Best Mom Tip #116: Be thankful for the public school system

I have always loved school. I was good at it as a student and it gave me somewhere to go. I was drawn to it (although somewhat against my will) as an adult. I like the rhythm of holidays and summers and the cadence of final exams.

This may be why I was driven about nuts by my kids on this, the last day of Christmas Vacation. If I were teaching this year I would have returned to work today. Instead I answered the questions “What can we do now?” “Can I watch TV?” and “Can I play with the computer?” forty-seven times each.
I gave the following verbal answers:
  1. Play with one of your toys from Christmas.
  2. Play dress up.
  3. Read a book.
  4. Play with your brother/sister.
  5. I don’t care as long as you stop fighting with each other.
  6. I don’t care as long as it is not underneath my feet while I take down this Christmas tree.
  7. I don’t care but stop using that whining voice.
  8. You can start collecting which toys you want to give to Goodwill since you obviously don’t appreciate what you got for Christmas.
  9. You can get down off of the coffee table.
  10. You can put down that breakable ornament and go play upstairs.
I also came up with the following answers that would warrant a call to DFCS:
  1. You can play “everyone hides in their own bed for 3 hours until Daddy comes home.”
  2. You can play “try to sneak into the house without using the doors.”
  3. You can play “Mommy reverses the locks on the doors to your bedrooms.”
and, finally,
4. You can play “shut the hell up.”
I did not, of course, say any of those things to my sweet babies. But the thoughts made me laugh while I cleaned up poop and rearranged furniture and talked a 2-year-old into saying night-night to his stocking for 11 months. I take laughs where I can get them.

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