I know it’s poor form to recycle your instagram pics in your blog posts but this is literally the only picture of Sym that exists, and also it is very cute.

School is over and it’s officially summer for Sym, which means it’s officially exasperation season for me. We already had our first big attitude problem-related blowout and I confiscated all her devices for five days- before she’d even picked up her report card. Teens are hard to parent sometimes! Last summer I came up with a big list of chores and activities with rules about how many she had to complete each day before she was allowed any screen time, which worked well, but this summer I’m more about getting her out of the house to do things where there might be other people.

Options for teen activities when you are as broke as me are pretty limited; most of the programs at the community centers around here are for younger kids (or they are just exercise classes), and most of the art and theater classes I’ve found are too rich for my blood. Through some clever googling though, I found a wealth of teen activities and workshops at the library that are FOR FREE and I am ALL ABOUT THEM.

This week she started a creative writing workshop that is every other Monday afternoon all summer, and I signed her up for a three-day Barbie modding workshop at the end of July. She actually pestered me about the Barbie thing for days until I signed her up, which is amazing for a kid who usually wants nothing more than to lurk in her bedroom watching It’s Grace videos all day. There is also a button-making workshop I’m trying to get her to do but for some reason she says she isn’t into buttons? I was like “YOU CAN PUT THEM ON YOUR JEAN JACKET!!!!” but she wasn’t sold. Honestly sometimes I wonder how we are even related.

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