My parenting responsibilities always require that I go into overdrive during the summer months. School is out which means no set schedule, late night television viewing and unfettered access to junk food.
This also means many more opportunities for my crew of three to fight, argue and basically drive me crazy.
As parents, we each have our own coping mechanism, and mine is to institute competitive games.
Write It Down
Write It Down was born after my receiving 28 text messages, eight calls and six voicemails, all within a span of 30 minutes in court AFTER I told my children... "I'm in court, stop bothering me!"
Upon my return to the office, "Write It Down" was born.
Your sister calls you a name...write it down.
Your brother pushes you...write it down.
Your dog chews your favorite pair of shoes...write it down.
For extra game points you may also videotape them committing the unconscionable act.
When I get home, I will review the evidence and institute the appropriate punishment.
Upon hearing of the game, my middle child went off, "You can't change the rules in the middle of the day!" Apparently, she was concerned. My youngest, on the other hand, went to town....writing it down!
I Find It Offensive
So as we sat in the Atlanta airport, 24 hours after missing our first flight, angry, hungry, and smelly... I came up with another game.
Each of my crew was given $100 by their grandmother to use for their summer trip. Each of my crew had, in said 24-hour period, insulted a sibling at least 24 times. Each insult required 72 times that I had to stop what I was doing to tell them to... "stop it!"
The rules of "I Find It Offensive" are quite simple.
If you insult, ignore or irritate your sibling and I find it offensive, you must give $5 of your $100 to the offending party. You can try earn money back from whomever you offended... but that's an almost impossible level of the game to reach. And if you harass me about the $5, you have to give me $10.
My eldest decided the only way she would survive vacation would be to become a mute. Which I found offensive!
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We Are Now Juicing
Summer is my favorite time to get healthy. Summer is my only time to get healthy. And by MY, I mean WE. As a family. Get healthy.
Last summer it was a short-lived garden followed by a CSA membership. This year we are on Level 2 of this game.
We are juicing.
I bought a juicer and filled a grocery basket with kale, spinach, oranges, lemons, apples, celery, cucumbers and ginger.
Thereafter, I proceeded to chop up the entire cart, turned it into juice, poured five tall glasses and insisted we all play my new game. Brody refused, Neill gagged, Zoe complained, Madison sipped and I... am no longer juicing.
Liquid kale is not a fun game!
Math Tutoring In The Comfort Of Your Home
Amazing what a little ingenuity can accomplish. It came to me after another barrage of calls that had to do with a list of chores that couldn't possibly be accomplished in an eight-hour day while sitting by the pool.
Every year I attempt to enroll my crew in math tutoring, only to be thwarted by the fact I can't get three kids to their various math classes, swim classes, soccer classes, tennis classes... you get the picture. This year, however, twin tutors are making math house calls, four hours a week, in the comfort of my home, for the benefit of my lovely children.
To read more of Angel or Becky's columns go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com or www.wilsonpost.com.