Another summer has come and gone. It’s time for us to exchange pool noodles for school supplies, and to accept the impending arrival of pumpkin spice lattes. However, before turning this page, let’s take a moment to reflect upon the things we learned over the summer.
I’ll go first.
1. If you say chug when someone is drinking a beverage, the 3-year-old will repeat this word each and every time she witnesses another human consuming a liquid. And she won’t simply repeat it, she will chant it with the vigor and volume of one who’s attended more than her fair share of sorority parties.
2. There is no limit to the number of times the “Moana” soundtrack can be played. No. Limit.
3. Three years old is not too young for empathy. If the tiny bird that Alvin the chipmunk is mothering gets hurt — on the animated TV show — the toddler will cry like her heart has been shattered.
4. Dora the Explorer has no human friends at all...only animals and trolls.
5. Sugary snacks make my child behave as an otherworldly being. Hyperactivity is too tame of a word to encapsulate her next-level savage behavior.
6. No number of threats and no level of severity will stop the toddler from performing if she has an audience. I could start shredding her beloved blankie with a machete while throwing spiders at her and it wouldn’t deter the kid from belting out the chorus of “Let it Go” complete with the hand movements that coincide with the movie’s animated choreography.
7. Splat balls — the eyeball-looking toys you can hurl against the wall and giggle when they stick — leave grease stains on every surface where they’ve been stuck. Side note: it would’ve been nice to notice this side effect before everyone in the house took turns slamming the squishy eye against the living room wall.
8. If the toddler spots you in the backyard during her nap time, she will not sleep. Instead, she will adhere herself to her window and continually yell “mom!” while waving. Side note: Ignoring her will not help because she is relentless. Logic would tell you she’ll eventually grow tired of your lack of response and give up, but that is not the case. She is fully invested and has no problem carrying on for the bulk of her nap’s dedicated two-hour increment.
9. College-aged children are wholly unavailable for family gatherings. Even though it is summer, they have the work schedule of a CEO and the social life of a debutante.
10. College-aged children become shockingly available — not a single thing going on — when food and/or money is on the table.
Likewise, here are 10 things I didn’t learn this summer:
1. How to get marker off the carpet.
2. How to get marker off the wall.
3. Where the DVD-remote is. It’s been missing for months now. RIP.
4. How to play the trombone.
5. How to quit Starbucks.
6. How to get Splat ball stains off the wall.
7. What my mile time is.
8. How to lose the baby weight. (Shut up — I know she’s 3 now.)
9. What is making my car smell like that.
10. How to make summer last longer.
Lynn Kirkle is a writer and lives in Omaha with her husband and five children. She writes twice a month for momaha.com, and can be found on Twitter @LAPainter.