That's down from 22 times yesterday and 98 times Monday.
At one point, after asking a child to pick-up a swimsuit that was just dropped - kerplop! - in the middle of the living room floor, I had to go through my whole "I'm not your personal Cinderella" routine, and another time, I had to actually stomp my foot and say, "I don't care if it is summer vacation. When does Mommy's summer vacation start? Huh?! When?! Huh?! Huh?! Huh?!" To which they had no good answer.
I think that even though they've seen photos of me as a young girl - riding my bike, jumping through creeks, pigtails galore - that really, this is some sort of myth that I perpetuate about myself and that, perhaps, the pictures are Photoshopped. (Damn that Photoshop!)
That I never existed as a 9-year-old, but instead, was born fully-formed, sprung from the head of Martha Stewart, and holding a limp, green dishrag in one hand, a bottle of ibuprofen in the other.
That's what I think they think.
Anyway, I find that you gotta clamp down on some kids (mine) hard in the first week of summer vacation -
Vacation Boot Camp, I likes to call it -
and then by the end of next week, after we're all agreed on The Program, why then, summer becomes downright idyllic.
Time for chores.
Time for fun.
Lots of lemonade and freeze pops and ponies and sandcastles.
And after Vacation Boot Camp, everyone knows exactly where Mommy's bright line is when it comes to Joyful Indulging of the Adorable Children on one side, and Pack Your Own Water Bottle, Kid, Or You're Going To Be Darn Thirsty Later On on the other.
We run a tight ship here.
This week, there's a lot of swabbing decks and Aye-Aye, M'ams.
Next week, we break out the rum.
Well, I do anyway.