Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Is Summer Vacation Over Yet?

If I have to tell the girls, "Keep your hands OFF one another," one more time this early summer vacation, I'm going to have a complete mental breakdown. And I've had them at home alone for a grand total of one and one-half days. I will admit that I'm partially to blame because I've spent much of that time outside doing "man-stuff". My father-in-law and I have been constructing a new patio on the back corner of the house, and the girls were initially excited about the "man-stuff" activity. They expressed their desire to "help", so we put them to work. But apparently shoveling dirt and sand and mixing cement aren't their cups of tea because they lasted a grand total of about five minutes before retiring to the relative comfort of the boob tube.

Even the miracle of modern TV is not powerful enough to overcome the curse of summertime boredom, so the girls resorted to the next best thing: picking on each other. So there I was, literally breaking my back mixing and shoveling cement in an attempt to beautify the very home in which they live, when I heard a series of blood-curdling screams. I dropped my shovel and trudged to the door to find the fruit of my loins locked in a struggle on the family room floor. "WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE!" I bellowed as I threw open the door.

My inquiry was met with a flurry of incomprehensive accusation. "I WAS TRYING TO...KYRA WAS TOUCHING...SHE PULLED ME...AND SHE WON'T LET...I TOLD HER TO STOP...KAILEY NEVER LETS ME..."

Since I (1.) was dripping with sweat, (2.) didn't really want to know what was happening, and (3.) didn't care, I dispersed them with a unilateral "Go to your rooms and think about what you've done", then returned to my work. One of the girls would poke her head out the back door twenty minutes later, ask if they could come out of their rooms, and the whole process repeated itself several times until we wrapped up our patio work for the day, around noon.

Now before you lablel me as the suckiest father alive, you need to know the touching and picking continued even when I devoted my full attention to the girls. We played "talent show audition" where I pulled out my guitars and microphone, and the girls took turns at the mic as they created songs to tunes I played. Kyra liked acoustic guitar tunes. Kailey wanted to rock to electric guitar tunes. Both picked on the other to the point where one sat in time out while the other took their turn at the mic.

And I curse the day we ever bought the "Madagascar" edition of Sorry instead of the regular, colored pawn edition. Each pawn is a character from the movie "Madagascar", and we can never get through the pawn selection phase without a major meltdown. When we finally got to the game, I had to draw a line in the carpeting between the girls and threaten them with their immanent loss of life should they cross that line.

I finally took them to the park in the 100 degree heat to let them burn off some energy and hopefully take out some of their aggression on the monkey bars. It seemed to work, but I now know I've got my work cut out for me. I need to do a little planning for the rest of our summer days together or I'm going to lose my mind. Only 35 days until school starts again, but who's counting?

No comments: