I’m the first in line to hump a teacher for all they do. I’m also first in line to have a retraining order filed when I hump an unsuspecting teacher.

Remembering that I’d chosen between nursing and teaching as majors makes me laugh especially hard these days, because I am SO not a teacher. Kids – even my own – make me twitchy. And I’m probably the LAST person on the planet you want ministering to young, impressionable minds.

Unless, of course, it’s teaching them how to ditch the 5-0, in which case, we’re ALL good.


School ended this week, the outcries of parents heard ’round the world. Kids seem to have a hard time going from a rigid structured environment to doing, well, nothing. My own crotch parasites can’t entertain themselves worth dick.

I distinctly recall summer vacation growing up. It started after I rode my bike home from school and said, “Hey Mom, school’s out, here’s my report card!” She’d glance at the report card (straight A’s as usual, except for PE, which I refused to participate in), toss it on the counter and say, “Okay, time to go outside.”

Then I was ushered outside to play, the door locked squarely behind me.

I was able to come in for lunch but then it was right back outside again.

I had one of those rusted-out old metal swingsets, probably teaming with lead paint, and when two people used the set, one of it’s poles would lurch unhappily out of the ground with a metallic screech. I’m surprised I didn’t inadvertently kill myself on the thing.

I also had a sandbox that neighboring cats and roaming raccoons shit in. We’d just fling the crusted-over poo out of the box and keep playing. We called them “poo crunchies.” It was generally the youngest’s job to handle the poo. Because obviously.

I recall many things about summer – the Ice Cream Man, (who even as a child seemed a little Uncle Pervy), cherry snow cones, selling lemonade on the street, non-stop games of Ghost in the Graveyard, chasing each other in Big Wheels up and down our street – but I don’t remember being bored.

And I certainly don’t remember my mother coming outside to play with me. In fact, no one’s mother came out to play with their kids. If they had, summer would have been a hell of a lot less fun.

My eldest is off in California until Tuesday while Alex and Amelia’s preschool teacher is on vacation until next Wednesday. It dawns on me that four and two are too young to simply boot outside to “play.” Especially since I don’t trust them not to find sledgehammers and break down a wall to get back inside and into Dora’s and her stupid fucking backpack’s loving grip.

My children are so bored that I cannot believe they haven’t drilled a hole into my head just to see what happens.

(spoiler alert: it’s empty in there)

I’ve come to terms with the idea I may not last the weekend (unless the rain goes away) and if I do, I’m buying their preschool teacher diamonds. LOTS of diamonds. And I’m buying myself a gigantic bottle of Valium. With a vodka chaser.

Summer, it seems, is why Mommy needs her vodka.

47 thoughts on “Hell Hath No Fury Like Two Children Bored

  1. I’m with you I was kicked out at like 8 and let back in for lunch IF I was even hungry and dinner then I played till it got dark. And I was NEVER bored. My kids on the other hand have NO imaginations between the 4 of them. If the boys aren’t allowed to play video games I am torturing them. And the girls just want to read and watch Justin Beaver. I want to hut myself this summer.

  2. I love you so hard right now. I think of summer as “that time when I accomplish nothing” although it has gotten slightly better now that my kids are 6 and 11. The 11-year-old (boy) will happily stay on the computer all day, not even stopping to eat, playing games with his increasingly virtual friends. And sometimes he just goes off to THEIR houses where, he later reports, he evidently watches THEM play video games. And the 6-year-old (girl) has recently become obsessed with watching the Disney shows on streaming Netflix. So, though I have to listen to a constant backdrop of “Suite Life on Deck”, “Wizards of Waverly Place” or “Good Luck Charlie”, at least she’s entertained and I can get some writing done. And I don’t have to figure out activities. I suck at activities.

  3. OMG! We had that same swing set! Are you sure we didn’t grow up together? I remember ALL of those things. Last summer my girls told me about this ‘new’ game they had played with their friends, yeah, it was Ghost in the Graveyard.
    And as for teachers? They are awesome! They so deserve the 2+ months off in the summer, but OMFG I am so glad when the kids go back to school!
    Cheers! (Vodka toast)

  4. When I was a kid I was never home. After breakfast and Saturday morning cartoons, I was out the door either with my bike or skateboard in my hands. Back in the 80’s we didn’t have all this electronic gadget goodness that we do today. Yes we had Atari and Nintendo back then… But I rather be outside with my bike or skateboard. Frankly, I was never bored as a kid.

    Even throughout my teen-hood & high school years I was never home. I was always out hanging with friends and making the most of my time off from school in the outdoors.

    Today we don’t see kids outside playing anymore. They are too busy on their PC’s, cellphones, god like video game systems & so forth. Its really sad to see overweight kids, and children with social problems because they don’t communicate with their peers.

    When the time comes for me to have children, the will be outside kids. No cellphones, No video games, & no PC.

    Vodka toast,


    1. No, I was NEVER home either. I avoided my house like the plague. Didn’t matter. I didn’t want to be there. And I couldn’t care LESS about computer games. Still don’t for that matter.

  5. It’s all Dora’s fault. Her and her gang of mariachi vermin are ruining our children’s imaginations. Kinda like Ren and Stimpy ruined mine.

  6. We called “Ghost in the Graveyard” “Bloody Murder”. We were a sick bunch. But we sure as hell didn’t want our parents to play with us. Now? My kids LOVE it when I join in at the park. As an ex-teacher, I just want to say that yes, they’re awesome but it is SO MUCH EASIER when the kids are not yours and they’re in the structured school day. Sometimes I think about creating a super-structure schedule for the summer, just so the kids don’t get on my nerves as much.

  7. This is so true, when did it happen that parents had to start playing with their kids? Let the perishers sort out their own entertainment. I was bored and it has done me absolutely no harm. Clearly. Much.

    School in Great Britain doesn’t break up till the third Friday in July. I’m making the most of the next few weeks.

  8. Summer makes me insane- my children actually had the nerve to tell me it was my JOB to play with them! We actually have a little over a week left of school here, but already I’m dreading it, and wondering why their (non squeaky, only slightly rusty) swingset and the 25 acres of woodland we have aren’t enough to inspire them.

  9. When I was 4, my parents shoved me outside and I played with the local neighborhood kids. I was the smallest, so they’d teach me how to curse, flip people off, and all the lyrics to Brass Monkey.

    It’s not that more kids have ADD these days, we’re just programming them to look for instant gratification and constant entertainment. There is a lack of imagination in today’s youth, which makes me feel sad for the musicians, cartoonists, and marketing gurus of the 2030’s…

    That said, I’ll never look at an ice cream truck the same way, thanks to you and Uncle Pervy.

    Your Idahomie

    Today’s Post: Uncommon Cures for the Common Cold

  10. I remember spending the entire summer outside too. Although I also remember my mother playing with us once we were old enough to play badminton without completely sucking.

  11. As much as I would love to just kick my kiddo out the door until dinnertime, around here the law just wouldn’t allow it. And my hubby works for Childrens Services, and while he’d never turn me in it wouldn’t look to good on his part. Damn.

    Instead we have discovered two magic words: SUMMER CAMP. Yeah, Baby. Drop him off anytime after 7 am and just have to pick him up by 6 pm. He gets to run absolutely hog wild with 300 other kids and bare bones supervision. (Well, the “coaches” are high school kids on minimum wage–can’t expect too much.) He’s to tire to move much once we pick him up. Find a camp–save your soul.



  12. Also banished outside during the day. I WAS bored, but it wasn’t my parents job to give a shit if I was bored.

    If I DARED say I bored, then it was “Well, I’ll give you something to do” which usually involved cleaning something, or pulling weeds.

    1. Oh yes. Complaining of boredom was the quickest way to be given a dirty task to do. The garden always could be weeded, the pool/basement/my room could always be cleaned, the cars needed washing, etc., etc.

    1. Ps, btdubs I have a two year old so everyday is summer. Thank the sweet lady internet for Dora and Uniqua so I can have an uninterrupted, albeit with constant high pitched, mind numbing music in the background, moment on my computer.

  13. My mother played outside with us exactly twice when I was a kid. The first time she was tipsy. She showed us that she could in fact, still do a front handspring. Two days later, which was Monday and the first day the chiropractor was open, she went to town and came home in a neck brace. The second time she was also intoxicated. She started a rotten tomato fight and had a terrible headache the next day. I believe playing with us caused her physical pain… and that your Honors is why I did not play outside with my own children. 😀

  14. I’m pretty sure we grew up in the same place. Or, you are me. o.O The oldest of the four has already proclaimed his boredom complete with tears. FML….

  15. just found your site, and had to laugh… hard, LOL! My stepson is always saying he is bored, won’t play outside, won’t read, won’t anything. I don’t remember having boredom as an option growing up. When did this happen? PS – you can send your rain to me, we are so dry we are fixin’ to blow away.

  16. I remember my mom shuffling me and my brother off to summer rec – an all day camp. I hated going. Now I understand why she would not give in to my pleas to stay home. My kids are only 2 and 5. . . a bit too young to let them go unsupervised.

    Tonight, I will toast to you, me, and all the other moms who will be entertaining their kids all. day. long. Cheers to us!!

  17. I remember the days when we used the backyard as our toilet because we were locked out of the house so that my aunt could watch Oprah undisturbed. True story. I ended up climbing the fence to get in the front door (she only locked the back one to keep us out) when we got hungry. I couldn’t have been older than 8 and my siblings were 2 and 4 years younger…

    Jack has never gone outside unsupervised. I just…can’t even imagine it. I know I live in the city so things are a little different but seriously, if that kid isn’t within earshot I have to wonder how he is committing suicide at that moment. ‘Cause yeah, kids you can’t see or hear are TROUBLE.

    I do remember being bored as a kid, though. I hated the outdoors even then and resented being sent outside…of course, we had a swing set like you did – it was a hazard! So, ya know, maybe if the options were better.

  18. My mom taught for two years in her pscychological/educational; career. She used knowledge gained as a teacher to keep us out of her hair. We had to read for an hour each day, which wasn’t a problem because we liked reading. She came up with some math or science related task. When we were in kindergarten it was something like counting all left shoes or all the doorknobs is the house, or pouring vinegar into baking soda. When we were older, we may have had to measure the square footageof the house, or the total surgace aree of windows, or in non-drought years, we had to lug water from our swimming pool in gallon jugs into the bathibs to determine the capacity of the tubs. She didn’t supervise any of this. She just told us to do it and to report our findings to her after we finished while she read in a chaise lounge in the shade. After that, we got one hour of tV time and maybe 30 minutes of computer time. We got ninety minutes of swimming time each afternoon if we finished everything. Friends could join us for swimming and playing after we were finished, or we could swim or play at their houses. After or before that, if we dared ask for extra tV or computer time or said we were bored, she handed us a pre-made packet about an inch thick of math worksheets, vocabulary worksheets, handwriting worksheets, and really boring stufff, which she actually checked to make sure it was done correctly and up to standards. Your kids are too young now, but if you’re really mean, you can try this for anyone older than kindergarten. If you don’t live in an area where there are swimming pools in all the backyards and you don’t want to invest tons of time at community or club pools, playing in sprinklers is fun, too. Sometimes we did that instead of swimming. Then my mom didn’t have to watch us.

      1. The summer after we turned 12, my mom asked us if we needed more “homeschooling” or if we could keep ourselves out of her hair and off the computer and away from the tV. We agreed to her terms and pretty much stayed the hell away from the house most of the day unless my mom was working or sick and in bed. Last summer, when I was 15, i had multiple broken bones, so I did get to lie around and watch TV.

      2. My mother had us sufficiently trained by the time we were twelve that she let us off the prison routine and we stayed the hell away from the house most of the day unless my mom was working.. Last summer when I was 15 I had broken bones, so I did get to watch lots of TV.

  19. SUMMER CAMP! The best money you ever spent! On Anything!
    Ok, except maybe the trip to the clinic for that persistent burning when you peed.

  20. When I was a kid, Summer = outside unsupervised. Since my kids are 5, 2, and 1 They can’t be left alone even long enough for me to pee. I’ve tried it. Total destruction ensued. It’s like a never ending summer for me.
    Please tell me it gets better. The lie makes me feel better.

  21. Aunt Becky, we obviously grew up in the same neighborhood. My mom shoved us outside as soon as we finished breakfast. We took to our bikes, rounded up other neighborhood kids, and didn’t come home until lunchtime. (I now shudder to think of the various moderately dangerous and completely unsupervised activities we got up to). Then, after lunch, we were shooed outside again, and didn’t come home until dinner. When the streetlights came on, we had to be home. Of course, after dinner the neighborhood kids congregated to play kick the can and hide and seek until it was full dark and we all heard our parents calling our names into the night. The next day was a repeat of the same. Bored was not a word that passed our lips, because then we found ourselves weeding the garden or painting the fence.

  22. Sadly, 4and 2 is too young to use my tactic also. Any time any of my children complain about being bored, they are given a nasty, heinous, yucky chore (like scrubbing out the toilet). The quickly relearn to banish the word bored from their vocabulary.

  23. Wait. What? We’re supposed to go out and play with the kids? That’s some bullshit. All my friends with older kids are bitching about how much camp costs. Camp? Turn ’em out the front door with a tent. That’s pretty much free. From age 5 or so, my friends and I just wandered in the woods all day. I don’t remember being bored until I was in high school.

  24. OMGZ I almost choked on my dinner laughing, you and I have parallel childhood memories. My mom kicked our asses outside in the summer, and lunch was slid out on a plate like we were some kind of reverse prisoners at chow time. Except we really didn’t want to go inside because we live in east bunghole and didn’t get cable television until we were in junior high, hell we didn’t even have 9-1-1 in our arear until junior high either … “hey kids hope you’re good at remembering phone #’s…” anyways my mother was (and still is) glued to ‘The Young & The Restless’ and I would’ve rather risked sunstroke and infected poison ivy complimented by a deer tick bite than watch that mindless drivel. That crap gives me evil ice pick migraines just thinking about it…. Anyways, we too had a rusted out swing set that was older than us, perched on top of a hill that was not cemented in . We use to like to swing as high as we could to see how far off the ground we could get the legs, before we would jump off. If we had failed, it would’ve been epic, because we would have gone ass over tea kettle into a hill of pricker bushes and undoubtedly yellow jackets. So we would’ve been full of holes, bee stings, then gotten our asses handed to us for being morons. Ohhhh the memories *swoon*

  25. My swing set was completely rusted, so no lead paint, and one of the swings was a plank of wood that my dad screwed holes into. I worry about my daughter watching too much tv, but our neighborhood is a little sketchy, so I can’t let her roam. In fact, her favorite friend across the street is most likely to follow in his father’s drug dealing footsteps, and while I try not to be too judgmental towards them, I can’t let my kid be around that. Oh, the modern world. :0)

  26. Ahhhh….such sweet memories! We were allowed to come inside,, briefly, while the ‘mosquito truck’ sprayed the toxic poison….within minutes, we were back outside.

    My own kids were also kicked outside during the summer. I’m not sure how it happened, but both were more intrigued with playing and DOING things, than watching tv or playing video games (which is what most of their friends wanted to do). As young adults they are more inclined to go ride bikes or climb a mountain than they are to watch tv or be on the computer.

  27. I’m a bad mummy, my just-4 and almost-3 yr old both play outside in our garden only supervised from afar (the lounge wiindow occasionally, and I go outside if I hear screams….)….they are very very good at amusing themselves (and me!), i don’t know why but they are! I know they are pretty safe eg no stranger danger so the odd graze/bruise is just a learning curve for them

    I really do love playing with them though (this will wear off when they are too old to play with me!)and that might be because financially I have no choice but to go out to work and my shifts are so long that I only just get home for a good night kiss three days a week.

    However if they ever tell me they are bored (they don’t use that word but I can tell)I give them housework to do – they can’t really “do” it but they love it. Dusting or a bowl of soap suds and a sponge to “wash” the car or outside of the conservatory works well.

  28. They don’t get any better at entertaining themselves as they get older, but at least as teenagers you can make them get jobs. And then it’s payback time. Muwahahaha…hack hack cough sputter.

  29. That’s hilarious Two kids, 10 years old each, one boy one girl, I think they call ’em twins. One Mom going into menopause. I already have signs posted around the house for myself, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Somehow I don’t think that will be enough.

  30. Here’s me throwing gasoline on the SAHM vs. WAHM vs. working outside the home mom issue – if you use daycare fulltime you just upgrade to summer camp. Presto! Just finished the first week. My kids are fatigued! They go to bed early! They have a great time! I take a few half days off and go on some of their more fun field trips and then all the kids envy my girls’ “cool” mom. The almost three year old gets up in the morning, stares me in the eyes and says “GO BUS!” because she loves the school bus so much. Yes, I am gloating. I write the check and I rock.

  31. Mine are old enough to boot out the house but I know all too well what it is they’re doing.

    15 and 16 year olds are not playing jump rope in the alley or building a pretend fairy village in the back yard with sticks and leaves.

    Why do people say child labour like it’s a bad thing?

    Searching for a sweat-shop to ship the kids to until September…

    1. i signed my teen up to work at the library and for boy scout camp. I volunteered my preteen daughter to babysit workdays for a family friend. I did all this without asking their preference. I just couldn’t take waking up every morning to their bored and expectant faces. BAM. You’ve got jobs.

  32. Ah, yes. Poo in the sandbox (and clotted balls of pee), lurching swing sets and scratches from said rusty parts, kicked outside except for meals and peeing, Big Wheel races… digging up clay in the back yard, mud pies over the septic tank, Barbies swimming in buckets, hunting for tadpoles and pollywogs, roaming the neighborhood, begging for the sprinkler to be set up, games of tag, bike rides, rolling in Mulberries, drinking from honeysuckle, trying to weave summer grass… . Dirty? Hells yes. Bored? Heck no!

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