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           My kid has ADHD.  My kid has RAD.  My kid has ANY mental health disorder.  My kid has a sibling and those siblings won’t stop bickering EVER.  My kid has an indoor voice of a megaphone.  My kid has the attention span of a gnat.  My kid is impulsive and needs to be watched 24/7 to ensure the safety of ALL THINGS.  My kid wakes up at 7:30am for school and 5:00am for EVERY FREAKING DAY of summer vacation.  My kid expects me to make each meal and snack with fairy dust and unicorn tears.  My kid is “BORED”.

            If any of these statements ring true to you, then just let yourself say these words: “I hate summer vacation with a passion, and that DOESN’T make me a bad parent.”

            Ok?  Feel better?  Of course not, because it’s still summer vacation.  But here’s the thing… you’re allowed to love your children and still wish for them to be out of your presence for 8 straight waking hours.  I don’t know when this Mom-Shaming thing became such a societal duty, but I was a fairly typical, well-behaved, non-psychotic child, and my parents STILL locked me out of the house with a bottle of water and 3 hours worth of sunscreen greased over my face and neck.

            How, exactly, does needing to clean the house, do your work, and keep your sanity equate to being a bad parent?  I refuse to apologize that the thought of taking all 3 of my insane children to my gynecologist appointment scares the living crap out of me.  Nor will I say sorry for hating grocery day during the summer.  All the complaints over vegetables, all the pleading for junk food, all the chasing one another down random isles…. Seriously, what’s not to love, right?

            For all of you who enjoy your children all day, every day, I commend you and your patience.  You are beautiful people on the inside.  But I don’t think it makes anyone an ugly person if they don’t enjoy those moments with the same level of enthusiasm (AKA disgust).  So why point fingers?  Why feel guilty over needing to accomplish your own tasks in life without 2,358 interruptions?  Why engage in jealousy over your neighbors’ apparently perfect lives?  (PS, your neighbors’ scream, too… they just have better insulation in their home than you do.)

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            Yesterday was the kids’ last day of school.  It was a half-day.  That sucks already, right?  Because before my daughter’s shoes were even off her feet, she was petitioning someone to entertain her.  I told her that there were 4 walls just begging to keep her company if she was that desperate, and we call those walls Her Room.  Naturally, she was less than impressed with my humor.

            So, in order to keep the children occupied, my husband gave them yard work.  And before you Parent-Shamers gasp that we didn’t take our children to the park and for ice cream on their last day of school, know that I simply don’t care.  There.  I said it. 

But anyways, when I had finished my indoor cleaning (which consisted of picking up EVERY THING that had ever been in my children’s rooms or book bags that was now on my living room floor), I took the toddler outside for some sunshine.  And just as I looked over, there was my 10-year-old RAD son, having my 8-year-old RAD daughter hold a stake while he attempted to drive it into the ground.  WITH AN AXE.

            Tell him not to use the axe?  Sure.  Hide the axe in the locked garage?  Yeah.  Already done that.  A LOT.  But here’s the things about some children (especially those with RAD):  They don’t listen.  It’s shocking, I know, because it’s so much easier to blame the parents.  But as my son was coming down towards my daughter’s head with the sharp blade, I screamed as loudly as I could (over the weed-whacker, over the tractor, over the barking dogs) and my son simply said, “Oh, sorry.”

            We were 6 hours into summer vacation and I was already DONE.

            One hour later, I was being yelled at by two very ballsy children because one’s headband was destroyed and the other’s arrow was busted… items that were left in the yard or on the floor where the dogs and toddler play.  It was then, after hearing them argue for hours and the attempted manslaughter incident, that I calmly screamed at the top of my lungs that THEY were the ones responsible for their broken items – not the person who had spent the afternoon following them around cleaning up after them because we had company coming over!

            Not that they would be deterred.  This morning they have been equally as angelic.  My 8-year-old has turned into a diva, apparently.  No longer does she yell “STOP!” to my son, when he does all he can to tick her off.  No.  Now she does this lovely little number: “STOP-AAA!!!” (complete with eye-rolling and her hip jutted out).  Like we live in the Valley and she’s 14.  Like I’m going to listen to that all summer long without cutting out her tongue.

            And my son, who touches EVERYTHING that is not his on a minute-by-minute basis, creating contraptions with Dad’s tools, unsafe climbing apparatuses, and breaking apart the toddler’s toys to make “new ones”, he thinks that I’m going to allow this to go on for 3 straight months.  Like he’s Bob Villa or something.

            So, once again, I will say it loud and clear:

            I hate summer vacation with a passion, and that DOESN’T make me a bad parent!