Lessons Learnt From The Summer

I don’t get tired of writing posts about summer. For starters, it makes me feel like it’s not over yet. Obviously, I’m gonna reach a point where reminiscing about summer while it’s snowing mountain-high outside will seem ridiculous. But my daughter has been reading Christmas books for the past two months and singing “Jingle Bells” every morning, so our house standards are pretty low when it comes to being sensible.

Secondly, you have to admit: summer is a great learning time. During the year, you’re expected to learn stuff. You either go to school, or work, you meet people, you get all these experiences and for sure, some of them make you grow as a person. But in the summer, none of that nonsense applies. There’s no homework, no routine, no nothing. And yet, the learning never stops. It’s a different kind of learning. It feels more practical, more hands-on type of stuff that will stick with you for the rest of your life.

Take camp for example. What have you learnt this summer? That your kids need to go to camp! And how did you learn it? By not sending them. Will you make that mistake again? Nonononononono! In fact, we’re only in September and you’ve already booked a full ten weeks of fun for next year. Who said you were not organized? You finally understand  why parents don’t spend the summer “relaxing” with their kids. After spending three months hoping to make at least one of them semi-happy and failing miserably, you get it. There’s nothing relaxing about trying to entertain trolls whose sole ambition is to wind one another up, or gang together against you to obtain as much screen time as humanely possible. The thing is, you got that after day three, but you still had to suffer for three months. I guess you can say the lesson really sank in well. That’ll teach you.

Another thing you’ve learnt is that camping is rubbish. To be fair, you knew that already. But you were kinda hoping that with all the technology progress that the world is making, camping’s gonna follow the movement and soon, you’ll be sitting in your remotely operated indestructible and fully air-conditioned electronic tent, with your fully equipped kitchen, your five star bed, covered with fresh silk sheets, luxury bathroom with a hot tub, surfing the internet on your wifi, and watching all the sports channels. Honestly, if that’s really what you’re hoping for, why bother going camping in the first place?

Anyway, don’t answer that, because camping is still the same miserable, horrible experience. You still can’t pitch this insanely complicated tent, dinner is cold and consists of uncooked can food – provided you remembered the can opener. Otherwise, dinner is just looking at the bloody cans. You stink because you can’t shower. Speaking of things you can’t do, you can’t sleep either, the air mattress has a hole, it’s cold and nature is so noisy at night.

But why are you so surprised? Any activity that requires you to fit such a huge sleeping bag into such a tiny space, has got to be bad news . . .


So yeah, camping is definitely off the list. As Dave Barry says, “Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business. ”

Armed with what you’ve learnt this summer, I suppose you won’t be trying camping with kids next year. If you are, please keep a diary and send me a daily mail. That would be my blog posts covered for a while . . .



The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

Yesterday, when I went to bed, I told my husband, “Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life”. To which he answered, “Whatever you say, hun”

I get why he is skeptical. Other than being English, he’s also heard me say this on many occasions, and it turned out that the rest of my life was no different from the day before the first day of the rest of my life.

But this year, he should give me more credit. I have a plan. From now on, I will get up early, do 20 minutes of gym, get the kids ready for school with no drama, no late arrival, and no shoe missing. School drop off will no longer be dramatic, or chaotic and once I am done, I will be poised and relaxed. I meant what I wrote a few weeks ago: fall resolutions are here to stay.

That was the theory anyway. Here is what really happened on the first day of school.

I woke up super early. So far, so good. Then my husband hit the snooze button so I went back to sleep for 10 minutes. Which was okay, really, because if I’m going to exercise everyday, 20 minutes is an overkill. I’m sure 10 is plenty. When I eventually got up, 20 minutes later, there was no time for exercising. But I read somewhere that you need to give your muscles a rest so it’s not such a bad thing. Mine have been resting for a few weeks months now, so what’s one more day?

I got kid 1 up and dragged him down the stairs for breakfast. We made it to the bus stop in time, with no drama, all necessary clothes on, and I think he even had his own backpack. Then we waited for the bus. And waited. And waited. Eventually, when it showed up, it was 20 minutes late. So I had to run back to the house, screaming hysterically at kid 2 and kid 3 to get up, GET UP, GET UP!! while I put the oven on to prepare kid 3’s lunch. With 20 minutes stolen from the morning routine, we had to make sacrifices and decided that luxurious things like showers and breakfast needed to be postponed by 24 hours. I hurried both kids in  the car and drop kid 2 a little late. But nothing happens on the first day, right? So no big deal. When I drove back home to finish kid 3’s lunch, my fire alarm was screaming because I had forgotten the chicken nuggets inside the oven. Oops. . .


Thankfully, I had a couple of donuts left from yesterday. Donuts are great. They make a perfect breakfast AND lunch. At least, that’s what I told my daughter when she looked at me funny. We finally showed up at her school just when the bell was ringing. By then I was sweating like mad from all the dashing and running, stressed up like crazy, and really, really upset with the way this day had started.

So I did the only sensible thing there is to do in such a situation: I went on the internet and surfed for like-minded people wit crazy mornings. And I found this gem! So today really IS the beginning of the rest of my life, because I am not alone anymore . . .


Ten Reasons Why A Mom’s Birthday Is Unique?

Nothing beats a birthday. Nothing. The excitement, the surprises, the Feeling-Like-A-Queen experience that comes with being the Birthday Girl, do you remember?

Of course you don’t. You’re a mom. And a mom’s birthday is out of this world, but for very different reasons. Here are ten unique features:

  1. You don’t want it to be your birthday. In fact, you’re pretty sure there must be a mistake. Because your last birthday was less than a year ago, so how come there’s another one already?
  2. You’ve asked everybody to stop wishing you your birthday. It reminds you of getting older, kids growing up, and that’s just plain depressing. Of course, nobody listens to you and they all go, “Happy Birthday!” on your Facebook wall, so the people who didn’t know it was your birthday (and that might include you) can rub it in your face.
  3. The only person who does as you wish and forgets about your birthday is your husband. He is also the only one who isn’t supposed to. You’re not trying to be difficult or anything, but you were kinda hoping that as you grew older, the presents would get bigger. You’re not shallow and materialistic, but it’s your birthday for crying out loud!
  4. Hubby forgetting is bad enough in itself, but it also means that if you want a birthday cake to blow JUST A COUPLE of candles with your kids, you’ll have to go and buy it yourself. Mmmm, you wonder what you’re going to surprise yourself with this year – maybe chocolate cake?
  5. The only people who seem genuinely excited about your birthday are your kids. They want to throw a big party and shower you with presents. You have to drive them to the mall, so they can buy you a surprise gift that you must pay for. Then you go home, wrap your surprise present, because they insist that even though you know what it is, it wouldn’t be a birthday present if it wasn’t wrapped. They don’t care that you have to drive back to the mall (by yourself this time, as they can’t be bothered) and buy wrapping paper. Twice, because the first one you brought back didn’t say, “Happy Birthday” on it. Once you have wrapped your own present, you need to hide it so you can’t find it – some family rituals are really stupid . . .
  6. You also need to remind your kids to write their surprise cards to you before they go to bed. Let’s hope that you remembered to buy the surprise cards when you went out to get the wrapping paper.
  7. On the day, the kids wake you up at 5am because they can’t wait to give you your surprise cards, and surprise present, and look at the surprise on your face – did I mention it was a surprise?
  8. After a lot of “Wow” and “Greaatttt!!”, they insist that you put the exact amount of candles on the cake. Otherwise, it’s not like a birthday cake. You need to keep them focussed on the task as they lose count – it’s that many candles! Except for your littlest one, who proceeds on counting up to one hundred. You’re not quite sure whether she’s just showing off her math skills, or she genuinely thinks you’re that old.
  9. Everybody sings “Happy Birthday”, the one where you live in a zoo. Then your husband thinks he is being funny and goes, “Are you one? Are you two?” and all the kids join in. You cringe but say nothing. Everybody loses interest after “Are you twenty five?” because it takes so bloody long. But don’t fool yourself, nobody thinks you’re twenty five.
  10. Finally, after you cleared up the mess in the kitchen because the Birthday Fairy didn’t show up yet again, its time for bed. You won’t have to go through that for another 364 days.

Happy Birthday Moms, wherever you are!