Summer has officially arrived, mamas and papas, which means it’s time to get your affairs in order if you have any hope of living through the long break from school. Need some help? I’ve got your shopping list right here: 10 parenting essentials for surviving summer.
1. Booze. And lots of it. Second only to selling your progeny at the neighborhood garage sale, it’s your only hope for tolerating the next two and a half months of nonstop kid time. Plus, you’ll sort of feel like you actually did sell them, because you won’t be able to remember their whining anyway.
2. A trough. Forget catering to each kid’s dietary demands. Just grab a bunch of stuff from the pantry, throw it all in a giant, rectangle-shaped container, and tell them to have at it.
3. A fly swatter. For the flies, of course, but also to slap at the children when they start fighting over who gets to shave the cat first and getting too close to your vodka lemonades.
4. A garden hose. Good for spraying them from your lawn chair when they step out of line. Doubles as a showering mechanism, which is handy, especially because the hotter months seem to elevate the kids’ tendency to smell like the inside of a used jock strap.
5. Life jackets. Supervising pool time requires a lot of concentration. And also, there’s the whole booze thing to consider. Best to just strap them in a floatation device and let them bob around for a while. That last pitcher of sangria isn’t going to top itself off, after all.
6. Netflix. This one may take a bit of prep work, what with how confusing remote controls can be for kindergarteners, but once you create a kid profile and lay out an image-based instructional manual detailing which buttons will switch the TV to streaming, you won’t have to even talk to them until August.
7. Tents. Set them up in the backyard and start hauling the children’s possessions out there, bit by bit, until there’s nothing left for them in the house. Tell the kids they’re not to come inside for the rest of the summer unless somebody has to use the potty, and even then, only if it’s a number two. They’ll be fine. They’re camping. Kids love to camp.
8. Sand. Or dirt. Doesn’t matter, really. Hire a landscaping company to dump a whole bunch in the driveway, toss some tiny plastic shovels on top, and tell the kids you’ll buy them a Jet Ski as soon as they transfer it all into the yard of that one neighbor you can’t stand. (Not really, but they don’t need to know that.) Don’t worry about them getting dirty. You have a hose, remember?
9. Backpacks with kiddie leashes. Tie them up to the sturdiest tree or post in the yard. You’ll get at least three hours before you have to worry about somebody figuring out how to escape and running into traffic.
10. Bulk size package of Everlasting Gobstoppers. Pop one of those suckers in when they wake up. You won’t have to hear a word until you fill the trough with dinner.
See? This whole summer thing won’t be so bad. And even if you only manage to get as far as number one, you’ll be golden.