Summer Slide


Summer slide is a term commonly used in the world of teaching to describe the tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains over the summer that they made during the previous school year. This is my fifth rodeo as a “summer parent” and I must admit that my parenting skills also suffer from a severe case of Summer Slide

School-Year Bedtime

It was like precise clockwork. Well, at least that is how I remember it. Upstairs by 7:00 p.m., teeth brushed and pajamas by 7:10 p.m. Three books were thoughtfully read (all pages and all words), one educational tale, one fun interactive sense of humor book and of course a book that covers the ever-important social emotional skill set such as the Invisible String or When Sophie Gets Really, Really Angry. Bedtime prayers were said in angelic unison and children were tucked in and asleep on clean bed linens by 7:30 pm.

Summer Bedtime

The children are routinely up past 9:00 p.m. and the toothbrushes have been dry since May. I am under the firm belief that sprinklers, hoses, oceans, and kiddie pools count as bathing. The sheets stink of bug spray, suntan lotion, and BBQ. There seems to be way more crying, begging, negotiating and pleading. I read Strega Nona three times last week for the parenting win and then successfully lost all parent street cred last night when I was so exhausted from “camp mommy” that I put both girls in the same bed and gave them the iPad. There was no fighting or crying and both were asleep by 10:00 p.m.


summer slideSchool Year Dinner

My weeknight school year dinners would make Martha Stewart proud. Grilled chicken salad, steak with veggies, and homemade pizza were frequent on our family dinner rotations. Not that my children ever eat any of my homemade cooking other than “Pasta Wednesday” or two bites of the aforementioned pizza, after which they always loudly proclaim their unwavering love of takeout pizza, but it is the thought that counts. And oh, did we put in a lot of thought. Actually, the culinary geniuses at Blue Apron put a whole lot of thought into it, but we diced those vegetables and sautéed that meat with love and served them to the picky minions around 6:00 p.m every night.

We worked on table manners and talked about the “highlight” and “lowlight” of our days. When everyone was finished eating, the girls would ask to be excused and would politely dump the entire contents on their dinner, minus the three grapes I gave them, into the trash and put their plates in the dishwasher. It was glorious.

Summer Dinner

Last week the three-year-old ate an open bag of Lays potato chips in our driveway and we called that “dinner.” And can we take a minute to talk about summer food shopping? I am seriously at the store every day. EVERY. DAY. PEOPLE. And that does not include farmer’s markets. So riddle me this…how come every time I open the fridge or pantry we have NO FOOD? As a result, our current rotation of gourmet meals consists of Annie’s from a box, Watermelon, Annie’s from a box, s’mores, Annie’s from a box, smoothies, Annie’s from a box, chips (salsa and guac for mom and dad, while the children prefer their GMO-laden crunchies sans delicious condiments), and take out. The girls have never ever eaten a hot dog or hamburger which makes any and all summer picnics and BBQs super duper fun for the entire family.

Ice cream for dinner!

School Year Screen Time

During the school year, the girls are so busy with, well, school that there is little time for screens. On the weekends we will watch some Netflix or catch the Friday Disney movie.

Summer Screen Time

It is bad, people. Really, really bad. Please refer to the bedtime iPad story.

Do you suffer from parenting Summer Slide? 

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Nikki has called wonderful Fairfield County her home, her entire life. Growing up on a campus of a private school in Greenwich, CT Nikki swore to her educator parents that she would never be a teacher. Well life has a way of repeating itself and now Nikki and her amazingly supportive husband are happily working at a different independent school in Greenwich. A recovering “type a” perfectionist she is learning to let go of her color coding, alphabetizing ways and embrace the mess. Helping her enjoy life’s everyday messes are her two precocious girls Sofie (11/15/11) and Keira (9/7/13). Nikki loves all things mommy cliché including but not limited to walks on the beach, running, reality TV, organizing closets, wine, chocolate and having her kids help her out in the kitchen.



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