As summer wears on, I figured life would get easier as my children grew older. I was especially looking forward to this summer. At ages of almost 16, almost 13, and 8 ½, surely my three little cherubs could easily entertain themselves and leave me to long hours of peace with very little supervision and heck, some time to even get things done around the house, right?
I hate to break it to you parents of younger kids, they are even worse when they get older! The heathens actually suck up more of your attention and energy, and probably will until well after they leave for college. What have we gotten ourselves into?
Take for example, the high schooler. Chances are more likely than not you will never actually see much of this creature. Initially, you will long for the days when this child was your sweet little baby and you will desire to spend more time with them. Wrong move! The teenager is highly hormonal and needs approached with caution. At this stage it stays up most of the night and likes to sleep until at least noon. Its siblings annoy the daylights out of it, and when it does want your attention, it usually utters the following words “Mom I need a ride!” This could be to work, a sporting event, or to a friend’s house. Despite all of the above, this child may be your favorite compared to the others. At least when they are home, they stay in their room and only come out for the occasional food or pee break.
Speaking of pee breaks, you know how you long for the day where your three-year-old doesn’t follow you to the bathroom anymore? I hate to break it to you, but 13-year-olds do it too. They may not barge right in like they own the place, but they will get as close as they can get to the door and tell on their siblings for everything they did for the exact 30 seconds you dared go upstairs. Note; the eight-year-old is also notorious for pee tattling, and the teenager will attempt it from time to time if they are disturbed by siblings on a food or bathroom run.
And the messes, oh dear Mother Oprah the messes! Just like toddlers and preschoolers try to “help” in the kitchen, older kids think they actually know how to cook. I usually have no issue with my older two making their own food, just turn off the stove and don’t blow anything up. But the issue is they never clean up the mess they leave behind. My kitchen could have been condemned by the health department at least a dozen times since school let out at the beginning of June! Then when they want to help me cook, it usually ends up with dogs eating uncooked spaghetti noodles off of the kitchen floor and a fight over who has to sweep. This is really why there should be a wine truck driving through the neighborhood for moms.
The biggest issue I have is the constant need to be entertained. You can’t leave your baby or toddler alone for a minute, it’s hard to leave older kids alone without a plan either. Part of that is entirely our fault as parents. We have them scheduled so much throughout the school year that when summer rolls around they just look at us like “now what?” My kids got out of school on June 2nd and I got tired of The Disney Channel sometime in the middle of the day on June 4th, so I tried to be the cool mom. I have kids in lessons. I tried to take them places. We have family obligations. If I even try to sit down for a minute, they look at me like I’m a slacker. The youngest especially. If that child isn’t in constant motion we all have a bad day. She’s used to her adoring public at school, and us peasants simply do not compare.
Today I surrendered. I handed my children my precious, my phone. I downloaded a Pokemon app and released them to the wild outside. I did it just so I could get some peace. They gave me 25 minutes.
I’m tired. I’m broke. There’s about 40 days of summer left until school starts. I truly do love my children, but it can’t come fast enough.