The Parent Trip – Spring Break

Spring break is on. Two weeks of freedom. At least for your kids. You might feel a little less free.

  • Mar. 26, 2015 4:00 p.m.

By Shelby Cain

Spring break is on. Two weeks of freedom. At least for your kids. You might feel a little less free. If you went somewhere fun and hot where they bring you pina coladas, you’re probably sad to be coming to the end of it. If, however, you stuck around home, you may be counting the final hours down with sweet anticipation.

I had a unique situation this year. Four got two weeks, Six only got one. That made for an interesting Monday morning, believe me. Six was not happy to be getting dressed for school while Four flitted around in her jammies with a lollypop she had stashed for the occasion. Completely pre-meditated torture. I removed it from her clutching fist as soon as I saw it, but the damage had already been done. Poor Six. The differences in duration did leave me with a direct comparison on the ‘one week versus two weeks of spring break’ debate. When I was a kid, it was only one glorious, homework free week. We treasured it. Now, for most schools, it’s two. If you’re heading out of town, two is great. If not, it may be a little long. And it’s not that you don’t completely enjoy the time you got to spend with your kids. Getting out the bikes, walking on the trails, hitting the pool, maybe even carving a few more turns on the ski hill. Relaxing the rules and letting things slide. I mean, hey, it’s spring break! Go for it! For the first week. The second week seems a bit less exciting. The novelty has worn off, replaced by the realization that all of that ‘relaxing the rules’ stuff may not have been the best idea. Suddenly, your kids are starting to morph into sugar-addicted gamers with disrupted schedules. Bedtimes get pushed. Bath nights are jostled. It’s amazing how quickly it can all fall apart. All that training and discipline, erased with just a few special allowances. “I guess you can honey, it’s spring break, just do it quietly…” A light bulb goes off in those little brains. “Oh, so the rules aren’t carved in stone. There’s wiggle room. Interesting…” And it’s on. My kids tried some major wiggling. One afternoon I found them in the basement with giant bowls of Rocky Road, attempting to load the Saving Private Ryan DVD. Another time they’d snuck out of their beds and were in the bathroom making water balloons and re-enacting the storm scene from The Little Mermaid. That one took a lot of towels. No matter how long your spring break was, I hope you enjoyed your relaxed rules. Now enjoy the crackdown. spring break is over.