For our family, our summer officially ends right now. Tomorrow starts the hectic life of packing lunches, gathering homework, finding socks, checking for underwear (yes, this is a morning activity), enforcing screen time rules, and trying like the dickens to get our kids to bed before nine. We all could use a little structure after so much laziness, but I will miss the decided break from frenzy that summer has provided.
Other than the first month, the boys have pretty much spent the their time lounging around with Alma – they treat her more like an older sister than a nanny and they have all had a fabulous time doing a whole lot of nothing. Sadly, she started school before they did, and we found ourselves in a bit of a quandary this morning. Joe and I couldn’t take the day off after being gone all last week, my mom is in Hawaii for a wedding, our backup nanny just had a baby, our sitters have all started school…..you get the idea.
The only solution is that I worked from home half the day. I am grateful to have this option, as it has not always been the case with my job. But it is not ideal to try and focus with two young boys in the house. I had one conference call at ten, and planned ahead for some quiet. First, I took them out to breakfast, to fend off any possible claims that they might die of hunger during the hour. We went to Scramble, one of our regular breakfast spots.
I love this place for a few reasons.
- It’s not too far a drive but it feels like we’re getting out of the neighborhood.
- They have at least 7 varieties of Cholula. Today I selected chipotle.
- They have wiki sticks for the kids – that is what has Nick’s attention in the above photo.
- Their iced tea is delicious.
- You order at the counter. This is always a bonus with kids because when you’re done you’re done. Waiting for the check/paying the check is my least favorite part of dining out with my monsters.
- The food is so yummy. I had the veggie lovers scramble, without sundried tomatoes. Jack had bacon and potatoes. Nick ordered the pancakes but…
as we sat down Nick announced he wasn’t hungry. This would have been more useful information when we ordered, so I now have that delicious plate of pancakes in my fridge. I don’t force my kids to eat meals, even if they insisted on getting the adult serving that costs twice as much. This is likely an overreaction to my childhood where there was plenty of forced eating.
(The most memorable story is from when I was about Nick’s age actually. I wasn’t feeling well, the family dined out at the Old Spaghetti Factory on Mill Avenue – one of the places that evaporated when new developers decided to revamp Mill into an Applebee’s ghetto – and my dad insisted I finish my dinner. I remember whining that I wasn’t hungry. I remember him being angry. I ate. I got in his prize new pickup with buckskin color seats and carpeting on the floor. I remember puking marinara all over that upholstery. Sometimes it’s good to listen to a kid.)
After breakfast they agreed to get settled and put on The Smurfs. I was skeptical, but I knew my conference call only required me to actually speak about 10% of the time. I just hoped that my 10% aligned with the time my children were quiet and need-free.
I’m happy to report it worked! Mostly. Jack did interrupt once when he walked in the room holding a container of ice cream. He mimed eating with a spoon, and it was really hard not to laugh. I just nodded and waved him away – smart kid.
The next challenge came when I got an instant message from a colleague saying “Hey, you should join this call I’m on, we are talking about one of your projects and have a solution to something.” Right at that moment Nick was running around and screeching that he couldn’t find his loose fit jeans. I found the jeans, told the kids to be quiet again and joined the call.
I finally got to go to work at noon. Alma got here and the kids let the dog out. I waved at them while they chased her down the street.
And so summer comes to a close. Overall the weather has not been bad, considering. Today as I was driving home:
For those of you in other parts of the world, 99 degrees at 5 p.m. is almost chilly for us. (I also thought it was cool that my car has 7777 miles on it. Weird things amuse me.)
(Two photos in the post…just for you Bruno)