This morning, as I trawled the internet in search of something to keep the inmates entertained I came across a few articles claiming to have ‘101 Things to do in the Summer’ or ‘The Ultimate Guide to Beat Summer Boredom’; however, thirty seconds into reading these so-called lists I gave up.
Who are these people? Do they interact with actual humans? Are they pulling these ideas out of their ass? Or the more disturbing question: am I raising little psychopaths who wouldn’t remotely enjoy ‘counting the leaves of your favourite tree’ ( An actual suggestion.)
With this in mind I decided it was time to make my own bucket list for parents at this joyous time of year.
- Get Crafty: Make something fantastic from the increased amount of empty wine bottles found around the house. Wine not your thing? Don’t worry: vodka and gin bottles can work too! No need to wait for Friday or Saturday to have a tipple; if your children are driving you to the edge of sanity have a bottle to take the edge off. You can even make it a fun drinking game: every time they say ‘mummy’ take a slug – not recommended I was hammered by 11am Monday.
- Don’t Neglect Their Education: School may be out but that doesn’t mean their education has to be! Get them to count the amount of grey hairs rapidly appearing in your scalp with each passing day. Keeping on top of that root touch up has never been more fun or soul destroying.
- Keep Active: Didn’t have time for the early morning run you promised to go on? Don’t worry about it. Just get the kids involved. Make sure they get very little sleep the night before so they’re extra needy and spend the day running into different rooms from them until your partner comes home (about eight hours or so). If they cry harder it just means it’s working – think of those abs.
- Go Somewhere New: If you feel like you haven’t got quite enough stress in your day take the kids somewhere new. Thankfully, because it’s summer, everywhere is busy so you’ll have lots of fun trying to park and keep an eye on multiple children through crowds – it’s even more fun when you’re potty training and there’s no toilet within a three mile radius. Good times.
- Get Some Me Time: If you still believe this exists in the world of parenting you’re a damned fool. By all means, book that ‘free’ time and enjoy the residual guilt that follows you around like a bastarding gremlin reminding you that other parents are counting the leaves on their child’s favourite tree while yours hasn’t seen the outside world in a week. Relaxed yet?
- Introduce Your Children to Culture: See how many series of woeful American TV you can get through in the next six weeks. Every time your child craves attention just throw a couple of episodes of Power Rangers in the mix to zombie them out then you can get back to your Gilmore Girls marathon.
- Teach Them About Your Family History: It’s never too early to teach the kids about why their weird uncle doesn’t come to family parties or about the criminal history and alcoholism in the immediate family. Sure, people will cry and things will be awkward but that’s a whole afternoon of entertainment for everyone.
- Try New Food: Get creative in the kitchen and make new dishes that your children will in no way appreciate or eat. Enjoy watching them cry and refuse to even try the food you’ve spent over an hour making just for it to be changed for cereal. Again. Embrace their competitive side and make this a fun new game by seeing who gets Type 2 Diabetes first.
- Spend Some Quality Time Together: If, for some utterly bizarre reason, you don’t feel that 18 hours a day together isn’t enough then when you finally have them in bed sit and watch them sleep so you can kid yourself into thinking this parenting craic isn’t that bad. Angels.
- Take a Holiday: Passport? Holiday booked? Self-loathing when you’re in a swimsuit? Great, now just give the kids to ANYONE and go on holiday for the week and look at pictures of them so it’s like they’re there.
If you were looking for actual suggestions on how to survive summer then this will be in no way helpful, but don’t be fooled: Pinterest won’t help either.
May the odds be ever in your favour.