Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Sun And No Routine To Be Found

Yesterday was the long awaited first day of summer vacation.  So anticipated... so looked-forward to...

Then why was I complaining about not having a moment to myself on my Facebook page??

Any first - even a good first such as a trip to Six Flags amusement park or the first day of summer break - is fraught with unknowns.

What time should they be up?  Will they change their breakfast routine?  What about having to run necessary errands like grocery shopping?

How will Sean adjust?

Better yet, what the heck will he do with all that free time?

Knowing that Sean barely holds himself together to get through the final weeks of school, we have been adament about keeping him out of summer school and scheduled activities.

Not even gymnastics is on the calendar.

Therapy barely makes the grade.

Overall, we try to stay low-key and go with the flow of how the day is going.

Yesterday was not going well... or, at least, the morning wasn't.

Sean loves to get up before everyone else in the household.  Somehow in the DNA mix, he got the only early-riser gene.

Once he was old enough to pour his own cereal, I was content to lay in bed half-asleep keeping tabs on his whereabouts in the house by the noises that were being made or the dogs following him around. 

After we got the computer, there was only one place to find him... semi-slumped over the desk, intent on whatever game he was playing.

Call me a bad mother but I do not limit my children's computer time.  They rarely sit on their butts long enough to watch a television show all the way through and books that they are reading are constantly strewn about the house.

And, of course, once the weather breaks, I kick them out on a regular basis to the ultimate unknown for children of this generation... the backyard.

Thus, computer time is not something that we generally do battle over.

But when I say it's time to get off, you better get off.

That's when yesterday's meltdown happened....

I suspected Sean had been playing his new video game for about 3 hours.  It's a strategy type and takes a very long time on our ancient computer to set-up and load.

Ashley was begging for her siblings to play with her.

"Sean, it's time to play with Ashley."

No harsh words, no angry tones... just a simple statement.

The tears were instantaneous and the sobs were heartfelt.  He claimed he had been working  hard to attain the next level and he was almost there.

I thought about telling him that I really didn't care... but you know.... I did.

And it was, after all, the first day of summer break.

Did I really want to start off the summer this way?

I told him he could finish it and within five minutes he was done. 

Did he play with Ashley more than annoy her?  Probably not but at least he tried.

I eventually sent all three of them outside so I could have a moment to myself... to think... to pee.  Within moments they were back inside complaining.

Again, I opened the door and introduced them to the sun and the grass... things that in the Chicago area you only see a few months of the year. 

And then I introduced them to the garden hose...

Let the fun and a new routine begin and let's hope the meltdowns will be few...

Welcome to Summer!


  1. Ah, if I had a dime for every "but I just need to get to the next level" answer I got from my son, I'd be very, very rich. Here's to your meltdown-free summer.

  2. Totally agree with your course of action! Autistic or not, kids have such a narrow perspective with things they love, like video games. Even thought I AM one to limit the kids' time on that stuff, I deeply believe that more can be gained by letting them "finish this level" than arbitrarily getting our control-freak on as parents for what usually (and as you saw) amounts to a few more minutes (added to the previously spent HOURS. Good call, mom...