Known for riding her son’s scooter and winning water gun fights, Meredith is the parent’s pick for play reviews, finding products that parent’s love and kids don’t put down. Answering the prayers of parent’s everywhere, Meredith’s must-read blogs from “Toys That Travel Well” to “Playtime For Moms” are reviews that provide parents with the real rundown.
1. I implore you. PRE-Produce this moment! My husband is a TV producer and a favorite utterance in his line of work is "it's ALL in the pre-production". We "at-home" parents are field producers of the most whack-a-doodle daily reality show ever created. Except we have no editors and post-production magic on our sides. So use the next couple weeks (while those teachers still have your kids 6 hours a day), to take some notes, organize yourself, and make a plan for the next 6-8 weeks of full-time kid-ville.
2. Buy at least 2 Slip and Slides at your local big box store. Buy them NOW, because they will be nowhere to be found by the time it gets hot outside and your kids are ready to hurl themselves down the plastic runway of doom. And the first one will break 12 minutes after you turn on the hose.
3. Create a Summer Wish List and post it for all to see. Every May we take a big ol' piece of poster board and make a "Sinclair Summer Camp" list. We brainstorm and write down all the fun and exciting things we hope to do over break, and then post it on our sliding glass doors in the kitchen. I thought my kids would have grown out of this activity by now, but every year they ask to do it. There's just something awesome about slapping down all of our idealistic summertime wishes and working down through them.
4.Have a small glass of wine, take a few deep breaths, and go swim suit shopping. Alone. It's simply imperative that you use one of the last remaining kid-free weekdays you have left to hunt down and trap the ever allusive figure-flattering bathing suit. There is only one thing worse than swim suit shopping. Swim suit shopping with kids. Especially if ya have to bring them into the dressing room. They NEVER lie to be nice. And they have no volume control.
5. Have your kids pick one thing that they are super curious about, that doesn't seem to make the school's regular curriculum and have it be their "expert study" for the summer. I've been doing this since my boys were wee, and it's a fun and creative way to keep their brains from starting to attrophy over the summer, while giving them something to turn to when they're "bored" (which will be 20 minutes after the dismissal bell rings on the last day of school). We use the library to stock up on informational books on their chosen subject, find a few field trips that relate, and let them google the heck out of it. At the end of the summer they do a creative presentation to teach us all about their topic. I think this year my boys are leaning toward Dubstep Turntablism and the Tusekgee Airmen.
6.Buy and apply self tanner, like now. The community pool will completely sneak up on you some random Tuesday and there is just nothing lovely about snow white skin in June. My all time favorite is this:
7. Contact your neighborhood high school babysitters and put them on a retainer. By week two of summer break they will all be booked and you will NEED a manicure, and massage, an adult movie, and a martini. Pay them whatever they want.
8. Find out your kid's friend's schedules and write them down. Your kids will be longing to play with someone their own age somewhere around day 4 and while I pride myself on my water gun skills, lemonade stand management, and sprinkler jumping prowess, I'll never be as much fun to play with as their dude friends. If you know when their friends are in camps and when they're free, your summer play date production will be a whole lot easier.
9. Find out YOUR friend's summer schedules and write them down. You'll want to play with someone your own age somewhere around day 4.
10. Finally, post the quote below somewhere you can see it and your kids can't, and vow to enjoy the crazy ride that is summer break one day at a time.
“Summer is kind of like the ultimate one-night stand: hot as hell, totally thrilling, and gone before you know it.”— Cosmopolitan