Another boring summer? I don’t think so.

I’ve come to a horrifying realization today: my children are lazy.

It’s not really them, it’s me. Since my return from vacation our TV hours have crept up to almost constant, interspersed with computer games and Wii play. Considering my recent book fog and the fact that weaning my little addicts from manufactured entertainment takes serious effort, I’ve been trying to keep this reality away from my conscious thinking.

But today there is no escaping it. With summer right around the corner, I’m realizing that it’s time to step up my parenting game and actually do something with them (other than feed, water, and try to leave the room before they see me).

So I’ve come up with a system. This has worked in the past, and I think it’s the perfect time to implement it. Everyday the k ids get movie passes. I’m giving them three passes a day, good for one program or movie each. Harrison also gets one 1/2 hour gaming pass a day as well.

I know, some of you might be shocked that I’m letting them watch that much TV, but remember, they (we) have to be weaned off gently. Besides, we all know that if you can just get them to actually play, they’ll eventually forget that they would rather watch a movie.

And in case any of you are overambitious, my visiting teaching companion (a grandmother) told me that her daughter has their entire summer broken into weekly themes, complete with field trips. Since I’ll only be here through mid-July, I’m going to see if I can do this on a very simplified basis. I am also forcing my girlfriend Tricia to participate. Here is our “I Can Be A Good Mommy” schedule:

Starting with the first week out of school, and including our field trip schedule, we have:  Transportation (riding the train), Cowboy Life (sleeping under the stars with a campfire), Air and Space (going to the Gateway exhibit), Farm Life (visiting a local farm), Sports and Fitness (something that will make them sweat their pants off), Cinematography (we’re making a movie), and Gardening (they get to weed).

We also considered a few other options like Dead People (visiting the mortuary), Homeless Week (soup kitchens), and Gangsta 101 (West Valley, anyone?), but I think I’ll wait until they’re a little older.


  1. American Bush might also make a delightful field trip.

  2. Good for you! I’m just gonna stick with the “Bad Mom who sits in front of the Computer all Summer” plan. It’s what I do, it’s what I’m good at. 😉

  3. I have my summer totally planned out. Not really broken down into weeks though. Field trips and all. This is the first time I’m trying something- like planning-for three months. And notice, the more time you devote to them, the worse they get about wanting you around. More importantly, where are you going in July? You just got home didn’t you?

  4. So glad there are other similar opinions about West Valley out there. My husband wants to move there. . . I told him that he has to watch the news every night for the next week to see how many dead bodies turn up in West Valley. That should change his mind. Right?

    I’m still working on our summer plan. I’ve got another 2 weeks to figure things out. . .

  5. Michelle says:

    I’m a firm believer in camps. It’s the same idea as the themes, just that you pay other people to do all the TV replacement for your kids. This summer it is: Cub Scout camp, Space Camp, and Clay Camp. I might drive them to the swimming pool and movie theater.
    There, do you feel like a better mom? (Cause you are… I’m way impressed. And just so you know- all kids are inherently lazy)

  6. oh I want to come play with you guys!

  7. I purchased a family pass at the dinosaur park that also allows you access for your family to the Ogden Nature Center and Tracey Aviary. I know that some movie theatres will run 1$ movies during the summer afternoons, the movies are old but they’re fun to see on the big screen again. There are a lot of hiking trails to go on. You could bowl at Weber State University during their “happy hour” 2-6 pm and you don’t have to pay for shoes and each game is 1.75$. Or you could just come to my house and let them run around in the sprinklers, for FREE!

  8. Well, the in thing to do around here this year is be on a serious budget, so we’re all forgoing actual summer camps and doing a free neighborhood summer camp thing.

    Every week a different mom in the neighborhood takes a turn hosting the neighborhood kids twice a week for 2 to 3 hours, and she plans activities for them around whatever theme she picked (water, cooking, science, music, whatever). We have 12 moms involved, so we each only have to take a week, and voila – basically a free way (other than the cost of whatever activities you plan during your week) to keep the kids occupied for a few hours a week.

    I like your theme idea, I might have to steal that.

  9. Way to go! You are the fun mom. Sounds way too un-summer-ish for me. My kids are too old for that much structured fun. We just bought an ATV, 4 bunnies, and an outdoor theater system. If they can’t keep themselves entertained with that, there’s no hope. I’m just looking forward to NO schedule.

  10. riding the train? Are you coming to Heber? I’ll never, never forgive you if you don’t call first.

  11. annie valentine says:

    I’m actually doing a Monday drop-off zone for all the neighbor kids who want to come and play on the slip-n-slide. I figure if I take their kids once a week they’ll be more willing to take mine now and then.

  12. I just think you are a fantastic mother to make the effort to have themes and such. I’ll have to get your address and add my bunch to the slip n slide day!

  13. Oh, what excellent ideas! I’m stealing.

  14. I’m fairly certain that building a pool is one of those church-sanctioned “acceptable and necessary debts” that you could accumulate. You know, like buying a house and an education? Then you could just slap on some sunscreen and lock them out all day.

    Not that I’ve done that.

  15. You are a fun Mom, I want to play at your house. That’s a great idea to have themes for the weeks of summer. I might have to do something like that and include FHE around it somehow so my kids will be a little more excited about it.
    My husband keeps telling me he’s booked our vacation for the summer, but won’t tell me and the kids where. It’s driving me nuts.

  16. I think the mortuary these is a good one!lol!

    I need to be a better Mom also… and field trip it up this summer!

  17. This sounds like an awesome plan. I think I may have to go all “immitation is the sincerest form of flattery” on you.

  18. good plans —maybe you and your friend could work on SOCIAL SKILLS –I have a corner on State Street that seems to work well for me (tee,hee)

  19. I just keep giving my kids rolled up magazines so they can run around the house and kill all of the flies they keep letting in because everyone in my house REFUSES to keep any of the doors shut.

    The flies are driving me nuts, but the kids less now that they are put on ‘fly-duty.’

  20. you are awesome. those weekly themes are great – love the gansta 101. my mom and i lived in west valley after we moved from Montesano for…five years! hehe.

  21. Oh my gosh! I laughed so hard when I saw Gangsta 101, West Valley! That’s where my husband is from and even though he doesn’t think it’s the ghetto, it totally is!

  22. So I’m still wondering about the movie passes – how many does the mum get for each day – I need at least two so I can have nap time and maybe a spare in case my sanity is on the brink.

  23. I do the pool every day. (except for today. because I’m blogging. ) That’s about the extent of my creativity. Except for the package of disposable cameras that I bought. I am giving one to each of the kids and we are touring SLC like crazy tourists. They can take pics of whatever they want. I’ll get them developed and then they are required to scrapbook them.

    Nerdy? Yes. But, it’ll keep them happy for a day.Hopefully more.