Little-known fact: Time moves at the pace it wants to move whether one is having fun or not. Consider winter break, for example. Here in the United States, we are collectively in the midst of a long, school-mandated, kid-centric "vacation." Days and nights have become a blur. Ask any parent of young elementary school-aged children what day it is I suspect you'll receive a long, blank stare followed by a pained groan with muttered expletives. Don't get me wrong; I love my children and countless millions of parents love theirs as well. But our collective cup hath runneth over. The kids need to go back to school now.
Perhaps you're puzzled by the urgency of the matter. Fear not. Here are five reasons the kids need to go back to school this winter break:
1. They're always hungry. I'm not kidding. You think three meals a day has you covered? Think again. Snacks become an all-day affair with the refrigerator being pillaged all day long. Also, this translates into more trips to the supermarket because "we've run out of [insert random food item here]."
2. Kids expect to play as soon as they wake up. You might assume that school winter break would be filled with lazy, stress-free mornings. On the contrary, children consider sleep optional with the concept of sleeping in being a non-starter. I've lost track of how many times I've been pounced on by my kids while I was sound asleep then asked if I was awake. "Hi Daddy!"
3. The chorus of "I'm Bored!" Remarkably, kids -- even those with countless books, toys, video game options, arts and crafts and more -- find it exceedingly difficult to entertain themselves when home for the holidays. Parents become the de facto activities director to a fickle audience. Needless to say, the days don't always go smoothly.
4. The Costs Pile Up. See reason 3. Taking kids out to the movies, etc. adds up quickly. Even free events at museums can add up. See reason 1. Sure, you can pack your own lunches and play sports/activities outdoors, but be prepared as a parent to be physically worn out. Working out in preparation for one's kids school holiday breaks might not be such a bad idea. "Are you training for a marathon?" "No, my kid is off from school for two weeks in December."
5. Kids will humiliate you at board games and video games. Remember when you used to let your kids win at board or video games? Yet once they reached elementary school age, the tables began to turn. Their heightened motor and mental skills (remember the sleep-deprived parent factor) can demoralize even the most seasoned parent gamer. I mean really, how much humiliation can a parent stand on a daily basis? Is there such a thing as a Parent Personal Foul?
And there you have it, parents. I'm certain you all can add to this list. I welcome your wisdom. We can right this ship together.
Happy Holidays :)