How I Escaped My Children This Summer
Oh, sure, everyone always gets sooooo excited for summer. A smorgasbord of fashionable outdoor festivals, sipping mai-tais on elegant beach-side patios, entirely new ways of getting judged by your body – what’s not to love? Your kids, for one thing. Did it occur to you that your kids are going to be home all day, for three months? Not everyone can afford to just ship them off to some fancy summer camp. Do you have any idea how much they charge for water at those outdoor festivals? When I was packing up my reclaimed steel thermos of organic acai juice and 200 SPF all-natural sunscreen in preparation for soaking up the bare minimum of sun, and my children informed me that they were hungry, I knew something had to be done.
My first idea was a fun game of hide-and-seek. I closed my eyes and began counting while the kids giddily scurried around to locate what they didn’t yet realize would be the prisons of their own minds. Once it fell silent, I put on my shoes. I continued counting all the way out the door. I had myself a nice afternoon at the pool, and when I came home, those idiots were still hiding! It was great. I did my nails, read a book, cooked myself a lovely dinner of coq au vin, and went to bed. It was some sorely needed me-time.
Unfortunately, by the third day, they did figure out what was going on and dragged themselves from cupboards and closets to their rooms in defeat. They didn’t have the decency to stay there, of course. Next thing I knew, I was once again bombarded by requests for ice cream and to look at this cool thing they made in Minecraft. This time, I was prepared: I reached into my designer wicker summer bag and pulled out a pair of glasses with a fake nose and mustache attached, then informed them that I was not their mom but their long-lost uncle, Jom. I didn’t know where their mother was, but I, Jom, was in no way qualified to feed or love them. This worked for a while, but they got it into their heads that the only adult in the house should still provide for them regardless of dubious relation, so it was back to square one.
I admit I hit a wall at this point. Literally: I barricaded myself in the bathroom with planks of recycled wood and artisanally forged nails. I had water, almond butter, and a full line of locally sourced skin care products – everything I would need to survive – and I wasn’t coming out until they forcibly removed my cold, stunningly exfoliated corpse. On around the fourth day of my champagne bath, the kids started complaining that they needed to pee, but there’s no reason they can’t just go in the yard. Just not on my lavender, do you hear me, Jacob? I will come out there. Do you actually want me to come out there?
As my almond butter ran low, I began to get desperate. Some frantic Googling on my phone revealed that you actually can’t sign preteens up for the military or solo voluntourism trips abroad. Did you know that some of those organizations actually charge money for you to send your children to build schools in the war-torn third world? Boy, things have sure changed from the times when these companies were just happy to get free child labor. Then it hit me. There was one institution that would be more than happy to keep my children locked up for free.
I started researching crimes that carry an average juvenile sentence of about three months, and there’s honestly a troubling lack of data on this topic, but I figured a good arson would do it. Ideally, I would have them back by September so I could make sure all the other moms see their stylish new designer backpacks, but they have books in baby jail, probably.
I emerged from the bathroom, calm, centered, and pretty drunk from soaking in wine for the better part of a week, and asked them if they wanted to play a game. No, a real game this time. I loaded up the car, stopped at the gas station, and drove us deep into the forest. I indiscriminately emptied a gas can onto the forest floor, making sure to get a good coat on their little hands and clothes, explaining that we were watering the plants with a magic liquid that would turn them into fairy houses. The last step was the ancient transformative power of fire. I handed them the matches and ran away.
I don’t know what happened after that. I know from the news that there was a forest fire in the west hills, but nobody’s called me or anything. And they wouldn’t, would they? It’s not like those kids have any identification or even know my name. Can you believe that? I bet they don’t even know my name. Those ungrateful shits.