Monday, June 2, 2014

Help! My Child has the Summer Bummers!

The Headlines:

Summer break just started.

When does it end?

Ahhhhhh… Summer.  The sunshine.  The fun cocktails, light salads, cool treats.  The splish splash of water clashing with your belly… the screaming cry of a very unhappy and ticked off child in your ear… wait, huh?!

Cue the sound of nails on a chalkboard/or screeching car!!! 

Yep, that's how the real Summer is for some of us Moms.  And we forget so easily, right?  We start off thinking - awesome - we don't have to jump out of bed and race to school, we can stretch the bedtime a little more if we're having a good time and "Oh Camp Mama is going to RULE!"


Then reality hits!  Especially is you have a child in the 2-4ish range.  Because this is a critical time for routine.  Summer bucks all of the routine that you've worked on for 9 months.  And kids, many of them,  go completely nutso.  Their world, and everything they've worked so hard to identify with and make sense of, is turned upside down.  Some are not phased by this… others do not like it one bit.  My son, 3 years old, falls into that category.  This is him.  That is our dog, whom he decided to "hide" with some pool towels.

Crazy Son Covers Patient Pet!
Doesn't he just look feisty?

Yes, for us, Summer started after Memorial Day last week.  I was stoked, for all the reasons above and the day seemed to be go well.  We had breakfast, went to the library, went to the splash pad, got frozen yogurt, they even allowed me to cruise around H&M for a quick purchase(s).  Life was really good.  But after yogurt, we got back in the car and all hell broke loose.

It started when my son wanted his spoon, which he had dropped down the side of his car seat.  I said I couldn't get it for him because I was driving and we would crash.  He got mad.  Very very mad.  He kicked my seat, hit my hand when I turned around, he yelled, cried… I mean it was full on tantrum mode.  When we got home it was time out time.  Which didn't work.  It was brutal.  He was brutal, never seen him lie this before.  So I spanked him.  First time ever.  Last time ever too.  Because he laughed.  Yes, it seemed as if my 3 year old was, I don't know, taunting me!?

So I yelled, "You get no dinner!"  My son laughed, my 7 year old daughter cried.  She wanted to give her dinner - to him.  First of all, I was amazed by the empathy my little girl was showing for her brother (whom she doesn't particularly care for all the time)… second, I was reminded, by a friend with 4 children, that the start of Summer Break makes kids crazy!

Life didn't get much easier the next 3 days.  My little boy continued to melt down.  It was like, he was trying to make sense of his new reality and it was hard.  That I can understand.  He's three and all of the sudden nothing is like it used to be… a relaxing morning to him was taking his sister to school, coming home with Mommy, futzing around the house, going on a walk, maybe some errands later and picking his sister up from school.   Now everything is topsy turvy and that isn't relaxing to him, it's stressful.

The good news is, we are not alone.  Many of us with kids in the 2-4 age range are suffering through the same "Summer Bummers" right now.  So together we can come back from that ledge... this too shall pass.

This week, it's already better.  Perhaps all he needed was a week to adjust to his new schedule - which is no schedule.  Also, it helps that this morning my son and daughter started a new chapter in their Summer break.  Vacation Bible School.  God provides in many ways.  Amen.

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