Wait!! What, the summers over!?!?
That’s right Ladies and Gents, school starts in a week, and once again I have let summer vacation pass by without any meaningful time with the nerdettes.
Every June begins with a daydream of all the fun family activities we will do and the great places we will visit. In my mind’s eye, I will be the perfect doting father teaching valuable life lessons while laughing and having picture perfect days under temperate Monet-esque skies. The reality, however… Well, let’s just say it’s not so picturesque. Mostly it includes watching my “grown-up” shows in the solace of my bedroom while the nerdettes re-watch their shows over and over again in the living room on an endless Netflix loop. Add in everyone in the house simultaneously playing on a handheld electronic device and that’s us in a nutshell.
So, excuse number one, its hot, like fry an egg on the sidewalk, center of the freakin’ sun sort of hot, and no sane person should go out in heat like that. Second excuse, I’m tired. It is not summer vacation for me, it is go to work every day and curse the fact that I’m an adult with adult responsibilities for me.
But, here’s the truth… I am kind of a lazy parent, probably even a lazy person. What life lessons am I teaching the nerdettes? I’ve taught them that it’s ok to stay in pajamas all day, eat hotpockets for breakfast and lunch, and playing on your phone/iPad through dinner is the way we do things.
Well, NO MORE I say, or at least let’s do these things less often. As a result, we at Dad vs the Nerdettes are rebooting our household. We are starting fresh with this school year, and we are gong to focus on getting back into the habit of being a family instead of a house with very small roommates. To this end we are instituting a series of rules meant to bring us together while also eliminating the Lazy Dad Syndrome that I have fallen into.
We actually started this near the end of the last school year to help keep Nerdette the elder focused on her schoolwork instead of trying to rush through it to get back to another episode of My Babysitter’s a Vampire (although I do give her mad props for choosing a show about vampires as her go to). When we started it last year we saw a near instant improvement in both her reading and writing skills.
This is more to do with my “dad bod” than anything the nerdettes do or don’t do. Although, Nerdette the younger may turn into a McNugget if we keep going the way we currently are. That child would live on nothing but nuggets and Gogurt if we let her.
Just before school let out we began reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone before bed. Unfortunately, we only got through about 1/4 of the book before we stopped. I’ve told the nerdettes they can’t go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando until we have read all 7. (That’s right, I’m not above bribing my children to love Harry Potter.)
This can be a game night, or a craft project, or even something as simple as baking a cake together. It doesn’t really matter as long as we are all doing the same thing at the same time without electronic interference.
Sometimes this will be going to a museum or play. Sometimes it will be a city park. Either way it can’t be at home and everyone must participate. No phones/tablets allowed even if there is a poke-stop nearby. Ok, maybe phones/tablets on the way or once we leave if there are poke-stops nearby because obviously we gotta catch em all. #TeamMysticRules
Ultimately, it’s no use waiting for next summer to come before we start to change what we teach the nerdettes about how to live a productive life. If I wait for another school year to end, then next August I will again be sitting here wondering where all the time went that I was supposed to spend with my family. In an attempt to keep ourselves on track, I will come back and post on our progress, both good and bad. I’m sure there will be times when we slip up and I’m equally sure there will be more rules that we want to tackle once we have these things as habits instead of goals. Either way I’ll let you know how it goes.