Minute one, Thursday afternoon—Dear Diary, spring break started ten minutes ago. I just heard "I'm bored" for the first time. I fear we may not make it the eleven calendar days until school starts again on April 10. That means I have seven school days and two full weekends to fill with fun, joy, and something other than video games and reruns of Thundercats cartoons.
Day one, Friday—Dear Diary, plans to take my kids on a super fun field trip to the zoo in Baltimore have to be scrapped. The combination of the slowest computer known to humankind and a last-minute deadline work together to give my kids a day of video games and backyard play. This, it turns out, is their favorite day in the history of days.
Day two, Saturday—Diary, I am so good at this spring break thing. Look! I already made it to the first weekend and have barely broken a sweat. I am awesome!
Day three, Sunday—Diary, today is April Fool's Day. My kids have reached the age where they think it is really funny to say, "Look! There is a spider above your head!" and force me to look, then shout "April Fools!" They are young enough to seem to believe that I have been legitimately fooled each time and old enough to yell at me if I refuse to look. Day three has been long.
Day four, Monday—Ennui is setting in, followed by its close friend, panic. The short ones are getting restless. I realize that I have not yet mapped out the plans for our time off that I had assumed I would have done by now. Fortunately, a friend needed a favor and brought her kids over for me to babysit. Morning crisis averted. Unfortunately, Diary, I agreed to go ice skating with other friends in the afternoon. Late-day crisis created. We are now nursing our injuries in front of Thundercats.
Day five, Tuesday—Diary, I made a mistake. I scheduled a mental health appointment for today without realizing my kids would be off school. Silver lining: my psychiatrist was able to see in person what I've been talking about all these years and now understands exactly why I look so shell shocked every time I walk into his office.
Day six, Wednesday—Better late than never, Diary. I finally made plans to entertain my kids. I dragged them and another family all the way into D.C. to go to the American History Museum. Too bad that all the interactive exhibits for kids were apparently removed long ago. We asked a museum guard if there was anything on the first floor, then if there was anything on the third floor. His answer to both questions? "Not a whole lot there." I hate everything.
Day seven, Thursday—I find it is generally a good idea to surround yourself with organized friends, which is why I have chosen to hitch my wagon to someone other than myself today. We followed a friend to the Trolley Museum and then to her house, where she ordered a pizza lunch for us and created an egg hunt in her back yard. Diary, day seven rocks. I want to move in, but my friend claims to be leaving town for Easter. My paranoia makes me wonder if this is merely an excuse to get us out of her house.
Day eight, Friday—Friday is the day my children finally turn totally and irrevocably against each other. It turns out that seven days is the maximum that they are able to stand each other when forced to remain in close proximity for 24 hours a day. The situation is getting dire here, Diary. T.G.I.F.
Day nine, Saturday—Diary, the weekends are the worst. During spring break, they are the same as every other day. World War III is brewing between my kids.
Day ten, Sunday—Today was forced labor day, Diary. My husband insisted that we all work as a team to erect a shed in the back yard. The kids took shelter in the empty shed carton. I nearly joined them, right up until that war that was brewing yesterday erupted inside the box. We have sustained serious casualties, Diary.
Day eleven, Monday—Dear Diary, I began my day by packing lunches and backpacks and impatiently tapping my feet in anticipation of tomorrow's 8:50 a.m. school start time. I also intend to take the children to the zoo and attempt to contain them in some sort of pen.
Tuesday, oh thank the good lord, Tuesday—Diary, my kids are at school. It's time for me to go take a nap.
Jean, a.k.a. Stimey, writes a personal blog at Stimeyland; an autism-events website for Montgomery County, Maryland, at AutMont; and a column called Autism Unexpected in the Washington Times Communities. You can find her on Twitter as @Stimey.