This is what I call a serious "fight or flight" situation. The way I see it, I can either lock myself in the bathroom, curled up in the fetal position while sobbing hysterically OR I can suck it up and make the best of it.
Since having a complete meltdown doesn't bode well with the spawn (it makes them think they're in total control), I have no choice but to make the best of a horrible situation.
So here are some of my best tips for surviving Spring Break with your spawn....
1) Chances are, they had some type of celebration at school the Friday before break began. You know, the party that occurred 10 minutes before school let out, when the teachers shipped your kids home to you with a shit load of candy-filled plastic eggs, as they smiled and waved a friendly goodbye to their lovely students?
Never mind that the principal and teachers were all high-5'ing each other and giggling hysterically as the last student left campus...that's when the REAL party began as they popped open the bubbly and played a nasty adult version of Twister.
And chances are, you hid that candy almost immediately upon returning home, right?
On Monday morning at approximately 9:00 am, break out the candy, folks. This will buy you enough time to perhaps shower and eat breakfast. It'll take the spawn roughly 30 minutes to consume all the candy and then what will follow will be what I like to refer to as "the sugar coma".
The sugar coma lasts for about 28 minutes, 10 seconds. Enjoy it. Have that 2nd cup of coffee. You'll need it.
2) Have plenty of activities planned that you can casually mention every time they misbehave. Like, say, dyeing Easter eggs.
Try this..."Uh guys, if you keep spitting at each other, I'm afraid we won't be able to dye Easter eggs".....or play at the park, fly the kite, poke the kitty, whatever. Make it sound like they're really missing out on something good.
3) Actually, have plenty of activities planned for real....or you will get your ass kicked and handed back to you on a silver platter by those same spawn.
4) Some activities to do....
- start a vegetable garden (no, I'm not joking...it'll kill some serious time)
- open the front and back doors and tell them to run around the house, in and out, quickly 10 times (be sure to lock both doors on the 9th round, while they're still outside...that's KEY)
- go for a bike ride (bring band-aids because you know someone's gonna get hurt)
- go on a treasure hunt (and tell them they can't come back until they find Mommy's sanity)
- walk around Costco while eating free samples (what I like to call "the poor man's lunch")
- take them to the gym with you and let your trainer beat them into submission while you enjoy a strenuous stroll on the treadmill
- break out the paints that you've hidden away, if you can find them (be aware they will more than likely paint on each other instead of the paper you've provided)
- bake cookies (try not to lose your mind while repeatedly warning "don't eat too much dough or you'll die of salmonella poisoning")
5) Some activities they will find more enjoyable....
- smelling each other's asses to see whose smells the worst
- pulling each other's hair out in huge clumps
- stuffing their younger siblings into the huge plastic bubble you bought at Costco, plugging up the exit hole and farting into it
- jumping into the humongous pile of clean laundry you just sorted
- hiding your beloved bottle of vodka
- screaming so loudly that the neighbors have considered calling 911 at least 3 times in the last hour
- digging up the flowers you just planted in the front yard
- frightening the family cat so badly that she refuses to leave her litter box for days
- harrassing the exterminator to the point where he's tempted to "ignore" the obvious hornet's nest hanging from your child's outdoor swing set
- texting the word "shit" to random people in your address book on your cell phone (including the grandparents who believe their grandchildren are the most precious and sweetest children alive)
6) Be okay with the fact that they will probably not brush their teeth, change their underwear or say one nice word to their siblings the entire week. It's only 7 days, people...if they were doing this shit during summer break, you'd have reason to be concerned.
7) Stock your liquor cabinet with plenty of tequila, vodka and other fine spirits. Have your Wellbutrin prescription refilled early. And be sure to have plenty of chocolate, ice cream, cookies (hell, even pancake batter...whatever your necessary evil is) on hand to enjoy during those moments when you begin to think that coming back as an aardvark in your next life sounds like a darn good plan.
This is a sure sign that you are dangerously close to completely losing your mind. In fact, you might want to have the local psych ward on speed dial, just in case.
8) Go ahead and canvas the neighborhood, letting your neighbors, who don't have spawn living at home, know that it's Spring Break. Apologize ahead of time for making their lives miserable for the next week and ask them to try to not judge you too harshly when they see your spawn riding their bikes outside in the middle of a tornado.
While you're at it, go ahead and give them your most recent picture so they can be sure to share it with the news reporters and local police when you go missing, after finally having followed through with that threat you're constantly making, "If you all don't calm down and find something to do, I'm gonna throw myself into oncoming traffic".
9) Realize that Spring Break only happens ONCE A YEAR...thank God.
10) If nothing else, count down the days on the calendar until the spawn return to school the following week, giving yourself permission to do nothing else but sit on the sofa and stare at the wall come Monday morning.
Or you can spend your quiet time googling "is it possible to grow back brain cells after having been subjected to extremely loud noises, God-awful smells and horrendous sights for 7 days straight?" and "What will happen to me if I ever lose my sense of humor?"
Pick your poison.