Monday, August 30, 2010

Shaking things up a bit

I'm moaning about the eternal American school holidays over at Pond Parleys. I know the 6 weeks that some British schools get is a little on the paltry side, but 3 months?? My kids broke up on June 9th and don't go back till September 10th. Shall we just say that I'm craving some solitude?

Unfortunately, back-to-school time doesn't always make me feel any happier. Apart from the fact that I positively loathe Chicago winters, I also confess to getting a little bored with the endless routine that is term time. You know - yelling at the kids about homework, sports equipment, music practice, or going to bed before midnight. The endless laundry, thinking up dinners that don't threaten the outbreak of WW3, and all that.

Yes, I - along with a few others I'm sure, - am experiencing a bit of ennui.- synonyms include listlessness, tedium, lassitude, languor. Pick one.

Don't worry though - I have plans to shake things up a bit around here. ("Oh no, here she goes with one of her lists."   I can hear you, you know.)

Apart from the threat of removing the Man-Child from his expensive private school if he doesn't get his nose to the grindstone text books, (boot camp perhaps?), the other regime changes for this school year will include:

- every member of the family who ever asked for a dog, taking shared responsibility for its physical and emotional well-being. And poops.

- that will include the Ball & Chain, even though he never actually asked for said dog. However, if dog is purchased for children's enjoyment, it becomes the responsibility of both parents.

- all personal items being taken upstairs every single night. The bench at the front door is not a repository for anything other than baseball caps in the summer, and scarves and gloves in the winter.

- no one eating food outside of the kitchen or the dining room (when we have company). I know it sounds like a draconian measure, but food left on the floor attracts ants, and juice secretly spilled tends to become hard and sticky on the rugs.

- asking permission before borrowing anything of mine (I-phone chargers, tweezers, sneakers/trainers) and PUTTING IT BACK.

There. I feel better already!



  1. Hmmm. Good luck with that - especially the one about taking stuff upstairs. Our entire ground floor (which I admit, is not very big) looks like a playroom most evenings...

  2. ah, motherhood. the experience is so universal...

  3. hmm, sounds like my house at this time of year.
    "New year, new start" is my oft-[not]heard cry. The newness of Autumn term lasts about a week in this house. Good luck!

  4. But does the fam read your blog? Either way, good list.

    I am sad to report that even though the school bus left this morning without my son on it, I'm afraid my days of hounding him about homework are far from over. But now money is involved so there's a distinct possibility I'm going to have to turn up the dial on the nagging.

  5. I like your list.
    I have similar rules in my flat, so no stairs. But even with only one child, I still find that her "stuff" seems to constantly migrate to the couch, a mere stones throw from her bedroom door.
    Whatever am I doing wrong?

  6. "speak softly and carry a big stick."
    Good Luck.


    But I can't just leave them there either. I think I will simply explode when I see them, and cleaning up the mess involved in the aftermath of an exploding mother will make my children all wish they'd picked up their socks in the first place. It'll be too late by then, though.

  8. My battles for this school year:
    (1)having children unpack lunchbags as soon as they get home, though not until they have (2) removed their shoes at the front door. (3) Dirty socks will no longer be left anywhere other than in the laundry basket.

    I think that's more than enough to be getting on with, tho' there are many more battles to be fought.

  9. I think that's walk softly and carry a big stick. Teddy Roosevelt did it.

  10. Three months holiday? I need to move to America! :)

  11. my two get 10 wks here in Albania. It does wear a bit thin, espec as I do the whole summer without hubby (my fault; we go to England to see family, escape the heat & find friends to play with as Tirana evacuates in the summer)I also hate the relentless treadmill of termtime. Good luck with yr list:o)

  12. Funny, we have the same loathing of winter..for me it's the dark winter in England at the very time of the year that I'm craving a long hot summer! The leaves are already falling here, and as much as I love autumn, I seriously do fear the dark cold. The school routine will be different in our house as the eldest is off to College. A new place with new routines - and probably the same old nagging to get him to actually do some work! Good luck with the list. Makes you feel good to just come up with it really.

  13. I feel your pain. I've just written something similar on my blog. Great minds think alike non?

  14. Oh yes good luck with the rules.

    About the Things Left Lying Around my solution combines nicely with Things That Should Have Been In The Laundry Basket: each of the Gruesome Twosome has a plastic box and I just chuck their stuff in there. Eventually they clean it out.

    I really wish you the most luck, however, with Asking Permission/Borrowing thing. It can't just be me who answers every cry of "but where's my..." with "if you had put it away you'd know where it is"

    In Germany we only get 6 weeks. But then the school day only lasts until 13:30 for cryin' out loud!

  15. Yes!
    I love a good list, and that was a good one. I feel the ennui as well.

  16. Oh, and three months is ridiculous.


The more the merrier....

Blog Archive