School Vacation: A Welcome Break from the Tedious Tasks

By: Cheryl Maguire


School vacations always cause me to panic.  How will my children deal with their newfound endless hours of freedom? Will they be bored? I have no idea, but I’m anxious just thinking about it.

Making lunches, getting on the bus and doing homework are the three most tedious tasks I endure during the school week.  Here is why I loath each one:


#1 The Dreaded Task of Making/Packing Lunches/Snacks

Do you remember the Dunkin’ Donuts commercial where a man wobbled around like a zombie, muttering, “It’s time to make the donuts” as if it were the most horribly anticipated endeavor imaginable? Well, that was my impression of the commercial, although I am not sure if that is what Dunkin’ Donuts meant to convey.  Anyway, I actually impersonate this poor man mumbling, “It’s time to make the lunches” as I feebly reach for the refrigerator door. You might be wondering at this point, what is the big deal? I should clarify I have three children and each of them requires a lunch and a snack in separate bags. Also, they are particular about what goes into each bag. For example, once I gave my daughter a sandwich when she requested yogurt and boy, did I hear about it when she got home from school!

“Mom, I was STARVING today since you gave me the WRONG lunch. I thought I was going to DIE. How could you?” she dramatically claimed as she greeted me.

Of course, she knows I would instantly feel bad just thinking about her stomach growling all day (which probably didn’t even happen).


#2 The Horrible Endeavor of Getting on The Bus

From the second my alarm clock rings, every moment is dedicated to getting my children on the bus. I shouldn’t pressure myself since I own a car and I can drive them if necessary, but this is logical thinking unheard of in the early morning hours. Normally, I begin calmly, greeting each child with a friendly, “Good morning.”  Then as time progresses, my eyes fixate on the ticking clock and I turn into a taskmaster barking orders.

schoolbus-81717_1280.jpg            “Why aren’t you dressed yet?”

“You need to eat breakfast now.”

“Where are your shoes?”

And then there is my personal least favorite, uttered every single day, “You are going to miss the bus. Hurry up or you will miss the bus.”

I suppose it works, since during the past seven years of riding the bus, somehow they only missed it once, but it doesn’t make it any less unpleasant.


#3 The Awful Mission of Completing Homework

As a child, I was conscientious about completing my homework in a timely and proficient manner or at least that is what my teachers wrote on my report card. I held these same high expectations for my children who are of course a direct reflection of me.  Despite completing a Master’s Degree program in psychology, I somehow found myself enrolled in school again, responsible for completing homework assignments.

My son does not share my attention to detail, efficient planning or organization. To him video games, television or staring at the wall is more interesting than homework. The divergent views held by me and my son have led to frustrating battles.  I hate homework more than he does.


Let’s Get this Vacation Started

 This vacation is sounding better by the second.  If my kids get bored during the week maybe I will have them do a practice drill for getting on the bus, or better yet, they can learn how to make their own lunch.

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