by herself.

I told them it doesn't matter whose fault it is, just that every time Daughter spends time with them she gets into trouble, so that's it. Over.

Waiting for the angry phone call from their mother, demanding to know why I'm being mean to her daughters...

MB (Leah) said...

Whoa! Now I'm really glad I didn't breed. LOL

You really have your hands full. And it's hard because they are at THAT age.

Hang in there. Hopefully your daughter will find another friend to have fun with. Those other girls don't sound like "real" friends.

Cathy in AK said...

Kirsten, I totally agree with your decision to keep those girls away from your daughter and your home. No good can come from kids like that. And yeah I blame the parents. How can you not care what time your 11 or 12 y.o. wanders home??? There's allowing your kids freedom, giving them a chance to be independent thinkers, and then there's parental neglect and sheer stupidity.

Too bad we don't live closer My 12 y.o. daughter is a good kid ; )

kirsten saell said...

Thanks, guys.

Hang in there. Hopefully your daughter will find another friend to have fun with. Those other girls don't sound like "real" friends.

It sucks for her, because she had four really good friends who lived close enough to be an easy walk, and they all moved out of town in the last year. She's got a couple of buddies from school--but the highschool services a bunch of communities, some across the water, some an hour's drive away. She doesn't really have anyone in town to hang with. And the kids her age who live on our street are...let's just say their parents aren't the greatest.

Poor kid. Lucky she and Firstborn are only a year apart, so they like to do some stuff together.

How can you not care what time your 11 or 12 y.o. wanders home??? There's allowing your kids freedom, giving them a chance to be independent thinkers, and then there's parental neglect and sheer stupidity.

Oh, they're an absolute mess. They've just had their car and truck repoed and are on the brink of filing for bankruptcy, but I still see them coming out of the liquor store with armloads of beer, and they both smoke like chimneys. In the States, that's not such a huge thing, but here, where a six-pack of cheapo beer is over ten bucks and cigarettes are $85/carton? You can easily spend more on cigarettes than groceries if both parents smoke.

And yeah, they just don't seem to really care about their kids. I know the younger one missed more than three weeks of school in March--but she was knocking on our door every other day during that time. Who doesn't insist their 10 y/o go to freaking school?

The teachers at the school have reported neglect, but nothing's been done yet, and I don't expect anything to happen, really. Unless the kids are walking around with bruises, CFS won't take them away.


Tiah said...

I would welcome a phone call from their parents so I could give them the what for on their parenting. They won't stay mad long, when their buzz wears off they won't remember.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I hear you. I have my two little girls and man are they a handful during the summer.

Mom, I'm hungry.
Mom, I'm bored.
Mom, I want to go to the park.
Mom, I have to pee.
Mom, Sofie's pulling my hair.

The list goes on and on. Ahhhh....the joys of it all.

But I look at it this way, if my mom made it, so can I, lol. ;)

Have a great summer Kirsten! Only a few more weeks to The Chancellor's Bride!!

kirsten saell said...

Hehe, Barbara, you have no idea how many times my parents have said, with an evil smirk, "The chickens have come home to roost."

Lately it's been:

"Mom, Blammo won't stop looking at me! Make him go away!"
"Mom, Firstborn is hogging the computer again!"
"Mom, there's nothing to eat! Would it kill you to go shopping?"
"Awww! Why should I have to take Blammo to the park?!!"
"I refuse to get stuck on garbage detail again!" (this from the one who leaves the most wrappers and slushie cups around the house.)

And the topper, from Firstborn: "I thought we were done with all the yard-work two summers ago!!"

Um, yeah, the heavy landscaping, yes, but the maintenance? I mean, does he think the grass cuts itself?

Best thing about being separated is I can send them to their dad's. Sad thing is, even when he only has them on Sunday afternoons, he spends more time with them nowadays than he did when he was living in the house with us. :\

And hey, if you're interested in a sneak peek of Collin/Harral action, I'll be posting a scene tomorrow for July's Summer Reading Trail. Some m/m sexual tension, and some f/f(/m) action, and you won't find this particular scene anywhere else for a lonnnng time... :)