Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer '09

We've added a step to the morning routine to accommodate our varied summer schedules.
I've been taking Gwynyth to day care. I mean, "Summer Camp".
I drop her off before seven and head to work for a several hours, then pick her up in the afternoon.
She was hesitant at first, but grudgingly is accepting it.
"You guys said I always make friends and fine, I did, but that doesn't mean I like it." and "I made you a key ring and we had chicken nuggets for lunch -- But there was some boring stuff, too." and "The pancakes this morning were very small."
Brutal, isn't it? I'm a monster.
She is spending her days at a rollerskating rink. In other news, there are still rollerskating rinks.
So several hours a day, my daughter has wheels on her feet and no formal training.
Today is one of two "Water Days" a week, in which the children are given access to a Slip N' Slide, probably without a wheeled lead in but to be honest I didn't ask.
In short, if we can get through the summer without my leaving work to pick up my child at the Emergency Room, it will have been semi-miraculous.
I assume Fridays are archery and lawn darts day, followed by bleach-filled water gun fights.
When I freaked out a little yesterday Gwynyth tried to use reason on me. "Dad, how many wallets do you need? You don't even carry one because you are afraid it will make your butt look lumpy."
"All of them," I replied, "I need all of them."
Eventually, she will learn that trying to reason with me is futile, but until she does I will cherish these moments of childlike optimism.
We spend our afternoons in less-structured activity to wait for Shana to come home.
Gwynyth and I enjoy a good, solid, scheduled lack of structure. We thrive on it. She watches TV and I polish my wallet collection or look at kitten pictures on the internets.
And we wait.
And Shana works quite a bit longer during the day than I do, so we wait for a long time and try not to crowd her when she gets home, though our efforts are usually unsuccessful.
But this is our routine now.
We adapt. The ability to cope with boring afternoons and to dodge falling lawn darts are survival skills we have honed over the past two days to a razor point.
This afternoon I have to figure out how to get a bird feeder made from a pine cone and peanut butter into and out of my car without making a mess.
Life skills are what Summer Camp is for.

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