The Perfect Summer


As I type this, the children are sitting in time out. Andrew is doing a repeated sigh, I can only assume he’d like me to know that he does not enjoy time out. Jordan is sobbing, because it’s not fair to have a time out for choking Andrew when Andrew deserved to be choked.

We’ve entered the hazy, lazy days of summer vacation. The ice cold drinks in the sun are punctuated only by the joyful sounds of children. No, wait. That’s not joy, it’s the sound of two little boys choking each other.

In summer, one day blends slowly into the next. It’s hard to say when one day ends and the next begins, as we sit in the endless twilight, enjoying the company of beloved family.


No, it’s 3:17 in the afternoon, which means that we’ve been on summer vacation for three and a half hours. Three hours and twenty minutes, if you only count from the time the children got off the school bus.

Here’s what I’ve done on my summer vacation:

11:45 AM

I put on my hat and walk to the end of the driveway, waiting for Jordan’s bus. It’s beautiful out. I scroll through twitter on my phone while I sit on the retaining wall at the edge of the driveway.

11:55 AM

Jordan arrives home. His bus driver, who adores him, wishes him a wonderful summer.

11:56 AM

Jordan is on the floor, sobbing. He wanted to drive to New Jersey to visit my in-laws. Today. Because it’s summer vacation now, isn’t it? Our trip to visit them at the end of May was too long ago, and “also it was boring because it was too short and short trips don’t count as trips and I don’t love Bubbe and Zayde anymore anyway and I do not want to see them. EVER. AGAIN.”

12:01 PM

Jordan has calmed down, and would like a snack. I explain that we’ll be having lunch in about five minutes, as soon as Andrew’s bus drops him off. Jordan sobs again.

12:03 PM

Jordan curls up on the couch with his stuffed cat. I go to meet Andrew’s bus.

12:05 PM

Andrew’s bus arrives.

12:12 PM

Andrew hates lunch, but he’s glad we’re eating outside on the new patio. Jordan spilled his milk, and he “hates lunch even though I ate it all and if you make the same thing again I will not eat it and I will not eat lunch outside again. NOT. EVER. AGAIN.”

12:24 PM

All of the boys’ toys are boring, and the only way they will have any fun this summer is if I take them out to buy new toys or let them play on the Wii U.

12:47 PM

Andrew tickles Jordan. Jordan chokes Andrew.

1:06 PM

Andrew takes the Lego pieces Jordan was playing with. Jordan slaps Andrew.

1:18 PM

Andrew would like to do some homework. So he does.

2:00 PM

One hour of Mario. No one hits, no one bites, no one screams, no one scratches.

3:00 PM

The hour is over. Jordan is on the floor, sobbing.

3:17 PM

We’re in time out again, because we can’t stop fighting.




About Mark

I'm a stay-at-home dad with a husband and two young sons. When I'm not driving the kids to school or camp or swimming lessons or cleaning up bathroom accidents, I try to remember to update my blog.

Posted on June 24, 2014, in Life, Parenting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Yeah, I homeschool so that sounds kind of like my all-the-time. Fortunately my two are farther apart in age, so they don’t fight. Yet.
    Enjoy your summer!

  2. I’m sorry for laughing but this was great, even if I am wracked with guilt about finding fun in your situation. Usually around this point I would offer some kind of sage advice. To you I say “Good Luck”, that’s all I’ve got, sorry lol
    Brilliant post 🙂

  3. 😀 I am right there with you! My boys are 4 and almost 7. I still love summer, though. But I feel like I have to ride out moments like yours above all too often!!

  4. By the way, I got out this post a dad that is consistent with time-outs and puts limits on technology. Great job!

  5. Sounds dramatic in a way only kids know how 🙂

  6. Oh god! What a holiday! I know it’s mean to laugh but I’m laughing anyway! Good luck for the rest oft he vacation! 😀

  7. we had the same beginning of summer!=) so glad it’s back to school…

  8. It endlessly fascinated me that my children would wake up on the first day of vacation and straight after breakfast would say “I’m bored.” I would suggest they clean their rooms or do some light housework and immediately they would find other activities that were much more important.

    Hang in there. It is important that children learn the skills to amuse themselves

  9. agayperspective

    Reblogged this on A Gay Perspective.

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