Forgive me (if you follow me on any other social media) for the picture overload. I’m not usually one to snap daily selfies of me doing the same things everyone else with kids is probably doing. But this weekend was different.
Winding down the summer we finally made it out to my parent’s house on Watt’s Bar Lake. And this year, no rain. School starts in t-minus nine days and I cannot believe it. I’m almost not ready for summer to end. Who am I kidding. I can’t wait. But it has been a very quick and very full summer and one that I can honestly say I’ve mostly enjoyed, despite the fact that John’s stress level has been at an all time high and he and I have almost been apart more than we’ve been together over the past twelve weeks.
Traveling with children is always a little difficult, especially without John (or for him, without me). My sister and brother-in-law do a really good job of attention-spoiling my kids, which is great, and I am completely thankful for the full time kitchen service and a fridge full of ice cream (which has been missing from our dairy-free diet for the last year). So don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining.
But it isn’t like my parents have a completely kid-friendly house. I’ve been working for seven years to establish an abode that provides me the laziest approach to parenting possible. So traveling means a lot more chasing and checking up on small hands that like to touch everything and small feet that aren’t quite experts at stairs yet.
Otherwise, it was a much needed retreat to a land of sun and silliness and I soaked up my share of both. I also got to catch up on some Project Runway without commercials, which was lovely.
Eliott learned how to water-ski, which is actually amazing. This is my overly-cautious about everything kid who almost wouldn’t ride on the tube last year but only went because her daddy went with her. This year she was standing up, riding backwards, and generally showing off her new sense of comfort with the water. It was pretty funny. The best part though, was her motivation for getting up on skis. “I have to get up today so I can beat Uncle Chase.”
And we thought we’d given birth to another Paulus – where the physical/mental athleticism ratio stands at about 98:2. Perhaps she’s got a sense of competition in her yet.
Meanwhile, Carter, who is typically the one to try anything (especially if it trumps what her sister has done) played the fear card and tried to sit out until the last day. We finally lied to her to get her on the tube and she naturally overcame her trepidation within minutes (a feat I previously unsuccessfully performed on Eliott with a loose tooth).
The peer-pressure was apparently at an all time high, because my sixty-something mother even ventured onto the tube at one point, something I’ve not seen her do, maybe ever in my life. Certainly not in the last two decades. It was exactly as funny and awesome as we all expected it to be. I’m only sorry no one managed to get a camera on the boat that afternoon. You’ll just have to take my word for it that it happened.
Isaiah was just content to call for and follow around Pop Pop all weekend. The kid is truly a boy’s boy. Don’t tell me kids aren’t born with a sense of gender identity and gender-ambiguous toys is the only way foster their ability to decide who they want to be. This kid came out with absolutely no attraction to anything pink, at all, and the first time he saw a ball and a toy with wheels, he instinctively knew it was for him. And so, he pretty much only wants to hang out with the men… until he gets hurt (the only time he seems to need me these days). Nature beats nurture.
So with a full summer behind us and the tans to prove it, I’m now frantically scheduling back to school physicals and dental appointments, and scrambling to get the rest of our school supplies. I will once again likely forgo back-to-school open house, and show up at supply drop off as the one and only parent in the entire place who didn’t come the night before. I would say tell me I’m not the only one who does this, but I happen to know that I am because my child is the only one with an information packet left on her desk when we show up first at “meet the teacher” hour.
Working hard here.