Irvine, ca. An Irvine mom said she was thankful to survive the first month of summer but fears the last month might be the one that will lead to widespread tantrums and whining. "It's not so much the actual fighting that bothers me, it's the listening to the fighting," said Suzanne Broughton, who has two children, ages 7 and 4.
Statistics show that even if 95 percent of the time kids "get along" and cohabitate together harmoniously, it is the remaining 5 percent that is the real killer. "I don't know if you can actually die from over-tattling, but it's a risk I'm not willing to take with my kids," said Broughton. "I have sent them to their room until July 25th." Broughton believes at that time, the return of her children's grandparents from vacation will slow the progression of boredom-induced squealing.
Her fears aren't unfounded. A recent study shows that left unchecked and uncorrected it has been documented that a child can "tattle" for three to five days non-stop without any contact with the child they are tattling on. Further, the dreaded question "Guess what?" can be uttered up to 6,134 times before doing any actual damage to the tattletale, but the long-term effects of tattling on both parties and the parents who have to listen to them are still largely unknown.
"I just don't know if she is going to last through the summer," said one of Broughton's neighbors who didn't want to be identified. "I heard her yesterday shout something like 'I have had just about as much of this as I can take!'" Which the very informed and sharp-eared neighbor said was "mommy code" for "I'm just about to farm you out as an Arbonne consultant for the rest of the summer."
One member of Broughton's Wednesday playgroup, Karen Albright, said she was surprised she had gotten to that point so soon in the summer, but was "jazzed" to hear she might be getting free travel-sized moisturizers with carrying case. "I 'm the one who first signed Suzanne up for Arbonne, so with each additional person she brings in, I get free product."
When asked how she fared this last month, Albright said she was "fantastic." She gave most of the credit to her carved-in-stone summer schedule. She has been dropping her children, ages 6 and 8, off to repeatedly see "Wall-E" every day, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., ever since the movie came out four weeks ago. "They just love that silly robot...or whatever he is. I haven't actually seen it myself."
Though the summer months can be taxing on stay-at-home moms, their neighbors and theater employees, it 's healthy to keep in mind that it will quickly be over and the children will soon return to their classrooms. But as Candy Orsby, the Director of The Orange County School Board, reminds parents in a memo sent out last week, they have to wait until the actual first day of school to do so," no early July drop-offs will be accepted...Please remember, if the school's doors are locked and the lights are out summer isn't over yet. "