Halfway through summer? How is that even possible? Where has the time gone?? It can mean one thing and one thing only: July was not that bad.
July rivals June as the most challenging parental month in this house. Jackson in particular had for the past 5 years had a tough-ish time in July. We have struggled to find the right balance of activities to keep him busy and allow Husband and I keep the mortgage paid and the fishy crackers flowing.
Here are some lowlights of Julies past:
In 2006 Jackson experience his first allergy season and we struggled mightily. He was stuffed up, sneezing and miserable and we didn't know why. I still owe a favour to the pediatric allergist we got into on short notice.
In 2007, I had the kids signed up only for a few activities which meant I spent every Monday, every Friday with them with no structure. I’m still surprised I came out of that one unscathed.
I am still smarting from a Canada Day trip to the park in ’08 which involved Jackson walking away and my following him in an unknown neighbourhood. It ended badly with my glasses broken and a couple budding hernias as I schlepped a defiant boy back to our van.
We had the carnivorous period in July last year which had me question my ability to stick out the parenting gig.
But this year, friends, has been good. The general mood in the house is good. The evenings have been pretty mellow. We have had the occasion fierce period, but they have been surprisingly mild, not nuclear. Jackson’s fixations, which can range from him wanting build a hotel in our backyard to trying to find a game online that he swears exists because some guy at camp told him so, often exhaust us to the core. This July they’ve been mild and fleeting.
The kids are playing nicely. Sydney has been whiny at times. Jackson has had his intense moments. Sometimes they have even intersected with my being tired, hungry and impatient. This intersection of moods usually sends Husband running for cover and leaves a wake of raw emotions and long list of apologies and amends to be made. But somehow, we have weathered those storms and righted the ship quickly afterward.
It hasn’t been perfect. I have spent the last week coming up with new manipulations to convince the J Boy to go to camp at SFU. While week 1 was a breeze, week 2 has been a struggle in the mornings. He is happy about his day when I pick him up but convincing him to park his bahookey in the van each morning had been as easy as capping a well in the Gulf of Mexico. But we have persevered and have come to the end of July in tact.
So I am giving July a solid A minus. How do I know that is a solid grade and not merely an attempt to mollify myself that things are really so bad? I have three weeks off coming up and I am LOOKING FORWARD to a lot of family time.