Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tuesdays are Covered

That's the good news. I've secured a fun and interesting place for my kids to go every Tuesday this summer.

Seven days down, thirty-seven more to go.

Well, thirty. I've got a week's vacation planned in July, and the kids have another camp in August, plus Independence day. So that's good.

But most of my summer child-care plans have gone kerbloingy-bloingy, for various reasons, leaving me to scramble as best as I can.

On Tuesdays, they'll be going to the Pastor's house--they have kids about the same age as mine. One thing they'll probably do is go bowling. That wily Reverend scored a whole mittfull of free bowling coupons, given away by local bowling centers.

(That's what they're called, by the way--bowling centers. Not bowling alleys. I made the mistake of using the 'a' word once in a room full of Bowling Center Proprietors when I was producing a local TV bowling show. The temperature dropped about 40 degrees [farenheit] when I used it.

Also, there are no gutters on bowling lanes. No one ever throws a gutter ball. You throw a channel ball.

[As an aside to this aside: I have a standing bet with an associate: I'm betting that if I had a jackhammer, I in fact would be able to jam a toothpick up a Bowling Center Proprietor's ass.])

Anyways, these free coupons aren't just because they want kids to bowl. No. That concept doesn't have enough flash! To really get these kids into the alleys centers these days, you need to speak their lingo. So, those tickets are for the (drumroll, please) Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Bowling campaign!

Wow, those bowling hipsters have really managed to catch a marketing wave here, haven't they? Nancy Reagan's so proud of them, although they might be a little bit leery of using a campaign that's one word removed from a certain group's project.

Screw it. It's something for them to do.

I've also got a two week camp for them at a local park, where all they do is play in the forest all day, and I've got a couple more one week commitments from friends here and there. So I'm reasonably confident that I can get this whole 'kids off this summer' thing covered.

It shouldn't be this way.

Yes, I'm aware that many of us--myself included--have fond memories of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer back when we were kids. But when I was growing up, mom was at home. There was no scrambling to be done. She'd throw us out in the morning, and we'd play until it was time to eat.

Those days are gone forever. Or at least for the forseeable future.

The fact is, for most parents, all summer vacation means is finding a place to put the kids for nine hours until mom and dad (or in my case, just dad) can come home.

Perhaps it's time to change the way we look at this tradition?

If I were the king of the forest, I would make the summer an elective trimester. I would have school districts offer various 'camps' for the students to attend, based upon interests. Like sports? There'd be a sport camp, with different athletics offered. And perhaps a biology camp that would spend most of its time at the local nature center. And a computer camp. Band camp. Theater camp. Video production camp. Admission to the camps would be based on merit--weighted slightly towards the specialty of the camp.

And for those who aren't where they need to be academically, there would still be remedial school, to make sure they continue.

And it would be elective. If there are still moms and dads out there that are home during the summer, the kids can stay home. Or go to a camp, if that's what the parents want. But there would also be something constructive for kids to do as well.

I dunno. Maybe this is a stupid idea, and only sounds good to me because I'm tired, and don't want to scramble for summer care anymore.

Well, that's it. I've still got some open Mondays I need to fill.



Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

I think about this a lot. I know how lucky I am to be at home with the kids and not have to find a safe place for them to be while I go to work.

We made a decision to do it this way a long time ago. I cherish our summers. We have a lower standard of living than the majority of people in Affluencia here, but the thing is...we got to make a choice about it.

Single parents just don't have that luxury!

Keep in mind though, your kids will not suffer. You're finding creative things for them to do.

(we still have bowling ALLEYS here. I hope it stays that way. Geez.)

7:01 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

I think that's a great idea and I would totally be on board for soemthing like that if I were teaching in a district that offered that as an option.

7:19 PM  
Blogger terry said...

that's an excellent idea you have. some of my married friends have trouble with summer child care, so i can't imagine how hard it is for a single parent.

how'd my mom do it? i was on my own at 9. whee! times have changed.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Miss 1999 said...

You know, I remember those days. I LOVED spending my days playing outside and swimming. My parents worked, but I was fortunate enough to have an aunt who was a teacher (and off during the summer) and a grandmother who was retired, so I didn't have to do daycare/babysitting.

But you know, a lot of my friends did, and did just fine-- I bet your kids will have a blast at the bowling "center"-- I always loved to bowl, and it's a good, healthy activity for them :0)

12:12 AM  
Blogger mal said...

one of us were always home when the girls had school break. We were more than a bit untraditional about it though *L*

"Say no to drugs, say yes to bowling"??? *ROFL* I have this minds eye picture of smoke filled bowling alleys (oops! "Centers") with lots of folks drinking beer....Yup, GREAT alternate example.

I admire and respect the way you stay focused on your kids and their needs

5:52 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

you know that's a great idea!

i so miss the times when kids could get chucked outside and no one worried about it...

i like how you parent sir

11:13 AM  

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