Childrearing

10 Things You’ll End Up Regretting You Did This Summer

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summer break kids activitiesMy kid gets out of school on Friday, which means that it’s time for “summer break”, two words that strike terror into my sweaty heart.

I was not cut out for summer. I was born in New Hampshire, grew up in Pennsylvania, and somewhere between June first and June sixth of my first summer in Georgia, I realized just how pitifully Irish I was, with my outer dermal layer fully crisped and a new understanding of the term “hyperhidrosis”. Now, for reasons I still haven’t been able to completely articulate, I’ve relinquished my American passport so that my family could live in Texas. Texas, if you don’t know, is like the Australia of America, where every kind of animal can kill you, and the danger of baking to death in the shade is very, very real.

I’ve accepted that there is no point to ever doing my hair in the summer, because despite the dry heat, it will remain plastered to my neck, soaked in my own filth. My husband, for his part, understands that his balls will never come unstuck from his leg.

My daughter, who has lived most of her life here, remains relatively unfazed and constantly asks what we’ll be doing this summer, and my answer, “Stay inside and pray for a quick and merciful death” don’t seem to satisfy her. So we end up planning activities for the weekends, knowing that we’ll regret them. Here’s 10 I can’t wait to start regretting already.

1. Going to any water park.

Let’s expand this to any amusement park activities. The lines. The third degree burns. The inevitable loss of a small child. Watching some guy who has a tribal tattoo make out with some lady who has a butterfly tattoo, having it turn X-rated, and trying to explain to your six-year-old what a reach around is. The overwhelming smell of pee.

2. Camping.

Camping is the bane of every hypochondriac’s existence. There will be mosquitos, and where there are mosquitos there are dengue fever/malaria/west nile scares. Also, you probably have to make like a bear and shit in the woods. Pass.

3. Enrolling your child in a summer reading program.

I loved the summer reading program when I was a kid because I was a huge, friendless nerd. This was before helicopter parents ruined everything. My kid, an avid reader, can not keep up with the kid whose mother fudges the reading log or checks out half of the Juvenile Fiction section on the day the program starts just to sabotage everyone. No one believes your first grader read As I Lay Dying, lady.

4. Navigating the hellscape of summer “camps”.

For the life of me, I can’t find an overnight camp for my kid, which both she and I would consider to be pure, unadulterated bliss. Instead, the “camps” here are all 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM programs where my child can learn cheer leading fundamentals for the low low price of $200 a week.

5. Spending more than five minutes at the public pool.

kids summer activities

See number one. Add “oblivious moms changing blowouts on a floaty raft” to everything above.

6. Sunbathing.

Maybe not for everyone, I’ll admit. But every time I think I will go and get a little sun to deepen my color (which is actually what I like to call “transluscent ivory” or “glow in the dark eggshell”), I end up burning a deep scarlet, which peels off to reveal a paler shade than I was to begin with.

7. Family Reunions.

Even if I liked my family, I would hate this. You know the term “I need a vacation from this vacation”? That comes from spending a week in a guest room listening to Uncle Steve and Aunt Helen whisper fight about whether we should all go to the Olive Garden or Red Lobster.

8. Purchasing summer clothing.

Some people love shorts, flip-flops, and tank tops. Because my skin could be harvested for reflective strips on bicycle shorts and I inexplicably have cellulite on my shoulders, I would rather sweat my tits off in slouchy sweaters and jeans all year long, thanks.

9. Fireworks of any kind.

Fireworks are boring. There, I said it. We are finally at the age where fireworks don’t terrify the shit out of my kid, and now the problem is getting her to sit still long enough to watch them. Maybe they would suck less if everyone wasn’t busy recording video of the display that they’ll never watch later.

10. Having a picnic.

Especially in Texas, which would collapse into the Earth’s crust if it wasn’t held up by one enormous fire ant colony and where trees are just glorified bushes, “picnic” is just code for “trying not to kill one another as we gag down tepid, curdled mayonnaise”.

 (Image: vvvita/Shutterstock)

57 Comments

  1. Eve Vawter

    June 2, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I would rather sweat my tits off in slouchy sweaters and jeans all year long, thanks.

    CO-SOGNED!

    Fuck summer.

  2. Kay_Sue

    June 2, 2014 at 9:09 am

    You said summer clothes, but I think there should be a special entry for swimsuit shopping. Fuck swimsuit shopping. I went on Saturday and everything was either too ugly or too tiny. I now own a bikini that I am pretty sure I do not have the balls to actually wear. I repeat: Fuck swimsuit shopping.

    I’m actually looking forward to camping though. I’m weird, I guess.

    • Spongeworthy

      June 2, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Seriously, fuck swimsuit shopping. That should be punishment for certain crimes.
      Have you ever tried modcloth for swimsuits? I bought a few from there and I’ve actually been very happy with them. They have tons of cute styles/patterns and mine are made pretty well. You can read the comments on them and get an idea of fit.

    • Kay_Sue

      June 2, 2014 at 9:40 am

      I agree. I haven’t tried modcloth. I’ll have to take a look. I like the one I got in the abstract, but when it comes to actually putting it on my body and walking down a public beach…well, that will be the test, won’t it?

    • Kitsune

      June 2, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Surprisingly walmart, at least online, has really adorable pin up style bathing suits for sale. Really good reviews. I’m planning on trying the one piece out since I’m not really feeling a bikini post baby.

    • Kay_Sue

      June 2, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      I really wanted a retro-style bikini with the high waist. My youngest is going on four, so it’s been a while since I gave birth, and I felt like that would help my “problem areas” while still helping me maintain my delusion that I am young and hip. #YOLO #SWAG #IHaveNoIdeaWhatIAmSaying

      I might check out Wal Mart too though. If I could find something like what’s in my head to at least try on, I think I’d be happy.

    • biggerthanthesound

      June 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      I’ve had three kids and totally have deflated balloon belly. The high waisted bikini from modcloth completely covers it. It’s modest enough that the Amish neighbors still waved at me and didn’t shield their young sons’ eyes when i rode by on my bike.

    • Jessie

      June 2, 2014 at 9:55 am

      I don’t even know why I bother swimsuit shopping, because I always buy these cute bikinis and then cover them up with my swim shirt and men’s boardshorts because A) I don’t have the guts to actually wear just the bikini, and B) I burn to a crisp in five minutes flat even with sunscreen, so I like to cover as much of my more delicate skin areas as humanly possible.

    • Kay_Sue

      June 2, 2014 at 9:57 am

      I feel you. I manage to get by with sunscreen that’s like SPF a million, but that means that I also get to look like fucking Casper hit the beach.

    • Jessie

      June 2, 2014 at 10:33 am

      The struggle is real. My husband seriously thinks I’m kidding when I buy the strongest possible sunscreen I can find and spend about an hour slathering on before I even THINK about going into the sun. Then again he’s never seen me burnt to a nice shade of lobster red.

    • K.

      June 2, 2014 at 10:03 am

      I order a bunch online to try on at home. I figure that way I can have my own lighting and my own drunkenness.

    • Kay_Sue

      June 2, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      That’s brilliant, because I was definitely in the store thinking that being drunk would have made it so much better.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      June 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      But if you’re sober when you have to wear it to the pool later, you’re totally screwed.

    • Kay_Sue

      June 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      So I should stay inebriated the whole time. Got it. 😛

    • biggerthanthesound

      June 2, 2014 at 11:03 am

      I bought mine at modcloth this year. Yes. I spent $80 and it looks amazing. I road a bike in the bikini this weekend and felt like a hot babe.

    • Kay_Sue

      June 2, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      I’d spend $80 for that. 😉

    • 2Well

      June 3, 2014 at 2:06 am

      I love their suits. Cute and modest. My boobs are too big for a bikini though; I get more attention than I prefer.

    • biggerthanthesound

      June 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Mine are decidedly not #sadghostboobs

    • 2Well

      June 3, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      I wish they’d go ahead and invent boob donation. I’d totally give away a couple cup sizes.

    • Jennifer Freeman

      June 2, 2014 at 11:06 am

      Swimsuit shopping is bad, but maternity swimsuit shopping is the worst. We went to the beach last year when I was pregnant (genius, right? Too hot, too clumsy to stay upright in the waves, and then have to wear a flipping swimsuit) and shopping for a swimsuit was probably the biggest blow to my already suffering self-esteem. Maternity swimsuits are a special type of hell.

    • Kay_Sue

      June 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      I have to be honest. That’s the only time I think I’ve actually enjoyed swimsuit shopping, or at least, not hated it. When I was pregnant, I went through a weird, “Fuck it, everyone’s going to see my vagina in a few months, I’m the size of a whale, I’m going to own it” mood. Turns out, when you no longer give a crap, you don’t stress it so much. Who knew?

    • Jennifer Freeman

      June 2, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      I was all set to be that person who rocked the bikini while pregnant. Once swimsuit shopping came around though, I just couldn’t do it. It could have partially been that I was in the “Could be pregnant, could just really be out of shape” phase still. I ended up settling on a tankini with a bottom that had a skirt around it. I thought the skirt would make me feel more comfortable because it provided coverage, but it really just made me feel worse. Next time, I’m going thong! 🙂

    • Kay_Sue

      June 2, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      That’s what we call going balls to the wall. Rock on.

    • SarahJesness

      June 2, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      I enjoy swimsuit shopping, but I’m super picky so it can be frustrating.

    • Kay_Sue

      June 2, 2014 at 11:17 pm

      Can I borrow your enjoyment of it for a bit? It makes me pull my hair out…

    • SarahJesness

      June 3, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      NO IT’S MY ENJOYMENT GO FIND YOUR OWN

    • Kay_Sue

      June 3, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Darn. *sad face*

  3. LadyClodia

    June 2, 2014 at 9:18 am

    I hate summer, and I’m not a fan of being outside in general. That might be because I was a sickly child and got heat stroke from just Pennsylvania summers, so I wasn’t allowed to be outside much.
    My boys love playing outside, though, and I have to suck it up and go out with them. We too, are very fair-skinned, so going outside requires a time-consuming ritual of applying sunscreen, which none of us enjoy.

  4. Leah

    June 2, 2014 at 9:20 am

    LOL number 10. My family has a saying that says “there’s nothing you can do at a picnic that you can’t do better and more comfortably somewhere else”.

  5. Spongeworthy

    June 2, 2014 at 9:21 am

    One million points for using a “Salute your Shorts” gif.
    Also, I grew up in PA and now live in New England. While it gets plenty hot and humid here, I do not miss the sweaty humid blanket of gross that covers the state for most of the summer. I am not a delicate sweater, and swimming in my own sweat is not a god look for me.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      June 2, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      OMG I have that theme song somewhere! CAMP ANAWANNA, WE HOLD YOU IN OUR HEARTS!!!!!!

    • Jessie

      June 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      And when we think about you, IT MAKES ME WANNA FART!

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      June 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      It’s I hope we never part. Now get it right or pay the price!

  6. Upsilon

    June 2, 2014 at 9:36 am

    as a Texan I can confirm that it is unacceptable to camp in the summer. The closest you can get is a screened shelter with a fan, and this is pushing it unless you are near a body of water for quick relief. And the only acceptable water park is Schlitterbahn (the original) because it’s fairly shady with cold river water. Why other waterparks are constructed to resemble white concrete heat islands is a mystery to me. Basically don’t go outside unless you are swimming in the shade

  7. Emily

    June 2, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I’m from Berkeley, CA, where the summers are sunny but not too hot (in the 80s is hot for us) and there’s no humidity. It’s basically summer heaven.

    I moved to Scotland where everyone rips off their clothes and starts sucking down cider in every local bar’s “patio seating” (read: some chairs they stuck on the sidewalk) the minute the temperature nears 65 degrees and we have to take vitamin D supplements to keep from falling apart. Flip side, though, for about 2 months you get to enjoy light nights until about 10pm if you’re in the south, and much later the further north you go.

  8. Ashley Austrew

    June 2, 2014 at 9:48 am

    “Especially in Texas, which would collapse into the Earth’s crust if it wasn’t held up by one enormous fire any colony…”

    Bahahahaha! I lived in TX for 15 years, and this is dead on. We recently moved to the Midwest, and believe it or not, I’d take a hell summer over the hell winters. lol

    • JenH1986

      June 2, 2014 at 10:05 am

      It’s amazing to me the number of friends who visit during a winter (who complain all summer). Their first negative degree day, having to scrape the ice off their rental and then the 18 inches of snow, the borrowed boots, parka that isn’t warm enough. Lol Winter sucks. I will NEVER complain about summer. Not even when it’s 150% humidity.

    • Jennifer Freeman

      June 2, 2014 at 11:09 am

      I grew up in Chicago and now live in Georgia. I can honestly say I will take a Chicago winter over a GA summer any day! lol Especially since the summer lasts so long here.

  9. Jessie

    June 2, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Salute Your Shorts GIF! Yes! Internet Cookie for you!

    I agree with all of these except the water park. I love our water park, as rinky-dink as it is, and even though I have the same wonderful Irish blessing of BURNING TO A CRISP IN FIVE MINUTES FLAT, I am always game for the water park. I just bathe in sunscreen, wear a swim shirt, men’s swim shorts, and swim shoes to cover as much of my delicate skin as possible. We also go at the buttcrack of dawn and before everyone turns the water murky green with pee and skin filth, then leave when we notice that happening.

  10. Elisabeth TheQueen Smith

    June 2, 2014 at 9:51 am

    the closest I get to camping is a drink without ice. #screwtheSummer

  11. Ursi

    June 2, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I hate summer with a real passion. I want to live in Iceland where it’s never gotten warmer than 86F. I pack SPF 100 wherever I go and I wear a light long-sleeve layer to preserve my poor pale self. I was not meant for this climate.

  12. K.

    June 2, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Summer only looks good in Martha Stewart magazines. Otherwise it consists of sweat, bugs, and sweat.

    And fruit flies.

    Fuck the goddamn fruit flies.

    • Theresa Edwards

      June 2, 2014 at 10:02 am

      also sweat, though.

    • K.

      June 2, 2014 at 10:52 am

      And fruit flies who are sweating.

    • biggerthanthesound

      June 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      How to kill fruit flies: put apple cider vinegar in a small dish and add one drop of dish soap; cover with plastic wrap and poke holes in the wrap; place the dish an area where you get the most fruit flies. The flies are attracted to the vinegar, will drown in it because of the soap and won’t be able to get out of the dish as easily with the plastic wrap.

    • 2Well

      June 3, 2014 at 2:04 am

      I used pickle juice or ketchup. They love ketchup.

  13. evilstepmom

    June 2, 2014 at 10:03 am

    You poor thing! (I understand your pain!) And I am soooo glad we are mostly happy spending most of the summer indoors with technology. Though there will be a couple trips to the city pool and at least one day camp. fun

  14. Jessifer

    June 2, 2014 at 10:18 am

    As a Canadian, I totally disagree with all of this! After spending the last few months hibernating (this was an especially long and cold winter) bored to tears with an infant in the house, you bet your ass I’ll be doing all of the above and will enjoy every minute of it! I bring my 10-month-old to play in the sandbox at the park every morning and while most of it is spent trying to keep him from shoving sand and wood chips in his mouth, and I spend a good half hour trying to clean him off when we return home, it’s heaven!

  15. wispy

    June 2, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Camp Anawanna lol!! Growing up I always whispered the theme song bc we weren’t allowed to say “fart” hahaha this makes my day!

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      June 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      Best. Show. EVER!!!!!

  16. Alene

    June 2, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I would be the campiest camping camper in the whole wide world if it wasn’t for mosquitoes. Too bad they’re my state’s official mascot.

  17. Alicia Kiner

    June 2, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    I live in PA, but have spent several weeks in different trips to the Savannah area. I’ll take the weather here over there any day. Not to mention the bugs there. Uh-uh no thank you. At least here we have lots of days where the humidity isn’t drowning us and the temps aren’t roasting us. GA is like the 7th circle of Hell in the summer.

  18. 2Well

    June 3, 2014 at 2:13 am

    I’m a Southerner at heart, so I freaking love summer. Especially bourbonade. I just slap on a one-piece for swimming and go. I’m not a modest-is-hottest person. I’m just someone fresh from a year of mostly sedentary law school studies.

    The key to summer below the Mason-Dixon Line is sundresses. My mom thinks I look stupid, but I have genetically large thighs and shorts are uncomfortable as a result, because I can’t find the appropriate waist/leg combo. So a nice knee length dress where I can feel air down there is lovely. Plus, a knit sundress can be dressed up or down, for lunch with friends or my research.

    Oddly enough, I went through a dress phase when I was five where I threw a fit whenever I had to wear jeans to school. Little me had the right idea.

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