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the cruelest month

It’s late August, and my will to live is pretty tapped.

Why so down, you ask? Because I’ve been having fun with my boys while they are out of school. Doin’ boy stuff. I love boy stuff. But multiple consecutive days of boy stuff will leave you drained of all energy, turning you into a pale carcass devoid of blood and discernable life force. At this point, Tom and I are like two undead zombies, shuffling aimlessly through the rooms of our house and occasionally walking headfirst into a wall. Yesterday, I stepped on a Lego (a windshield piece, which will cut you like a mofo) and I didn’t even feel it.

So how’d we get here? Hubris. I thought I could do all that kid stuff, collect some blog fodder on the way, and return to work tan and refreshed. But everything we planned ended up being so much harder than expected. Like fishing. What could be easier than lake fishing on a warm summer’s day? Well, if a toddler is involved, I can think of a few things that are easier, like deboning a raw chicken with a butter knife, or catching a fly with chopsticks. Tom and Finn had big plans for the trip, with their fishing rods and their worms. Tate and I were unwanted from the get go, even before we got to the lake and Tate started making more noise than a charging rhino.


Who knew that silence was so integral to fishing? Everything Tate did, made noise. He wanted to touch everything in the tackle box and rattle the tackle around. He wanted to splash in the water where Finn had cast his line. He wanted to throw rocks. I finally resorted to distracting him with food and set him on the bank with a bag of Cheetos. You know where this is going. I have never heard anyone eat anything so loudly in my entire life. Who knew those little teeth could crunch so hard? We all flinched with Tate’s every bite, while the fish all fled to the opposite side of the lake. Poor Tom and Finn. No fish were had that day.

Even low key stuff can turn stressful with two boys. Tired of worrying about accidentally drowning Tate in a regular pool, we made our way to a kiddie pool. One foot deep, lots of sun, lounge chairs for Tom and me. Finally, relaxation! For seven minutes that is, until I heard a baby screaming, and looked up to find Finn playing shark and stalking toddlers. The moms of Finn’s victims returned my sheepish smiles with expressions so frosty I’m surprised I didn’t turn to stone. And who can blame them? It was August for them too.


There’s a week of summer left until my kids go back to school. Finn’s in zoo camp and Tate is home with my cousin Lisa, who moved in with us last week. Here’s our text exchange from earlier today.


I should feel bad for her, but all I can say is, better her than me.

17 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wandering Voiceless #

    “For seven minutes that is, until I heard a baby screaming, and looked up to find Finn playing shark and stalking toddlers.”

    Best. Line. Ever.

    Go, Finn!


    September 1, 2012
  2. Love it! Just the laugh I needed.

    August 29, 2012
  3. Your fishing story reminded me of the time I tried to take three under 4 out sledding when we lived in Massachusetts. Dressed in snow suits and boots, undressed for potty break, out the door, to the sled, two crying because of cold, one all excited until he fell off skinning his nose- about the only unexposed bit of flesh he had. Back to the house before leaving the driveway.

    I enjoy your stories- sweet memories!

    August 29, 2012
  4. Bottom line? August is hardest because familiarity breeds contempt. A compressed version happens during every/any school break. The kid emotional arc goes from Ecstatic to Entertained all the way through to the dead end point of Ennui. Every. SIngle. Time.

    August 29, 2012
    • exactly right. the end is worth it, though, for the beginning and middle of the arc

      August 29, 2012
  5. beingbelly #

    The things I have to look forward to! Maybe Roomba will come up with a “Lego Sweeper” for those of us with little boys…

    August 29, 2012
  6. HAHAHAHA!!! I’ve never been quite as busy in my life as these toddler years so far. What do we FEED these kids???

    August 28, 2012
  7. thevirtualrealityofstaci #

    okay I don’t have kids. But one of my friend’s facebook status updates kind of states it all….. “Kids back to school today. I’ve wasted the whole morning and am now going to make a list of important things to accomplish this week. e.g.: trip to Target, morning at Hobby Lobby, rearrange some pictures, paint my toes (or maybe even get them painted!), run 8 errands in just 60 minutes ’cause I don’t have to buckle, unbuckle, negotiate with, threaten, feed, or roll my eyes at anyone.”
    I wish I could be more original but I can’t. I know all my other friends with kids know how you feel and at least now I know my shopping excursions to WalMart (yep there…) will be far more quiet at 9 am on a Saturday.

    August 28, 2012
    • that’s a great status update from you friend. now i want to know what a hobby lobby is. in all seriousness, i envy you your solo 9 am shopping trips. sometimes when the kids are in bed I go to target and just roam

      August 28, 2012
      • thevirtualrealityofstaci #

        Hobby Lobby is like Michaels.

        August 29, 2012
  8. Tami #

    This is why parents have a clock, counting down the minutes till school starts again.

    August 28, 2012
    • the thing is, june starts out great. july can be epic. why is that third month so hard??

      August 28, 2012
  9. Ashleigh #

    Hilarious. Completely brought out of my Tuesday morning frump. Thanks for giving me a laugh.

    August 28, 2012
    • your comment got me out of my own tuesday morning frump

      August 28, 2012
  10. I love reading your stories of your family experience! Keep up the good writing šŸ™‚

    August 28, 2012

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