Keep Your Hands to Yourselves.
by Risa Green
I know last week I waxed poetic about all of the things I love about summer, but since then, I’ve reassessed. I mean, yeah, the smell of sunscreen mixed with popsicle juice is awesome and everything, but if my kids don’t stop fighting with each other, I am seriously going to start looking into moving somewhere with a year-round school schedule.
During the school year, the fighting between my children is minimized; my daughter gets home pretty late most days, and by the time she does her homework and eats dinner and takes a bath, there isn’t much of an opportunity for my son to get on her nerves. During the summer, however, my kids are together much more. I don’t send them to camp every day because I want to spend time with them, and because I think they need a break from the structured, scheduled routine of the school year.
Back in March, when I set this three day a week camp schedule, I envisioned the three of us spending fun-filled days together in the pool, or going on lovely excursions to museums or parks or to the beach. I envisioned my children bonding over shared experiences, and I envisioned them laughing and playing and exploring and having fun with each other. What I did not envision was me wanting to kill them both because they’re constantly fighting. What I did not envision was me having to scream at them every five minutes that if they don’t stop poking/grabbing/squeezing/sticking their tongues out at each other, then there are going to be consequences. What I did not envision was that our theme song for the summer would be “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” by the Georgia Satellites. Did you ever see that old Bill Cosby stand up routine from the ‘80s, where he talks about his kids and how they always yell “stop touching me!” to each other? That is my life. That’s right. My life is a Bill Cosby stand up routine, minus the live, laughing audience and the sweaters with the squiggly things all over them.