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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Well, it’s been a nice summer.

This morning, I got my two older boys suited up and sun blocked and dropped them off at our local baseball camp. Camp ends at 1pm, and I try to come early to watch a bit of their play, so I’m on the tick tock if I want to get anything accomplished. My youngest, actually hasn’t started camp yet,  and is trucking along right beside me. Let’s go kid, chop chop. You wanted camp mommy, you got it.

I’m trying to fit in the gym, run to Payless for swim shoes for my boys and get to the store for sunblock, milk, eggs, toilet paper and cat liter. There are also clothes at the dry cleaners that she might start charging me rent for if I don’t pick them up soon, and a birthday gift that I’m a week overdue on sending.

While I’m rushing around, trying to get it all done, I run into a friend, busy doing the same. Well, sort of the same, she was running from the gym to a manicure appointment. I definitely need to work on my list.

“Can you believe it’s summer?” She asks.

I think about it for a moment. School is definitely out. The graduation ceremonies, picnics, parties and general hoopla is over. Half my town has left for sleep-away camps, but I’m still up early, packing backpacks, making snacks, entertaining, cleaning, schlepping. To me, the idea of summer vacation, instilled 100 years back, is carefree fun and frolic. This is like any other season, but with more sweat.

“Nope. I can’t believe it.” I say.

“We should get together!” She exclaims.

“Totally!” I agree.

“How about next week?”

“Oh, next week isn’t good. The boys won’t be in full day camp till the week after.”

“Hmm. We’re going on vacation that week. How bout the 18th

“Baseball. The 24th?

“It’s camp visiting day. August 4th?”

“Birthday party.”

August 12th?”

“Uh…Baseball. How bout August 20th?”

“Ha. That’s the week, we’re going away.”

We look at each other, with a knowing smile.

“Okay then, see you after we get the kids off to school?”

“Perfect!”

We both head off in our own directions and I mentally add ‘school supplies’ to my over-crammed list.

Where does the time go?

sunset

 

If you ask me, brushing your teeth is a gift. My kids prefer money.

It hit me today at the dentist while all three boys were in various states of dental distress. My oldest was being cleaned, my middle x-rayed, and my youngest was getting the check-up. They all wore the cool shades that the office provides to shield them from the overhead light, and they all were brain deep into an episode of Scooby Doo playing on the strategically positioned TV. Yet, even with the lollypop flavored toothpaste – hello, irony – when all was said and done, we agreed, going to the dentist just sucks.

It inspired me to probe further to find out other things they hated. And while what I uncovered didn’t exactly surprise me, I was somewhat amazed when I realized that the stuff my kids hate to do is basically the stuff I consider among my favorite things.

They hate…

1. Brushing teeth. Straight from the dentist, it was no surprise this made the list. But, oh contaire dirty mouth little ones, brushing your teeth is not a chore. It’s a pleasure. I am so grateful for the invention of toothpaste. I never understood how anyone could forget to brush their teeth. I mean, don’t they smell themselves in the morning?

If Woody would have brushed his teeth, this never would have happened.

If Woody would have brushed his teeth, this never would have happened.

2. Showering. Every night, okay not every night, but most nights, my kids shower or bathe. You would think I was leading them to the torture chamber. They fight who goes first. They cry to put it off. And washing hair? Somewhere in between a major inconvenience and major tantrum.  I don’t get it. I mean, I’d never leave the shower if they didn’t come banging on the door because they were hungry, or tired of throwing things at each other.

Come on, bathing! It's swimming with soap!

Come on, bathing! It’s like swimming with soap!

3. Reading. What kind of cretins am I raising? I mean, yes, once I get them into a book or am reading a book to them, they’re generally engaged. But oh, the drama to get them there. You’d think my saying, shut the games and pick a book was like sentencing them to hard labor. Come on, babies, for the love of imagination and exploration and escapism, read, read, read!!

4. Sleeping. “Can we stay up soooo late?” is a frequent request while I’m droopy eyed and cranky longing for my snuggly bed. “We’re not tired!” They chant. And I think, are you f’n kidding me? You’re up at the crack of dawn, racing like ferrets on crack. Can’t they see that the later they stay up, the meaner I get? Also, we paid a lot for those Pottery Barn beds, get in them!

5. Veggies. Apparently, if it’s green it’s gross. Except for those Lucky Charm marshmallows. Anything in a Lucky Charm box is golden. Uh, not that I buy that crap. They must have eaten it at a friend’s house. For me, green is 50% of my diet. I love salads, broccoli, spinach, snow peas, sugar snap peas. You get the idea. Yeah, I’m not telling you the other 50%.

What? It's pistachio!

What? It’s pistachio!

Looking back, I see that all five of these dividers are basics of everyday life. The only real differentiating factor between my kids and I is age. So while they might say I’m old, uptight and boring. I say, they’re young, naive and clueless.

We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

31-dbbb It’s only day 2 of the 31 days to a better blog challenge. The challenge? Write a list. I don’t think I can keep this up.

And we’re off to camp. Wait… no we’re not.

“Here comes the bus!” I exclaimed, punch drunk on contrived giddiness. “This is so exciting!”

It was my five year-old’s first day of camp, and although it wasn’t raining like the forecast suggested, the air was cloudy with some heavy skepticism. The silver lining was more like a dull grey paranoia. Odds were an even 50/50 on whether he would actually board that bus.  My money said no.

All along I knew it was crapshoot. The boy who still has a hard time letting me go out for dinner, might have a wee little problem getting on a bus and heading off to the unknown. And it was possible, that regularly playing hooky from nursery was now going to bite me in the arse.

For weeks, I had been talking camp up, saying how he was going to swim and play with his friends. There would be baseball and pony rides. Games and all that crap. My enthusiasm was matched only by his apathy.

Me – “Camp is going to be so fun!”

Him – “I don’t like camp.”

Since he had not yet started camp and had not been to any camp since last summer, I conveniently waved it away with more nauseating gaiety, which he consistently responded with some variation of “Camp is stupid.”

Best not to think about that now.

The happy mini yellow bus, pulled right up before us and opened its squeaky doors. Without even a look back, my child  boarded. What?  Wow.  And I was all worried.

He’s actually going!

I enjoyed that moment for maybe 10 seconds, before my child, his face a scrunch of turmoil and tears, ran from the bus like his seat belt was snakes. Quicker than I could catch him, he hid behind the bushes on my lawn.

Yup. Not going.

“Baby?” I called tentatively. “Come on.”

But my baby just backed further away, eyes cartoon wild.

With a deep sigh, I waved the bus off.

The bus driver nodded but said, “Okay, but tomorrow, you put him on the bus crying or not. He’ll be fine.”  Uh, presumptuous much?

Then the happy school bus, which for me, is always mixed with a bit of horror – maybe all those movies of singing children being led off to doom – continued to its next stop.

I found my sniveling child, snot connecting him to the bushes like spider webs.

“It’s okay, baby. The bus is gone. Do you want me to drive you?”

He shook his head no. He did not want to go to camp. Ever. That of course, was not going to happen.

I led him inside, trying to comfort him while also trying not to get tangled in the snot.

Getting him off on the right foot was important. Getting him to be more independent was important. Getting him to the camp which we’d already paid for was definitely important.

We had a lot of stuff to accomplish here.That Kindergarten bus was right around the corner.

bye bye bus

The wheels on the bus go… right past my house.

Hey! It’s my 1 year blogger-versary! One year, people!! I raise my cone to you in thanks. You guys are the best.