And now I will telleth the story of the Bad Mother. It was the Summer of 2012 and lo did she have the big plans of how things would be Different this year. How the children, no, they would not watch so much of the Yo Gabba Gabba and also the Phineas and Ferb. O no, the children, they would engage in activities such as Go Play Outside, and also The Eating of the Healthy Foods by the Seasons would occur.
The Spelling, it would be practiced, and the Reading Lists, they would be tackled, so that by the end of the summer the children would receive the crappy free paperbacks from the Barnes and Noble in reward. Books that would never ever be read and that would be placed not-so-gently into the Closet of Presents to be pawned off on less-beloved school friends during The Season of the Many Birthday Parties, often at the Chuck E. Cheese or The Little Gym.
And O, the Mother had declared that This Summer would be the Summer of the Family Outings and the family would Take Advantage of the Beauty of the Mountains. But The Mother found that she did not enjoy the slathering of the sunscreen and the whines accompanying the spraying of the bug spray and the packing of the snacks and the water bottles and the extra clothes and the picnic blanket and the towels and also the water shoes. And always, always, the swim mask would be forgotten, and it did make The Mother envy those upon whom the fugue state had descended, like fog, one morning.
And lo, The Mother did not plan the Family Outings anymore.
Instead, much of the time was wasted. For The Mother, she often felt the Exhaustion, which drew her buttocks as though lured by a magnet to the comfy couch night after night. For The Mother did also attempt to Work and to Do Her Job and also to Bring Home the Bacon and sometimes she would utter things to the children like “I have a job, you know!” and sometimes also “Mommy is a Person!” and yes “Mommy can only do ONE THING AT A TIME.” Which was a lie because lo, The Mother could do at least four things at a time, but she did not want the children to know this.
But the children, they did not care.
And so the junk food was eaten in great quantities, and the children did become whiny when it was absent. And the television was watched as though the children had taken soma, drawn to its flickering images of unintelligible blue dogs and CGI Barbies in peril.
And so it did become August and The Mother realized that the spelling apps had gone unused, and the books unread, and the family outings untaken, and The Mother was sad.
But then The Mother did look at the calendar and she did mentally check off the days until the Start of School. And The Mother smiled a Grinch-ish smile.
And it was good.
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