Yesterday was the last day of school, and I’m not usually one of those moms who does something special to recognize the official beginning of summer.
But on Friday afternoons the highway we have to take to get to swim practice is usually really trafficky, so we normally go the back way on Fridays. And when we go the back way we pass a dairy farm that has really amazing ice cream, so in a rare Cool Mom Move, I made a pit stop with the kids and got them ice cream.
They were pretty psyched.
But shortly after we got into the car after having this special treat (because dairy farm ice cream ain’t cheap), a bunch of arguing and bickering and complaining broke out, and it took all my self control to stay calm and not go ballistic on the kids for being ungrateful and acting kind of like jerks.
I kept my cool.
I explained that I really want to do some fun things with them this summer and create some memories with them that they’ll remember when they are my age, but when they behave the way they were behaving five seconds after getting a pretty big treat, I question whether we should do anything like that again.
We talked about gratitude and we talked about helping out around the house, and how it’s not something you do so you can “earn” fun things.
It’s just something you do.
Like you don’t unload the dishwasher and then say, “Mom! I unloaded the dishwasher… can we go to the playground now?”
So I didn’t know if they got it or not, but I hoped they did.
We had a decent ride the rest of the way to swim practice and a nice ride home.
This morning was the first full day of summer with no school, but it was still busy. My husband was working. My dad took Number 3 and 4 to swim practice. I had a couple swim lessons to teach this morning, and then I was trying to cut the grass and set up a tent and some umbrellas out by the pool and finally get the back yard ready for summer.
Of course when you are doing stuff outside, that means the inside of your house goes to shit.
Number 3 went to a birthday party straight from swim practice with a friend and I had to pick him up and the party was like an hour away and I’m also dog sitting for two weeks and it was 93° outside and I was so disgusting from putting the tent up that I had to take a shower because I hadn’t showered in I don’t know how many days, so anyway, I had to rush out of the house at 12:30, and the inside of the house looked like squatters had been living in it for the last three months.
I could have dragged everyone with me for a two hour round trip in the car, but I hated to do that, so I left Number 4 in charge of Number 5, 6, and 7, and all I said as I left the house was, “I’ll be back in two hours. DON’T HURT EACH OTHER.”
Two hours later, I returned home with Number 3.
Before I could even get out of the car, Number 5 and 7 came running down the front walkway.
“Mommy! We have a surprise for you!” they said in unison.
I prepared for like fifty pictures and craft projects that they’d expect me to hang in my office, because that’s what they normally do.
When we got to the front door, they told me to close my eyes.
Then they led me inside, and into the kitchen, and I saw this:
They had cleaned the entire thing.
They also cleaned the mudroom, the dining room and the play room.
They vacuumed everything.
I was floored.
“YOU GUYS!!! THIS IS THE BEST SURPRISE EVER!!!” I told them.
“We just wanted to clean up because,” Number 4 told me.
“We wanted to be good kids,” Number 7 said.
“We wanted you to be a happy mommy,” Number 5 said.
So I guess they got it.
I had to go to Costco still, and when I told them, they asked if they could come with me.
Normally I like to go alone so I can just run in and out, but I couldn’t say no to them after coming home to an almost spotless house.
I told them to go wait in the car and I’d be out there in a second. I just needed to get a drink really quickly.
I guess they had a little fun with my phone while they were waiting for me.
But that’s okay.
They definitely earned that.