This Summer I'm Giving My Kids 100% (But It's Not What You Think)

by Debbie Butters
Nadezhda1906 / iStock

I’m planning on giving 100% to my kids this summer. Not 110%. Not even 101%. 100% on the dot.

I’m thinking that on an average day it is going to break down something like this:

I’ll wake up super early as I will recognize that this will be my only alone time for the entire day. The fact that this will be my only alone time for the entire day won’t even seem like that big of a deal at that early hour because I will be alone. Except that suddenly I won’t be. Because even though I crept out of bed with a ninja-like stealthiness that defied all the laws of gravity and physics, some little person in my house will have decided that they, too, want to be up at the crack of dawn on a day when they could have slept as late as they wanted.

I will spend 5% of myself trying to figure out why, on every school day this year, it took a literal act of God to get them out of bed before 8:20 (and that was with me dressing some of them while they were still sleeping and carrying them directly to the car) but today they decide that 5:30 a.m. would be a good time to get up and start engaging me in conversation.

1% of myself will be spent trying to get them to stop talking to me until it is a decent hour.

At some point, 7% will be spent trying to be nice and make them all homemade pancakes. (I would have only given 6% to this — but some of the pancakes will have chocolate chips and it will take that extra 1% not to eat them straight from the bag.)

8% will be spent breaking up a fight over the last pancake (which no one really wants, but which they just don’t want anyone else to have).

2% on figuring out how the freak they got syrup everywhere. Everywhere.

I will give 6% to fielding their “What are we doing today?” questions. And 2% to laughing at myself for thinking I was going to be able to shower today.

4% will go to checking the weather and deciding to go to the pool.

So far so good, right?

We are going to the pool.

5% I will give to trying to find clean towels for everyone. (Why didn’t I do a load of towels last night?!) 1% will go to vowing to be more organized.

4% of myself will be spent searching for goggles, and floaties, and sunscreen. 3% on finding snacks to bring with us. 3% more on trying to find five water bottles to fill with ice and cold water.

2% yelling at everyone to get in the damn car.

I’ve given them 53% of myself so far. It is 11:30 in the morning. I need to start rationing.

At the pool, I have no choice but to give a full 5% to making sure everyone stays alive and un-sunburned.

When we are done, I will spend another 2% yelling at everyone to get back in the damn car.

During the car ride home, I will hear, “Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!” And I will give a full 10% of myself trying to come to terms with the fact that I am the one who taught them the word “mom” to begin with. I’m pretty sure I even wrote it in their baby books. I probably even videotaped the first kid or two when they said it. Now if I hear it one more time, I’m going to rip my ears off my head. I spend 1% trying not to do that.

When we get home, I will spend 2% telling everyone to put their wet clothes and towels in the bathroom. Then I will spend 2% walking around the house picking up all the wet clothes and towels that have been strewn about.

At about 4:30, I will realize that I haven’t even begun to think of dinner. I will spend 5% of myself trying to search the cabinets and the fridge for something normal to fix for dinner. I will spend a quick 2% deciding that I’m going to prepare and freeze a bunch of meals on Sundays so that I always have a meal on hand if I need it. I will spend another 1% realizing that I am never going to actually do this.

3% of me will be spent looking around the house in horror and disgust because it is so messy, quickly followed by spending 4% convincing one of the kids to snuggle on the couch with me while they watch Paw Patrol, and I stalk people on Facebook.

3% will be spent trying to get the grimiest kids into the bathtub. 4% will go directly to convincing them all that their teeth are going to rot out of their heads if they don’t brush their teeth.

2% will be me yelling again that they need to go to bed NOW.

And my very last 1% will be spent falling asleep next to one of them in the world’s smallest toddler bed.

100% on the nose.

Every single day.

It’s just the way I roll.