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Nest news: The sweet relief of school

By mid-May I'm always excited about the idea of having my kids at home for the summer. In my mind I can picture the extra family meals, long talks over iced tea, and skipping hand in hand through the park.

As an added bonus, there is so much child labor that can be accomplished. My house will finally get a good cleaning with the kids happily scrubbing just one room each day. Laundry will be conquered for the first time in eight months.

Our son has a mowing job to put cash in his pocket and savings account and we even hired our daughter for a work project. This will be a blissful summer full of amazing life lessons and magical moments.

The result? Bathrooms got cleaned, kind of, but within three days look disastrous again. Laundry is still in the same cycle as always; wash, dry, pile on table, maybe get sorted into family-member-assigned baskets, rarely gets put away before worn again, repeat. As for the office project, our daughter worked a whopping five hours all summer. Five. And that was over the course of three consecutive days in early June. So, that went well (enter sarcasm).

Replace skipping through the park with the other "S" word. Sleepover. Sleepovers have become a norm. Apparently our kids want to be with their friends more than us. Weird. As much as I can't stand electronics one night I even found myself begging a group of boys to play on their phones, just so they would be quiet. And the 4- year-old has started to ask for sleepovers with his buddies. Seriously?

Ask me in another four years preschooler.

Food disappears so quickly that Gatorade, milk, eggs, apples and single serving Pringles never leave the grocery list. Yes, eggs. My son likes to cook eggs with his buddies. They somehow manage to have just enough time before heading to their morning workout to cook eggs, but not quite enough time to clean up after themselves. So peculiar how that happens. And although I have garbage cans placed strategically throughout, on any given day at least three brown apple cores can be found somewhere in the house. I know I know, at least they're eating healthy fruit, but still. I've threatened to pile them on said child's bed in hopes critters find their way in and he learns a lesson. But, then, I really don't want critters in the house, so in the garbage they go...

Lesson learned? I signed them up for as many camps as possible just to give myself a reprieve from the constant "can I have so and so over?" "What are we doing today, anything fun?" Or my daughter's favorite, "can you hire that high school girl for an afternoon again, so you can pay her $50 to watch me and my friend swim at the pool and then spend another $15 getting ice cream afterwards?"

And yes, I know all mothers who have gone before me say that I should treasure these days with my God-given children as the years go by so quickly and blah, blah, blah. Yet, I know you all celebrated on the glorious back to school days of the 90s as well. Finally, the Price is Right and Young and The Restless were back on instead of that wretched sound of MTV. You know you can't deny it, Mom.

So off you go my darling offspring. After eight hours of school for five straight days, I will be happily skipping to meet you at the door and kiss your sweet faces. Until then, I'll be upstairs hiding in my bedroom, watching MTV.

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