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Summertime and Trying to Make the Living Easy

The school year’s nearly over. Magoo’s already done with preschool for the summer. Laylee’s got a few weeks left. Then they’ll both be with me full time and I’ve got to come up with some summer activities to maximize our 70 days of yearly Seattle sunshine and bond with the kids in such a way that they’ll have something pleasant to look back on in September when I suddenly become a constantly milking postpartum ball of uselessness.

In the past, I’ve taken the opportunity during the summer break to drive all over the place with them, visiting parks and museums and seeing the world. I’m hoping this summer can be more low-key, cheaper and closer to home… like possibly at home.

The ingredients for the perfect summer vacation include but are not limited to:

Icy foods laced with sugar
Gallons and gallons of water
Bugs, slugs and other vermin
Seasonally appropriate pyrotechnic devices
Natural DEET substitute
Things that bounce
Sunscreen
Small friend-type people, hopefully with home delivery offered by their moms

I spent 6 hours on Saturday hauling my pregnant self around the deck with a pressure washer, cleaning the mildew and green slimy remnants of our underwater Puget Sound winter from every surface. It looks almost like new and you can walk across it without getting scuz in your toes, something I highly value in a living space and I do see the deck as a crucial extension of our home for the next three months.

We will eat there. We will play there. I will likely nap there while the kids play there, giving them strict instructions to wake me up if they feel inclined to drown or get kidnapped at any time during our activities.

In place of meat and frozen vegetables, I will fill our freezer with delicious frozen things to be doled out at the rate of one per day except when more are called for due to excessive heat, cuteness, pathetic pleading or mere whimsy.

On days when I’m feeling particularly adventurous, we will pack up the gallons and gallons of water, sun hats, snacks and picnic umbrella and head for the beach where the children will fill every possible crevice of their bodies with sand and things that itch. They will complain when I hose them down but will likely beg to do it all again the next day. I will say no, waiting for my batteries to recharge. It takes longer for this to happen when I’m as big as a whale.

Like my mother before me, I’ll have them do chores in the morning with outdoor play as a reward for slave labor and indoor play as a reward later in the day for sufficient outdoor play. We will eat dinner and they will go to bed zapped, exhausted and assured that although I am somewhat of a lazy bloated slug this year, I am still the best mom ever.

I pay the water bill. I supply frozen delicious bars of goodness. I slather them with sunscreen and I talk to them at times. This may be a summer of awesomeness.

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