By the fourth day of vacation the novelty has worn off. It snows heavily in the morning so things start out well:
“As soon as your room is picked up, you’ve brought your laundry down, you’ve emptied your bit of the dishwasher, dressed and eaten, THEN you may go out and play in the snow.”
Fresh snow is a great motivator. Young children can be persuaded to accomplish a lot in short order for the treat of making the first marks in a new and uncharted wonderland. One would think they were making the first footprints on the moon.
It lasts about ten minutes. Then that novelty is gone. I have banned all electronic media till sundown. My husband, after a traumatic early morning dental appointment, hides under covers till 4pm when the media restriction is lifted. My oldest has barricaded herself in her room to finish college applications. Second oldest has taken up knitting and threatens anyone who approaches her with knitting needles and a replica of Dr. Who’s sonic screwdriver. The two younger boys are literally bouncing off the walls and reciting their favorite bits of profane standup comedy routines over and over at top volume.
Having eaten a nutritious lunch of carmel nut clusters and fruit jellies I pile the boys into the car and go to the rec-center. I take a class that leaves me feeling half dead but virtuous while the boys play air hockey. Then we all go swimming. Playing in water, splashing each other, racing down the water slide - the stress is literally washed away. Before we go I run them around the indoor track until I can tag them from behind, just for good measure. This takes about a quarter mile to accomplish.
We return home to the smell of vegetable soup, and I silently bless the name of the inventor of the crockpot. Fairy lights have taken over the living room. We light candles, the kids work a puzzle. We eat soup and after dinner we gather round the computer to watch clips of our favorite stand up comedians on youtube. As I tuck in the boys I hear them reciting their favorite bits and that will be funny until about 10am tomorrow.