Why the last days of summer are like being stuck in a fire swamp

By Megan Goates, KSL.com Contributor  |  Posted Aug 26th, 2013 @ 7:25pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — You know that part in "The Princess Bride" when Wesley is racing to catch up to Buttercup and her captors as they sail toward the Cliffs of Insanity? Remember what is happening all around them, churning up the sea and generally making a giant racket?

It's the shrieking eels, people. They are those loud, scary, toothy, aggressive snake-things that make even the Dread Pirate Roberts quake in his jaunty black boots.

My house was crawling with shrieking eels today.

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The guys have gone ballistic, or some of them have, anyway. There was screaming and flailing over sitting on the potty, vacuums, water bottles, peanut butter M&Ms, GoGurts and watching "Tangled" versus "Frankenweenie."

Three of the four decided to gang up on me and see how close they could drive me toward the Cliffs of Insanity. Frankly, they pushed me pretty darned near the edge.

They almost swept their older, less-shrieky brother over with me. He and I were looking at each other like, "What just happened?" and "Who are these crazy people?"

No cause for alarm though, folks. We are simply fulfilling our predestined August behavioral death spiral. We do it every year. It's a tradition. You see, two of my four sons have special needs and thrive in the structured environment of school. After three months of much less structure, despite my best efforts, we are all going a tad crazy.


We will crash and burn soon enough, and then resiliently enough we will scrape ourselves off the tarmac and hobble onward.

We will crash and burn soon enough, and then resiliently enough we will scrape ourselves off the tarmac and hobble onward. School and structured life will rehabilitate us enough that we can call ourselves "functioning," and even possibly "contributing" sorts of people.

On the bright side of things, our son's psychologist established for us a complex potty-training plan that should work, even if it takes a miracle for one potty-repellent child.

I plan to gather the guys for a staff meeting and introduce this new motto I'm thinking we should adopt:

"Be nutty. Really, just be your little nut self. But also be potty trained."

With this addendum: "And no more shrieking eels."

Megan Goates is a Westminster College and USU alumnus, a mother, and a blogger.

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