I’m super excited to have actor and writer and hilarious parenting book author Doug Moe guest posting today. As I read through this, I wanted to scream ME TOO! So many summer regrets here. I know Doug and I are not alone.
Some of you lucky parents are already skipping off to work because your children are back in school. Well, not me. Somehow, here in Brooklyn we have four more weeks of summer. It’s crazy!
That would be all fine and good if my wife and I were responsible parents who had planned anything. But we’re not – we somehow didn’t schedule camp or a cool trip, or really anything. We figured we’d “wing it.” Why?
Well, sure – we are cheap. And yes, we are poor planners. These things are true. And our schedules have a little flexibility to them, so we can do things like bring our daughter to work or work from home in a way that other parents definitely can’t.
But “winging it” basically means “iPad for four weeks.” Or more correctly, it means “iPad until parental guilt creeps in, then taking away iPad, then boredom for four weeks.”
Before you get too judge-y, let me cut you off at the pass. *I* know it’s not good to have your kid parked on the iPad. I hear ya. And I’ll definitely try to do some other stuff. I’m just saying that if my past planning is any predictor of my future execution, she’s going to spend a lot of time on the iPad. Ya know, until I feel the guilt and make her turn it off. And a little boredom is good for your kid, that’s why I wrote a section in my book called “Stop Playing With Your Kids and Bore Them Into Creativity.”
In my iPad-less suburban youth, I could hop on my bike and go to the town pool. Or I could just wander to the playground to see if anyone was around. Sometimes I would lie in a field somewhere and just look at clouds…or did I see that in a movie somewhere? Not sure.
In any case, this is not my daughter’s Brooklyn reality. She’s not hopping on any bike without me. Nor is she just going to wander somewhere to see if anyone’s around. Meet-ups and playdates are arranged by text, in advance and require (sadly) planning on my part. And anyway, why was I lying around in a field somewhere? Because I was bored, that’s why.
My Instagram feed is full of people nailing this summer thing. Forget about my childless friends, with their lazy beach days – I’m talking about *parents.* I’ve got parent friends winding down their incredible European vacations with (I assume) their non-whining kids clogging up my feed. I’ve never been good at this summer thing. In the dead of winter when others are booking their summer dream trips, I’m just dealing with the day-to-day. How do people plan so far ahead?
* Why didn’t we go see an outdoor movie somewhere?
* Or go to the beach again?
* Why didn’t we sign up for an interesting class or something? Or go hiking or go to a museum or play hooky from work or take a spontaneous trip somewhere cheap, but awesome that nobody even knows about? Sigh.
But okay – it’s not too late. I have four more weeks to make this an awesome summer, right? Yes, my daughter is coming to work with me today. And, okay, tomorrow won’t be a good day either because we have to be home for a delivery between 8 and 10 and then it’ll be kind of hot. But *next* weekend, if it’s not raining, and in between errands – that is as good a time as any to turn this thing around.
*Jill was nice enough to let me write a guest post. I hope you’ll check out my book- Man Vs. Child: One Dad’s Guide to the Weirdness of Parenting. It’s a great book for parents who have a sense of humor, but still worry about screwing up their kids. You can pick it up at your local book store or on Amazon.