Family Fun, From Dawn til Dusk

Posted by jensenecal

No doubt by now, you've read the summer itinerary for family fun in this month's issue. With school's summer break upon us, it's great to know that there are all-day options to keep your kids occupied during these next couple of months.

Since we've already offered a fantastic guide for you in print (one which works wonderfully for us on the weekends), I'd like to give you my own personal itinerary of a successful summer day alone with three young children.

5:45 am: Pretend it's not 5:45 am. Hand over your iPhone, iPad, TV remote and all the money in your wallet to your children so that you can get just a bit more of that desperately needed shut-eye.

6:00 am: Get up. Drop a few f-bombs, out of earshot of the small tyrants, and make some coffee.

8:00 am: Frantically email or call all of your friends and ask what their plans are for the day, because there is no way in God's great land that you'll be taking them to the beach without backup. In fact, there's no way you're taking them to the beach at all.

8:30 am: Realize that goldfish crackers probably didn't constitute a solid breakfast for a 3 year-old and pop some frozen waffles into the toaster. And then give her a popsicle.

9:00 am: Pack no less than 3 bags of STUFF so that when you do finally get to leave the house, you never have to come back.

10:30 am: Leave the house. Call your friend that was supposed to meet you at 10 am and tell her you're running late (or, more accurately, on-time), but you'll bring her an iced coffee to make up for it.

11:00 am: Arrive at any destination that is, a.) fenced in, b.) has some kind of seat restraints or c.) just far enough away that one of your kids will fall asleep during the car ride there so that you'll be forced to sit in the parking lot, drink your friend's iced coffee and play on Facebook while you wait for her to wake up.

If option "c" doesn't occur, some favorite spots for our family that adhere to rules "a" and "b" are strawberry picking at Jaswell's Farm, Target or one of my girlfriend's backyards.

1:00 pm: Get a call from your husband, asking if you could "swing by the market" and grab some veggies for the grilling he'd like to do that evening. Drop a few f-bombs again, still out of earshot of the small tyrants, but definitely within earshot of the husband.

1:30 pm: Arrive at the farmer's market. Look at everyone's happy, smiling faces as they effortlessly shop from booth to booth. Look in the rearview mirror at your 4 year-old's face, which now has a snot stuck to it after she spent twenty minutes picking her nose. Drive away.

2:00 pm: Pull up to BJ's and squeal with joy when you notice the "beep beep" car cart is sitting right next to an open spot in the parking lot and not just inside the front doors of the building. This day just got exponentially better.

2:30 pm: Leave BJ's a few nails shorter and a few brain cells deader and tell the children that they've been so good that they deserve Del's Lemonade.

3:00 pm: Daydream about how good the Del's would taste with just a bit of Vodka in it and glance at the clock and know that there's only 4 hours until bedtime.

3:01 pm: Glance at the clock and realize that you forgot to bring one of your children to art class last Saturday. Which is why you probably shouldn't ever drink Vodka anyway.

3:30 pm: Head back home and tell the kids they can play in the yard. Fill a bucket with water and LET THEM GO TO TOWN.

4:30 pm: Call your husband and tell him that it would be a really cool idea to bring the kids to the drive-in that night for a movie. And then remember that they'll already be asleep. Praise yourself for not blurting that idea out loud in front your kids earlier in the day, in an attempt to be the most awesome mother in the world.

5:30 pm: The husband arrives and announces that after dinner, he's taking us for ice cream. The kids equate this excitement to what they'd feel if someone just told them that Disney World was downstairs. They instantly forget about all the awesome summer-y things mommy did with them that day. The husband is ahead.

7:00 pm: It's bedtime, but you've decided to let them stay up, eat popcorn and watch Mike the Knight until 7:30, because it's now an all-out war between you and your husband as to who gives them a better summer day.

7:30 pm: Kids go to bed, not before boasting about their day. You tell them about all the awesome things you'll do tomorrow, when they wake up.

Mommy wins.

8:00 pm: Call your parents. Ask them to come over and babysit. Go to drive-in with husband. Drink Vodka.

What's YOUR successful summer day with little ones look like?

* Jen Senecal is a mom to three girls, a writer, blogger and graphic designer. Read more on her foray into parenthood at or visit her at Rhody Mamas.

summer, kids, family


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This is hysterical and soooo dead-on.

Don't we all just have those days were we are just trying to get-by and get to bedtime (and that glass of del's and vodka, LOL).

Love this Jen Senecal. So well written and what a fun read! Keep 'um comin!

Cathy Costantino from (Warwick, RI)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Love Jaswell's!! They are our favorite place for apple picking! As for the beach, I've been a mom for 9+ years and have NEVER braved the beach alone with kids. NEVER. I don't plan to change that any time soon!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I LOVE this! Our successful summer day is spending as much time as humanly possible outside--all in the name of tiring the boys out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

That is hilarious! Sounds pretty spot on! Love the vodka at the end (with a bit of Del's I'm sure)! =) Enjoy you summer Jen!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jen this is HILARIOUS and you have totally described my summers with the boys. And that part about Target? Omg too funny - and true. You have pretty much described my successful summer day with the boys, but I would also include surviving a trek to the beach on those days when no one ends up being around. Oh yes. LOL

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I LOVE this! So funny, and I totally FAILEd today. I planned to bring my two girls strawberry picking ing at Schartners, but one of them was either napping, crying, hungry when I attempted. It's almost 3:30 and I'm moved on to thinking about wine, I know it's too early but I'm making plans!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Seriously laughed the whole way through this story. SO true! You're one of the funniest writers I know. Thanks for this!! I agree with Liza, where is the Target part?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This is so funny! I am in total panic mode that my four kids will be out of school starting next Monday! AHHH! This day sounds like what I am in for!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

LOVE this. I only have one toddler, and I'm still pretty sure a successful summer day would end with vodka.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

You are hysterical!! I have these lets just get my the end of the days! I LOVE this post! Bravo Jen!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thanks for the great feedback, everyone!! xoxo- Jen

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

You kind of make mothers sound like idiots. I really don't have any of those thoughts swirling around in my head all day. On a side note, I don't drink, maybe you shouldn't either. There are so many more important things to write about. I am more disappointed in myself for wasting my time reading the article and then for wasting more time commenting. All those who drink will now vehemently defend drinking and waste even more time...I just won't read your "stuff" anymore : )

Monday, July 2, 2012

I was surprised to read ellablake's sour response to this fun piece. If you replace the word "vodka" with "hot bath," "cupcake," or "back massage," the message remains the same. I don't think the author should be concerned about earning her next chip in a 12 step program. From the stories I hear from my friends with kids, this article was ripped from the headlines of their daily routines. Keep writing, Jen, and I'll keep reading :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012