Here is another excerpt from my humorous memoir, A Dead Tomato Plant and a Paycheck. Since most of us are still sweltering in the summertime heat, I thought I'd continue from the chapter Summertime Blues. Enjoy....
Another fun part of summer vacations were the skirmishes. Not a kind word could be heard from the troops as they squared off for another major battle over territorial rights in the bedroom. (Loosely translated, that meant which corner did Michael get to fill up with dirty socks?)
At times, there was so much snarling and growling going on, I was tempted to call in a lion tamer to restore peace and quiet.
The skirmishes were caused by boredom. At least that’s what they always said, even though they had enough toys and games to outfit a small school. The daily lament was always, “There’s nothing to do.” To remedy that, I whipped out my list of odd jobs, saved for just such an occasion. Then they suddenly remembered a million things they simply had to do.
They had to practice their multiplication tables because their teacher told them to.
They had to sort their rock collection.
They had to help their friend get his shoe off the roof, and it might be an all day job because another kid keeps throwing the shoe back on the roof. (It only cost them a quarter to get the kid to work on his throwing arm.)
They promised the lady down the street they'd stand guard over her flowerbeds and catch the culprits who keep smashing her petunias.
This was when I got hit with a summertime problem much worse than grubs in my lawn, army worms devouring my garden, or the challenge of how we would pay our latest electric bill.
Although the latter did have a direct impact on this problem I called The Summertime Blues, more commonly known as, Would I Ever Make It Through The Next Six Weeks Until The Kids Went Back To School?
Six more weeks of carting them all over town to different activities to ward off the wave of boredom that threatened to overcome us. And with their unerring instinct of gratefulness, they threw a fit when I asked them to take their dirty socks off the kitchen table.
Six more weeks of, "It's too hot to mow the lawn." But they were willing to risk a heat stroke to ride their bikes up to the local supermarket for candy, or go to the park to play a game of baseball.
And somehow I always got elected to serve refreshments to the whole team.
Six more weeks of stupid, senseless, sibling in-fighting:
"Get your stinky foot out of my face!"
"You threw my shorts on the floor so you can just go pick them up."
“You always throw my clothes on the floor so I don t have to pick your stupid shorts up."
"If you turn that channel, I'll break your arm!"
"I want to watch something else."
"You always get to watch what you want to."
"Nuh-uh ... cause you're always watching your stupid shows."
"If you don't leave me alone, I'm going to punch your face in.”
"Mom! He's going to punch my face in."
"Move over, you're bumping me."
"If you touch me again, I'll break your finger."
"You don't scare me."
"Quit looking at me."
"Mom make him quit looking at me!"
Sometimes they covered all that on the first morning, which left them five weeks and six and a half days to think of new things to fight about.