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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Summer Rules.

I never fail to laugh when L and I get on the phone and start swapping T and M stories. It's definitely one of the blessings of getting along in our situation. We can compare notes and at times, commiserate with one another about the silly daily intricacies with both kids.

For a long while we laughed at their different breakfast choices, at one house they would eat the same thing each and every day, at the other they mixed it up on a weekly basis. There have been so many little things the two of us have chuckled about, whether it be things the kids do differently or whether it's things we both totally see at both houses.

On Monday, L and I chatted and in the background T was asking to go along grocery shopping with some neighbor friends.

"I loooove grocery shopping." He said in the background.

It's times like this I wish I had a tape recorder to replay that to him when I tell him that we have to go to the store for essentials. Because I definitely don't hear the word love coming out of his mouth then.

L and I both got a good laugh out of his words.

There are other times we totally relate and commiserate with each other when one of the kids (or at times both) are driving us up a wall. Especially when we have schedule changes or weird weeks where the kids might be at one house or the other for a different amount of days. Let's just say sometimes after long, hot summer days with very active busy children, there gets to be a point where if you hear certain voices asking for yet another popsicle you just might scream.

The fun thing is, we both get it. We both know how it goes, we understand how crazy things can get and sometimes it's a lot of work.

It's hard to believe we're already a third through the summer. I love summer vacation and being able to spend time with the kids, whether it's just H some days or all three kids other days. But it's definitely been a work in progress for me.

The summer after H was born, I was completely overwhelmed. Here I had this infant who needed constant attention, plus I had these two school age kids wanting to be outside and go here and there and everywhere. Since then, I've definitely wised up. I've had to change expectations and come up with my own set of guidelines to make things as smooth as possible when the kids are here:

T and M wake up at 8 am. Once H can tell time this will apply to him too. (And I am counting the days.) Considering most nights the kids don't get to bed until 9:30/10, there's no reason they need to be up before 8. The rule is if they wake up earlier, they can read in their beds. Neither of them even wake up anymore until 8am. This has been a huge sanity saver.

No breakfast unless you are dressed for the day.

No one goes outside until I am showered, dressed and ready for the day. I really don't want to have to run down the street in my bathrobe after someone falls off their bike.

Bored=Chores. If you're bored, don't tell me about it because I'll find something for you to do and you probably won't enjoy it.

You get what you get and you don't have a fit. This is a year round rule.

We don't feed the neighborhood. This was implemented after I spent an entire summer feeding one of our neighbor boys lunch, snack and dinner for a few weeks straight. Now when it's time for lunch, friends go home.

The exception to this is freezies, these are pretty much for the taking in the summer.

Friends may not sit at our doorstep, in our garage or in the yard waiting for us to finish a meal. I won't even tell you how many dinners we had where the kids friends wanted to sit and wait at our front door.

Do not scream my name looking for me when you have a question, need, want, desire. If I am outside, come find me. If I am inside, come find me.

There is at least one day each week that we have nothing scheduled or planned. I've learned for me, I need to know I have a day to get things done or errands taken care of if I need to.

On beautiful days, we play outside. There is no reason to waste great sunny days inside unless it's way too hot.

Just another summer day.
Maybe some seem silly, petty or just plain dumb, but they've saved me from many headaches and issues. I'm sure as the kids get older we're going to have to add, change, delete and continue to figure out how to make things work here but for now, I like to think we've got a good, simple system going.
Hey, I don't call myself Simplicity for no reason.


Blogger Melissa said...

Remind me to print these out and post them on a wall when I have three children to tend to. Great ideas, all! :)

July 2, 2008 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I never would have thought of half of those, and I think you are brilliant! I too agree they should be on my wall. Can you make a poster please? Then again, j can't read...

July 2, 2008 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger The Lindahl News said...

I can just hear your voice as you tell T, M and H these rules...logical, straight-forward,
fair yet firm.

It was so good to be able to see you this past Satrday and see you in action with the very active H!
He's an adorable bundle of energy
and you weren't kidding about his love for beep-beeps!

July 2, 2008 at 9:04 AM  
Anonymous jimmyjoejoe said...

Umm...weird post above mine but anyway...seems weird that you have such a problem with feeding other kids. My folks always did, and now all my friends always stop in and see my parents when they are in town, it creates a real friendly atmosphere that lets everyone know they are welcome...I guess it can be expensive though.

July 2, 2008 at 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samara- I love these rules, probably because they are so similiar to mine! Especially the phrase "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit." And I completely understand about not feeding the neighborhood- not only does it get insanely expensive, but sooner or later, all the kids see you as the snack lady. I had to stop that a few weeks ago before they took over my grocery budget....

July 2, 2008 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger Alli said...

Oh, Samara...I can only hope to have so much sense when we have kids. If all goes according to plan, we won't have kids for a few years yet, but sometimes reading your blogs I wish that I could apply your experience/advice immediately, before it slips out of my mind. I vote that you write a book, so that I have something to refer to in a few years. How about it?

July 2, 2008 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Coma Girl said...

I love the "bored=chores" one. Perfect and you'll need that one as they get older.

And I cannot tell you how lucky you are to have L back you up on the rules!!

July 6, 2008 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Love the rules! I don't have any kids, but I might instill them on my new husband!

July 9, 2008 at 3:20 PM  

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