28 Ways Parents spent their so-called “Summer Vacation”

You know those lazy, carefree days of summer? Wha? Exactly. Parents don’t get much of a break during the season — someone neglected to write that into our contracts. Here’s how most of us actually spent our summer vacation:

  1. Made sure all children were fully coated in sunscreen every single day and fully coated in bug spray at night and fully cleansed of it at bedtime. Whew.
  2. Blew up various tubes and floats. And once, in an amazing feat of respiration, an entire kiddie pool.
  3. Packed All The Things for the pool/beach, then dashed back into the house when it was discovered that the goggles/lip balm/favorite pail had been left behind.
  4. Washed All The Towels and All The Bathing Suits from the pool/beach.
  5. Wiped ice-cream drips off the car seats, then gave up and marveled at the fact that petrified ice-cream does not grow mold.
  6. Shouted “KIDS! You have to come in now to eat dinner!” a bazillion times.
  7. Attempted to convince children that grilled veggie kabobs are as tasty as hot dogs. (#fail)
  8. Spent entirely too much time trying to pick up pieces of corn silk off the kitchen floor after kids “helped” with shucking it.
  9. Also tried to convince the children to spend just a little more time running through the sprinkler while desperately attempting to sit in a deck chair for a few minutes.
  10. Wrestled an attack of guilt to the ground when one of the kids had a patch of sunburn on their shoulders or other spot you accidentally missed when applying sunscreen. (See #1.)
  11. Felt dejected when children were unimpressed with the homemade Pinterest-y fruit and granola ice pops.
  12. Briefly considered setting up some fun-tastic obstacle course in your backyard, but instead let the kids watch T.V. for hours.
  13. Served as the family’s bag lady at the amusement park, sitting on a bench and guarding all their valuable possessions as they went on rides.
  14. Spent two days packing for summer getaway.
  15. Answered “Nope!” every single time the kids said, “Are we there yet?” and managed to stay sane.
  16. Spent two days unpacking and doing laundry after summer getaway.
  17. Convinced the kids that it was better to use the hot-pink-not-the-least-bit-natural powder mix for their lemonade stand rather than make homemade.
  18. Forced the kids to traipse after you at the farmers market.
  19. 19. Forced yourself to get through an entire course of miniature golf while pretending to be enthusiastic and wondering what sadistic person invented the game.
  20. Went hiking and/or camping and endured nonstop whining about the heat, bugs, whatever.
  21. Every night, savored some precious me-time consisting of … watering the flowering plants outside while swatting away mosquitos.
  22. Turned down the A.C. when the family said it was too cold inside. Turned up the A.C. when family said it was too warm inside. Repeat repeat repeat repeat.
  23. Whipped up a batch of bubbles from dish detergent that, once again, did not work.
  24. Took kids to outdoor concert and wondered why you bothered since they were mainly interested in the food stands.
  25. Took kids to gigantic outdoor fair and wondered why you bothered since they were mainly interested in the food stands.
  26. Finally threw out the filthy and generally disgusting Slip ‘n Slide, incurring your children’s wrath for the rest of their lives.
  27. Realized, right before the kids returned to school, that they had maybe gotten through one chapter of one book on their recommended summer reading list.
  28. Ran through sprinklers with the kids, bobbed with them on floats in the pool, watched fireworks, built sand castles, gorged on roasted marshmallows, laughed as you tried to catch fireflies and enjoyed countless other sweet moments that all of you will always remember.

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