We are barely up to our ankles in summer and my family is already dancing all over each other’s last nerve…

The problem really isn’t my boys. I rarely ever lay eyes on my sons, but I am convinced they still live here by remnants of physical evidence and disappearing groceries. My daughter, on the other hand, is all over me like a spray tan.

While my sons are thriving/surviving summer break ostensibly by keeping different hours from me, my daughter is soaking up my essence as though she were my UNDERSTUDY memorizing my character for an upcoming Summerstock performance.

In this vein, I find it prudent to keep a full complement of Mother-Daughter activities to stave off the inevitable boredom and annoyance…

Watch “Chrisley Knows Best!”

What better way to bond than binge-watching reality television? We have DVR’d the entire series. I’m not exactly sure why, but my girl finds it thoroughly entertaining to watch a couple of highly-accomplished, opinionatedly-sassy southern parents navigate their way through a turbulent effort to usher their spoiled, ungrateful offspring into adulthood.

The stricter the parents try to be, the more my daughter appears to enjoy the episode. It’s baffling. Sometimes I watch it with her for courage, ideas and inspiration.

There are times I find the show oddly relatable.

Attend Boot Camp Together

If you start to feel bad about how long you’ve been vegging on the couch, why not attend boot camp together?

As we walked into the gym, my kid glanced over at me and shrieked,

“Are you wearing hoops? Take them out! Take them out! Oh my God!”

Confused, I hastily snatched the offending rings from my lobes before anyone else saw me.

My daughter attempted to clarify by explaining, “You don’t want to be the lady that wears hoop earrings to the gym…”

The first thing the Trainer had us do was jump rope. I smiled confidently. Not to brag, but I’ve jumped quite a bit of rope in my day.

I soon found out jumping rope boot-camp-style is different than when I was 12. It’s way more intense. You jump with both feet.


As I swung the rope over my head, attempting to pass the first arc over my body, I noticed the rope suddenly refused to budge. It seemed to be hung up in something.

Turns out, it was tangled up in the grippy clip holding the mass of hair atop my head.

Fortunately, my group graduated on to tire-jumping in the time It took me to unsnarl the rope from my “high bun,” (all the while I was quietly giving thanks that I wasn’t the lady wearing hoop earrings.)

Make a Target run

On your way home, you might realize that you didn’t anticipate all the boot camp jumping when you were not taking kegels seriously during your pregnancies. You propose a quick Target-run to pick up some panty-liners.

Since it’s Target you’re suggesting, instead of Walmart, your daughter will be mostly agreeable.

We leave an hour later with milk, bread, eggs, lunch meat, yogurt and a plethora of sundry feminine products, including hair/nail vitamins, a hair straightener, a curling wand, (because … straighten before curling) a few new make-up brushes, Q-tips and some protein bars.

In our mutual self-absorption we totally forgot to grab a Father’s Day card.

Thank God my husband already knows we love him because I can’t afford to go back. Besides, I was thinking for Father’s Day I should just make him a card – styled like a coupon:

Good For One Free Day of Father/Daughter Bonding.”