200 Ways to Amuse Children during Summer Vacation

June 9th, 2011

Okay, that title’s a joke.  And a way to pull people in off the search engines.  I’m going to start playing the system–everyone else does, why not me?

I can’t believe it’s summer vacation as of noon today.  (One of my kids still has one more final tomorrow but he’s not stressing about it and everyone else is done today so I’m officially declaring Thursday the First Day of Summer Vacation.)  Mostly I can’t believe that the last time I posted was spring break.  Man, I’ve neglected this blog.  All the action’s on my FB page.  If you haven’t visited yet, COME ON OVER.  We’re all hanging out in the hot tub sipping champagne over there.  Figuratively speaking.  Well, it could be literal for some of us.  That’s the great thing about the internet.  You DON’T KNOW.

I’m giddy.  I love summer vacation.  Some things are admittedly harder during the summer–like I can never find any time to write because there’s always a kid around.  And my teenaged son is going to be gone seven weeks, which is such a depressingly long time that I can’t even bear to think about it.  (At least I’ll be seeing him a couple of times during those seven weeks.)  And there’s always more driving during the summer, which I hate.  Especially since they’re shutting down major parts of the freeway in L.A. this summer to make some changes, which is kind of like saying they’re cutting off major parts of your body for a little while.  It’s not going to be fun.

Where was I?  Oh, I love summer because THERE’S NO HOMEWORK.  I hate making my kids do homework almost as much as my kids hate doing homework.  Here’s what the teachers say: “Homework is between your kids and us.  You don’t have to tell them to do it.  If they don’t get it done, they’ll have to answer to us.  So you can stay out of it.”  And then you know what happens?  You don’t nag your kids, they don’t do their homework, and the teachers instantly email you to say, “Your kids aren’t doing their homework.  You’re going to need to make sure they do.”  And you sit there wondering what happened to, “It’s between them and us.”

But that wasn’t what I wanted to talk about.  I wanted to talk about how it’s summer and I have two books coming out this summer!  Well, summer and the beginning of September which is sort of like summer if you squint sideways at it.  EPIC FAIL’s out August 2, which is a lot closer than it used to be.  I’m really excited for this book to be out there–my first YA novel!   And FAMILIES AND OTHER NONRETURNABLE GIFTS is out September 2.  That one’s already sold in translation, but I don’t know if I’m allowed to brag about that yet so let’s just say it’s in a language I can’t speak in a country far far away.

I hope you’ll check out both books when the time comes.

Meanwhile, about those 200 ways to amuse kids . . . ?

There are at least that many channels on DirectTV.

You’re welcome.

Another way to keep children amused: let them play with the cat.