Back when I rode a dinosaur to school and Moses was my classmate, summer vacation meant one thing: my mother would wake me up at 8 a.m. and kick me out of the house, cackling maniacally as she locked the door behind her. Now, I certainly don't want to repeat the mistakes of my mother, because who would want their kids to turn out like me? (Answer: no one.) But I'm often struggling with ideas to keep them busy. I mean, it's not like I lived in a macaroni-crafts house, and let's be honest, I'm not smart.
But I have learned a few things in my 10 years of parentage. Namely, what NOT to do with my kids this summer. Or Ever.
1. I've never taught my kids to juggle knives. Firstly, because I can't juggle anything, and secondly because, well, I have no doubt that the minute those tiny hands learn to grasp the knives by the handles, it's all over for me. They'll be tossing those knives at my face the very SECOND I don't make a pizza for dinner or try and take a nap. OBVIOUSLY, bad move.
2. I don't give them bags of glass to play with when I'm trying to finish a particularly challenging level of Angry Birds. The glass can scratch the delicate surface of my iPhone and THEN where will I be? Not okay. That's where I'd be.
3. I've never taught my children to drive a car. Sure, it means they're not baby geniuses (genuii?) and boy would it be handy to have them drive to the liquor store to pick up Mama's "medicine," but I know my kids. The minute they had my precious keys in their grubby fists, their butts propped up on phone books, they'd take off for greener pastures. Namely Chuck E Cheese. It's there that they'd pick up the bubonic plague or something and kill us all. Not okay.
4. I never send my children "outside to play," because as soon as I boot them out, the door locked loudly behind them, they'll just go squalling to my neighbor's house. Once there, I'm sure my neighbor will feed them and give them delicious Kool-Aid, which means that they'll learn that I am NOT the sole provider of All Things Good in the World. Hell, they might even want to move in with her! What about the three times a year I want a cuddle from them? So not cool.
5. I never teach my kids sports. I don't want to a) spend my precious vodka money on crap that they can use to beat on me with and b) I don't want to be lugging their asses around town all week, every week. My Saturdays are devoted to sitting squarely on my ass on my couch, not on some crappy soccer field. Why, they can play lawn jarts in the backyard just as easily!
6. I never, ever send my children to Youth Camp or Youth Group. Because if I do, I know they'll pick up annoying words and habits like saying "please" and "thank you," when we all know the proper way to ask for something is "give me the butter, motherfucker."
7. I never, ever teach my kids to play video games. SURE, it'd be nice to have some time where they weren't screeching in my ear, "Mama, please change my diaper," and "Mama, I'm hungry, please feed me," but that takes away from my OWN precious gaming time. I mean, KillRage 3: The Bloodening isn't going to sit there and play itself! Plus, I'm not about to start them on a habit that costs more than heroin. That money is for Mama's vodka.
8. I'll never teach my kids to ride bikes. I don't want them to get the taste of freedom -- the wind whipping through their hairs, the pavement beneath their pedalling feet -- because then they might leave me. And THEN who would rub Mama's feet?
So what won't YOU do with your kids this summer?