Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring Breakage

We're approaching a unique astronomical event know in scientific circles as a Sugar Eclipse. When certain stars, such as those found in the Big Dipper of Chocolate and the Great Nebula of Boredom, align, their energies merge to form a melting pot of buzz, ennui, and opportunity. The result is a storm surge of incredible proportions and potentially disastrous results.

Over the past few months children everywhere have been cooped up in school. Keen students that they are, they have not frittered this time away uselessly studying reading, writing, and texting. Instead, they've picked up handy tips from schoolmates on the proper technique for games like "Living Room Baseball" and "Hallway Soccer." And now, according to tradition, we're going to fill them to the brim with Easter chocolate and set them loose in the house for a week straight.

The only things missing from this equation are:
1)a government grant to study the results
2) a reality television show to profit from the event itself.
Think The Nanny meets Prison Break. Don't even try for the grant - I've already sent in my application.

Around here the school system schedules Spring Break for right after Easter. I can't blame them. I wouldn't want hyper-sugared wall-bouncers in class then, either. The kiddies are amped to the tune of 800 chocolate bunnies. Nobody can focus when they're cranked up on sugar peeps. So they're home. And bored. And dangerously sugared. Less than three months from summer vacation, the weather is getting nicer, daylight sticks around a little later, spring is certainly upon us. Unfortunately, so are baseballs and footballs and trips to the emergency room.

The real reason it's called 'Spring Break' is because sooner or later, something is going to break - a lamp, a screen door, my sanity. My nine-year-old was just playing golf in the living room. MY living room. His rationale was that since the balls were the same color as the walls, they wouldn’t leave a mark. Luckily he has a nasty slice or the mirror over the fireplace would’ve been blown to bits.
Why do we expect, year after year, to survive Spring Break? How can we possibly free-feed jelly beans to jaded juveniles and not anticipate something might go awry?

I suspect selective parental memory comes into play. This is the same base logic that kicks in whenever you see a baby and think how cute the little thing is, conveniently overlooking the endless night-time feedings, stinky diapers, colic, drool and other lovely offshoots of baby ownership, to the point that you actually consider having another one. Why? So one kid can pitch to the other one in the living room? Are we that insane?

Yes, we're hardwired to continue the species. Unfortunately, we are not hardwired to have nice, breakable things. Unless, of course, my grant money comes through and I can afford to replace my previously nice, now-broken things. Until they break again next spring.


ScottMGS said...

Selective parental memory? Could you explain that again. I think I missed it the first time around.


Siouxie said...

Good one!!!

Mine used to play volleyball in the house. And kickball. And tennis. Mostly when it was raining and they couldn't go out back.

I think you're right about selective memory. It's why some people get married...again.

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head, yet again, Annie. What were we NOT thinking when we added the air hockey table to the den furniture this Christmas ???? We have a nice slice of glass missing from the curio cabinet in the dining room, is the result of that particular brain-fart !
Great column - you capture life's little blurps exceedingly well !

Anonymous said...

Please ignore extraneous comma !

Annie said...

No worries, anon - this is the island of misfit extraneous commas. We'll take good care of it.