July 08, 2003

Oh, I get it. Summer is chaos.

I'm assuming, being a first-time mom of a five year old, that I have learned something important the last few weeks, something that will serve me well the next decade: that summer is meant to be chaos.

Schedules out the window--I fought so hard to get her on one, you know. No real plan. Is it sunny? Okay, let me finish my work and we'll spend six hours at the pool (when I should be home finding more work). Is it rainy? Okay, how about summer camp today. Is it partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms? Let's ride the scooter or bike for a while, or drive over to Big Lots and find a treat. Is it breezy? Let's take you and your friend to the playground.

Is it midnight? Well then it must be time for you to go to SLEEP, Jenna!

SLEEP so that I can do that WORK I was talking to you about. You know, the work that makes it possible for us to go to Big Lots. No work, no Big Lots.

Today was the worst mom-daughter day so far this summer. She was on half a night's sleep after refusing to give into sleep last night until nearly 1 a.m. Then up at 9. That's not enough sleep for a five year old. That means guaranteed crankiness, guaranteed clinginess. And no work for the weary.

I had a 2:00 client call, and she was here, so naturally we went head to head battling for an hour before the call about how she needed to be quiet, just for 15 minutes, just for 15 seconds, just for a nanosecond. She made it through that call, barely, after two time outs and a hushed okay by me to take the picnic basket of food (meant for the pool) up to her room to keep her quiet so I could take notes.

Then, an unscheduled client call after my 2:00 threw her for a loop. This was not in our deal. No way. This meant that she was off the good behavior wagon and could crank up her toy electric guitar and follow me around with it as I tried to escape with the cordless phone and a tiny bit of my professionalism in tact.

"That's my daughter--sorry... summertime and all."

Shooting glaring looks at a kid who's off on summer break doesn't work. They smile back at you. In cohoots with summer itself. HA HA mom--I don't have to do anything I don't want to do because it's summer and you can't make me.

Shit, I'm ready for Fall.

This is the first night Jenna has been to sleep before 10 in a month. It's the first time I've had any chunk of time to think at night. So naturally, I spend it blogging about what it's like to NOT have that time.

And all the while, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking about my one and only little sweet baby starting official school in just five weeks and it blows my mind. How could this be? I still don't believe I can't just squeeze her back inside of me. Surely there must be some mistake. I'm living a dream that moves in time without me.

Maybe next year I'll be looking forward to summer chaos, time to ramble around and just generally not care about anything.

Maybe next summer. If I make it through this one.