Your kids are at home alone…and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.  You’ve got to earn a living right?  And staying home on vacation to watch them isn’t a great idea because it’s not really a vacation if you’ve got to spend it at home, with the kids, cooped up in the house, because it’s too cold for them to be outside.  And while you’re trying to keep your job, and your sanity, the phone rings.  Time after time, every day, you get those phone calls with the dreaded…”He hit me”, “There’s nothing to do”, “There’s nothing to eat” or “When are you coming home?”  Course, nothing trumps any phone call that starts with “It wasn’t my fault.”  You always know that the next phone call you make will be to State Farm…or the police department.  Again, you can’t do a thing to stop it.

See, the school forces them to take 3 weeks of Christmas vacation and I’m thinking that they only do that because that’s how long it requires most teachers to complete the Anger Management programs designed to keep them from beating all our little redneck heathens within an inch of their lives.  The summer break is really just a research time for teachers.  That’s when they spend a couple months re-writing their escape routes, practicing their “I’m sick so I can’t come to work” voice and reading all the rap sheets of the new little convicts they’ll have for the coming year.

My wife, Ju Ju to all the Haughton kids, is a stay at home Mom; except this time of year. This is the time of year she essentially runs away from home.  She spends hours coming up with “To Do” lists, doctor visits or other errands to take her away from the house, for as long as possible.  And she really doesn’t care how long it takes to Super Glue all the broken parts back together when she gets home as long as the McCoy boys, and a minimum 5 or 6 additional guest men children, are either tucked away or slobbering on themselves in that drunken daze brought on from their chocolate coma.  Hey, she’s a smart woman.  She knows that if the teachers, who are trained professionals, can’t handle these evil little beasts for more than a couple months then she’s destined to do a minimum of five to ten if she has to handle them all day, every day, for three weeks.

And I know she’s not alone.  I see other Mommas with her sometimes; all gathered up in the food court at the mall, just crying, wondering where the train came off the tracks.  All those ladies talking about “how cute they were when they were little”…and then they cry even more.  I think they just sit there waiting on Happy Hour when it’s two for one drink specials.  And while they cry, they exchange “War Stories”.  Stories about the kid who shaved the dog or the kid who made a thousand dollars of phone calls to a 900 number.   Seems like there’s always a new “entry” that seems to make the other Mommas feel like maybe their child isn’t as bad as they thought.  Until they get home and find that their angelic daughter has glued her little brother to the toilet seat.

It’s about this time you realize what your Momma meant when she said that “You’re paying for your raising”, and you consider just how bad we must have been when we were little.  Or maybe that was just me?  Course, that’s just how this man sees it.

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