Classroom Christmas parties are over, winter break homework packets have been disseminated (ugh), and teachers have gleefully ushered the last of their pupils of the (calendar) year out their doors. I’m so glad my kids’ wonderful teachers get an extended break to unwind, relax, and spend time with their families. I am.
But now I have three kids at home all day, every day. And I’m starting to wonder who these older kids are. They seem so different than the ones we dressed up in new uniforms and dropped off at school in September.
They sing these unusual songs that I have never heard. They’ve forgotten how to get along with each other. All they want is time to spend on electronics. When I ask them to clean up, they act as though I’ve suggested a death march to the Gulag. Two of them refuse to eat anything except PB&J, mac & cheese, reconstituted condensed soup, and pizza, effectively putting themselves on a hunger strike.
That’s hard enough, but we’re also going on a ten-day road trip halfway across the country to visit friends and family. And you can bet at least one of them is going to get sick somewhere along the way. It always happens. So far on road trips we’ve suffered the stomach flu, persistent night-time nosebleeds, influenza A, and a weird blistery skin infection.
This is all to say nothing of the typical Christmas frenzy. For all you moms, no further explanation is necessary.
When we get back in January and launch the kids out of the van as we slowly drive by the school (“tuck and roll, children!”) I predict I’m going to crash. Stress + constant people + no break time = me being unable to adult for a week or two. I will probably be huddled under a blanket in a quiet room, alone, as much as possible.
As I planned my shopping list this week, I added items I know I’ll need when we get back. Frozen lasagna, frozen fish fillets and sweet potato fries, frozen enchiladas. At least I won’t have to fret about having to work in the kitchen. I even bought a loaf of bread, a package of English muffins, and a half-gallon of milk to put in the freezer so that we’ll have those for the morning after we roll into town.
Preventing mental health issues are highly preferable to having a stress-induced breakdown, you know what I’m sayin’?
Here’s this week’s menu:
Monday: Japanese beef curry and rice
Tuesday: Baked salmon with steamed broccoli and rice
Wednesday: Chicken Fried Rice
Thursday: Homemade Pizza
Friday: Christmas Dinner! I’m making a Prime Rib roast from the 1/2 cow we bought this past summer. I’ll also be making Twice-Baked Potatoes, and my dad will provide the rest of the side dishes.
Weekend: Fast food galore! It’s a road trip, after all.