My evil plan to totally wreck my teen’s summer vacation.
I know, I know. It’s summer time. No homework, no early morning bolt out the door to get to school on time. It’s a summer break. Summer vacation. It’s supposed to be months of complete and total lazy, don’t-brush-your-teeth-for-days sloth.
At least that’s what my daughter thinks.
I’m OK with some summer lazies. The only problem is, her idea of “lazy” is staring at a screen and not blinking for 14 hours. Food and bathroom breaks be damned. (Here’s my earlier rant about an entire summer of unrelenting screen time.)
If I didn’t care. Or if I didn’t imagine myself to be the worst mom on the planet. Or that I was setting my daughter up for a career that entails asking, “if you’d like fries with that”, I’d let her wither away watching hours of Japanese anime.
But, guess what, I do care. I don’t want her to be destined to a career that includes hair nets. I do want her to go to college.
And so, I’ve decided on my mission.
I will, I must, ruin my child’s summer vacation. It’s as simple as that.
Here’s the specific steps I’m taking to totally ruin my teen’s summer vacation.
1. Make Her Read a Book.
Remember those? Made of paper, full of words? Often found in libraries, Barnes and Noble and by the master bathroom toilet? Yes, books. Somebody call child protective services because I’m going to assign my daughter a reading list of 10 books to read before the summer is over.
Yes, I’m that evil.
2. Unplug The Wireless Network.
Yes, when the computer doesn’t close. When the phone and ipad are hot as Hades from overuse, I’m going to unplug the damned wifi. Bam. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.
This will probably end with tears and pouting. Nevertheless, I must remain strong.
3. Eye Contact & Conversation
It’s going down for real. I’m not only going to make her close her computer, there’s going to be conversation and eye contact. This might be tricky in the beginning but after a few days away from devices, her ability to form words and sentences will (hopefully) return. We’ll work our way back to eye contact with actual living beings. Eye contact might start off small, with her cats for instance. But anything worth attaining is worth working for.
And now for the big guns.
The three words that strike fear in the hearts of teens everywhere.
4. FAMILY. ROAD. TRIP.
It brings back visions of the movie Vacation doesn’t it? Kids crammed into the back of the family truckster for shits and giggles at Wally World. Well, my present day adventure won’t be in a truckster with Chevy Chase, but will instead be in a Prius visiting towns across California. But some of the same teen road trip pain will be present.
Truck Stops in the middle of nowhere. Endless highways that stretch flat and long into nothingness and NO INTERNET.
Even I shudder just a bit thinking about it.
My teen might have to sit and look out the window at the passing big rigs. She might have to listen to crappy radio signals and bad 70’s songs and learn to be BORED.
If all goes according to plan, I’ll be able to thoroughly ruin my teen’s summer vacation and deliver her to high school in a few months.
She’ll have read a few more books. Have a few more mosquito bites. Learned to be bored. And maybe even, God willing, we’ll have grown a little bit closer.
Cover me while I go unplug the wifi and ruin a teen’s summer vacation.
Wish me luck.