How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Ahh, summer. As a teacher, I had two months of glorious relaxation punctuated by regular days of satisfying productivity.

Here’s a little example, typical of this summer.

Dilovely’s To-Do List:

  • Fold/put away laundry from yesterday
  • Do another laundry, hang to dry
  • Work out
  • Tidy living room
  • Finish blog post
  • Answer pending emails
  • Take kids to park/splash pad
  • Sort 2 boxes of kids’ outgrown clothes
  • Clean kitchen

Sure, this list could be seen as ambitious. But come on, SUMMER VACATION. Possibilities are endless.

Dilovely’s What-I-Actually-Did List:

  • Diaper and/or potty for AB
  • Breakfast for kids &/or me
  • Fold half of laundry while kids play nicely in E’s room, put back in basket when screeching ensues
  • Do core exercises with toddler on tummy
  • Postpone workout when toddler steals exercise ball and 5-y-o melts down because the backward lunges (he chooses to do) are too hard
  • Diaper/potty for AB
  • Get paper/markers/cardstock/tape etc. for E to create what’s in his mind
  • Wash 4.5 dishes
  • Attempt to divert tragedy when creation does not match vision/AB scribbles on it
  • Read stories
  • Lunch for kids & me
  • Clean up random mess (who knows? Might be pee, poop, cat puke, marker on sofa, water on bathroom floor, milk on kitchen floor, etc.)
  • Diaper/potty for AB
  • Put AB down for nap
  • Set timer for E’s screen time
  • Finish folding laundry, remember we need another load done, put back in laundry basket
  • Put new load of laundry in washer
  • Kick pathway through toys in living room
  • Read new emails, answer 2.5 emails, star unanswered emails as Important
  • 10-? minutes in the vortex of Facebook
  • Open draft blog post, write 1.5 sentences, re-save
  • Diaper/potty for awakened AB
  • Snack for kids
  • Get kids ready to leave house (shoes, water bottles, hats, sunscreen, changes of clothes, emergency snacks, sometimes towels and suits = seemingly interminable)
  • Take kids to park/splash pad
  • Make dinner for family
  • Eat dinner with family
  • Wash 17 dishes while kids finish dinner
  • Diaper/potty + pjs for AB
  • Remind E to put on pjs (x5)
  • Argue with AB about brushing teeth
  • Brush one or both sets of tiny teeth
  • Read stories
  • Put one or both kids to bed (interminable)
  • Go downstairs, glance at clothes boxes, sigh
  • Go upstairs and watch Netflix
  • Rush to put forgotten laundry in dryer @ 11 pm

Of course, some of these items Sean takes care of, or joins me on, depending on which shift he’s working. Even so, my productivity, at the end of the day, was shockingly low. The opposite of my intention, and in contrast to how busy I always felt.

If these lists were a Venn diagram, there would be ONE ITEM in the overlapping portion, found on both lists (I highlighted it, in case you didn’t notice). Also, one of the bubbles would be ridiculously effing huge, despite containing very few measurable accomplishments.

I admit, there were moments when I looked at my not-done list and felt a dark shadow laughing menacingly: “Bwahahahahaaa! Keep a clean house? Write a blog? Practice your ukulele? Get fit?? YOU POOR CHILDISH FOOL.”

I guess I still tend to look at approaching summers with that naïve feeling of endless potential. Which is silly, because I’ve had kid(s) for six summers now, and I should know better.

Actually, If I’m honest, I can only partially blame my sad non-productivity on my kids. The rest I blame on Veronica Mars.

I don’t mean to complain. Being able to switch gears is wonderful. Dawdling over breakfast is relaxing. I did not miss the bus-stop/babysitter/work sequence at all.

And we totally rocked the parks. We visited over a dozen different ones, some several times, in three different cities. We visited all the splash pads and wading pools we could manage. Playing at the park is true summer.


IMG_6516 IMG_6518 IMG_6745 IMG_6746 IMG_6757 IMG_6771 IMG_6922 IMG_6936

We even worked in some occasional play dates – and one dinner date! – with lovely people, for which I’m grateful.

And even though the summer seemed to fly by, there were a few other cool things I got to do:

  • Dance a gig with troupe members.
  • Pick berries.
  • Co-direct Family Camp.
  • Take a girls’ getaway with Skye before her baby was born.
  • Attend an epic double party (2-year-old’s birthday + her parents’ 10th wedding anniversary).
  • See Guardians of the Galaxy in the theatre with my Hubbibi.
  • Go for a stroll 356m in the air.
  • Be privileged to witness the birth of Skye’s second son, the adorable Baby K. (Which, by the way, was essentially drug-free. The epidural was only seated properly for a very short time, and stopped working for the really long, hard part. Skye is one very tough cookie.)
  • Attend a small, beautiful Quaker wedding ceremony between two lovely brides.

Also of note: E had his first sleepover at Auntie Em’s house – two sleeps in a row, actually – and loved it.

And for me, I should mention as well that there were three 7-hour kid-free days to work on our basement, which netted a visible (if not exactly dramatic) improvement.

So I think the problem is mostly with my outlook. If I didn’t worry so much about what I’m not getting done, I wouldn’t feel so disappointed in myself. Really, I should be making a different sort of daily list: Dilovely’s Did-It List. It would include those 17 dishes that did get washed. And of course, EVERYTHING WOULD BE CROSSED OFF.



6 thoughts on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation

  1. emerge says:

    a) Venn diagrams are tricky – cause you COULD put Work Out and Clean Kitchen in both categories – only that they weren’t quite finished in the one category. But when is anything ever finished?

    b) Naive optimism about summer is vitally important, I think. And about life in general. Things die without it. Just, as you say, not to beat oneself up when total potential is not fulfilled is also important. The dream is PART of the sweetness of reality.

    c) I don’t get everything on my list done either, and I don’t even have kids. It’s a thing that happens.

    d) Part of why we had all that stuff to get done that ended up filling those days with too-much-housework-and-errands, etc., was because of the AWESOMENESS of things like going up in the sky and directing camp and having a kajillion birthday parties. If Have Picnics had been on your list (which I think it was, if I remember a conversation early in the summer correctly) then THAT was accomplished, which has not been true of all recent summers.

    e) Also, in case viewers wonder what happened to your smooth dark hair – that is me in the bottom pic! 🙂

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      a) That’s true. It’s hard to feel right about crossing things off when they’re not finished, though.
      b) Indeed. That must be why I’ve never let it go.
      c) Yep, I remember having eternal never-shrinking to-do lists before kids too. Huh.
      d) You’re right! Picnics! And scones, and ranch time. 🙂 Good stuff.
      e) I know – I was going to caption it, and then my captions were acting buggy and making my pictures all tiny, so I left them unlabeled. But yes! That’s a big ol’ snuggle from Emi!

  2. Mama says:

    You know, I think I know what you mean. Except I never taught school to a whole bunch of kids at once! (just a few…)

  3. emerge says:

    f) all those pictures are SO GREAT! I love that one of the munchkins at the splash pad of course, but also the one where it looks like they’re holding hands to go down the slide, and the one on the purple dinosaur is super sweet. Did you take pics at all the parks, and do you know which ones they were? Are you planning to have little reports on the fb group about what you liked about the various parks and stuff? Twould be pretty darn cool to have a virtual-coffee-table-book about All The Guelph Parks out of your experience. (Um, not to add to your list.)

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      yeah… I probably have pictures from pretty much all the parks, since those kids are walking/running/hopping photo ops. But reporting is way beyond the scope of my ambition. 🙂

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