There's typically such a whirlwind of activity that accompanies the end of a school year that it takes a few weeks to settle into something resembling a routine.
We're getting there ... slowly.
My work schedule has been hectic with several big writing deadlines and lots of pitching. But, as I've done in the past, I hit my desk at 6 a.m. and try to finish up by 1.
Two out of my three boys were grounded for the first weekend. One for being tardy for dinner (I know that's harsh, but I need to lay down the law right out of the gate.), the other for a solo adventure to catch frogs from a retention basin at a nearby park. Although it sounds as if it was a harmless little-boy adventure, I'm afraid I panicked at the thought of him either A) being abducted from a secluded park; or B) falling headfirst into the rather large retention basin.
I'm not anti-park and I do allow him to play at one closer to our house, but this one is isolated and there are always contractor vans parked in the lot with dudes probably (harmlessly) eating lunch. My protective Mama Bear instinct just doesn't want to chance it with my little guy.
So expectations for checking in, arriving home in time for dinner (I'm a huge proponent of family dinner time.) and being responsible for chores and things have been clearly set and, so far, followed.
My older two boys have been hounding me about cell phones. Ryan had one until he was pushed into a friend's pool in early May with his cell in his pocket. Of course it's toast. But I told him I wanted to see his year-end report card before we talked new phone. Plus I was utterly agitated at the teenager expectation that all things, regardless of cost, get instantly replaced.
Report cards arrived this week and everything looks good. Now I can deliver on my promise of a new phone or phones. Patrick is something of a nomad this summer, cruising around with his posse on his bike. He's good about telling me where he's going, but not always about where he will end up. So now I'm thinking I may get him a phone as well.
All of these events — kids being grounded, replacing phones, waiting for good grades, etc. — illustrate the challenges of sticking to your guns as a parent. Dan was out of town the first weekend of summer, so I was flying solo. It is certainly a huge pain the neck for me to have two grounded boys sulking around the house.
It would have been easier for me to un-ground them and let them play. And the cell phone issue? Let's just say Ryan not having the phone is more of a pain for me than it is for him, especially given his sports schedule. But I wanted him to know I was serious about ending the school year academically strong.
Now if only I can get them to remember to shut the bathroom door when I'm on the phone in my office across the hall...