Tag Archives: Summer camp

Gunge.

Bennett came home from camp one night this week — well, one morning actually. M met his delayed flight at two am. (Flying west during the summer is a royal pain. Storms abound in the middle of the country, delaying just about every flight.) Now that I have accounted for lost items (sneakers) and shown him the items in his duffel that I packed that he didn’t even know were there (raincoats, playing cards, and books (hah!); apparently, side pockets are for ignoring), I am wading through his laundry, which really isn’t as bad as I’d anticipated. Maybe that’s because I have gotten used to a certain level of gunge already.

After all, just this week M and I were investigating a tear in our couch:

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What you can see here is a rip behind the couch cushion. What you cannot see is the apple core that someone shoved in there about three years ago. The apple, from what I can tell, seems to have grown feet as well as several other smaller apples, and had turned the entire cushion into a mess of mold and gunge. (I am sparing you a before picture, because some of you may have just eaten, or, even worse, actually have food in your mouths.)

When she saw me scrubbing the back of the coach, removing chunks of fruit mold, and swearing profusely, Sidney tried to improve my mood by painting a picture:

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Honestly, I do not know what to make of this. Is she paying homage to my impressively sized feet, or has she become the boob fairy and granted me a pair of well sized, but low-hanging breasts to cheer me up?

I didn’t ask for clarification.

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Filed under children, parenting, Seattle, Summer, summer camp, Uncategorized

Home.

I’m sure all boys don’t come home from camp with a few sticks of melted butter (an award, I gather) and nine wasp bites, but mine did.

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While there is the requisite mound of laundry,

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he wasn’t anywhere near as dirty as I’d expected.

I suspect this is because I offered to pay him to shower daily, and (here’s the kicker), I also offered to pay his two best friends to act as enforcers. I seem to recall offering them all $5 a week, but one of his cronies cunningly claimed I’d offered $10, so I had to hand out a bunch of twenty dollars bills to some very pleased looking nine year olds. (This tactic worked so well that they even won awards for cleanliness. If you knew Efram, you ‘d know that being associated with clean people, let alone vanquishing others with his cleanliness, is quite out of the ordinary.)

I just spent 45 minutes getting him into the shower. He claimed he was the cleanest he’s ever been and therefore could skip a night. Nice try, buddy. You’re not going to be the ONE kid in all of America who comes home from camp and doesn’t shower because he’s too clean.

I may have been swindled by some third graders earlier today, but that dumb, I’m not.

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Filed under parenting, Seattle, Summer, summer camp, Uncategorized

Camped out.

I’ve been feeling somewhat guilty all week because I’ve been reading Facebook posts of friends pining for the children away at summer camp and well…. I haven’t felt the same sense of desolation and longing.

A friend walked up to me late in the week and asked, “So, how are you holding up?” I quickly scanned the dessicated corn husk that used to be my brain and tried to think of some big event I’d forgotten.  I was seconds away from launching into my soliloquy about the Sopranos and the golden age of television, when the friend said:

“You know, how are you holding up without Bennett?”

The final shot of Tony Soprano in "Made i...

The final shot of Tony Soprano in “Made in America”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh, that.

Efram left today, a full week after Bennett and yes, the house is quiet and boy-less. And yes, we miss them. But damn it, I don’t think the missing quite rises to the level of a sad Facebook post.

And I feel guilty about it. I feel guilty about lots of things.

First, Efram got a buzz cut this week to prepare him for his two weeks away. “You know,” said another mum. “This way you don’t have to worry about brushing it.” Efram shot me a look. I don’t think I’ve ever brushed his hair, and I know he certainly hasn’t. Does one need to brush a boy’s hair? Why has nobody told me that? It’s too damn late now. Even though I physically throw him in the shower on an (almost) daily basis, Efram is on the weekly shampoo program. His head smells like the bunny cage.

Then, someone asked me if I packed a reading light for Bennett at camp. Come again? Last time I checked, a reading light implies reading. I spent most of my childhood with my face in a book, and I’m almost certain I didn’t read much at camp (with the exception of Judy Blume’s Forever, see page 110). I packed some books of fun sports facts and an extra flashlight. Moby Dick will have to wait.

To recap: I don’t miss  my kids enough, I’ve never brushed either of the boys’ hair, and I’ve sent them both to camp with all the accoutrements to play a long round of candy poker, but there’s nary a novel in sight. (Ok, Efram did pack half the library in one of his bags, but that had nothing to do with me and I’ll eat my shoe if he reads a single book.)

And I really do miss Tony Soprano.

Now that we only have the 3 girls at home, M and I are taking off alone for a couple of days (I do realize that parenting three girls six and under who generally speak in whine, may not seem like a freeing experience, but believe me when I say that everything is relative).

I pulled out this adorable little cross-body purse I’ve been saving for an occasion when I don’t have to carry my entire life around with me. I took out my shopping bags (can’t leave home without those unless you want to pay for paper bags here in Seattle), pacifiers, Polly Pockets, notebooks, barrettes, and other random detritus.

But I couldn’t squeeze this in:

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M pointed out that ladies who carry cute little cross body satchels probably don’t need to carry round several pounds of dried fruit with them at all times. Oh, really? I can’t imagine that among all those satchel-toting women there isn’t one of them who can’t get through a day without a healthy dose of roughage.

If you see someone carrying an adorable purse that won’t quite close because three pounds of dried apricots are forcing their way out, please wave and say hi.

It’s probably me.

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Filed under children, fashion, parenting, Summer, summer camp, Uncategorized

Separate This.

I’m packing the boys up for summer camp, which means the room that used to be my office now looks something like this:

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Bennett leaves first — on Sunday. It looks like I’m going to be a pretty pathetic empty-nester, because I’ve actually convinced myself that I’ll miss the little bugger. I wonder if I’ll be glad to see him go on Sunday or just really glad to rid my office of the mountains of cheap t-shirts, sharpie pens and crap I hope and pray does not come back from camp with him. (Consequently, if life has taught me anything it’s this: I am certain that the only things he’ll lose are the things I wish he wouldn’t… and all that Walmart crap will make its way home with him. I just know it.)

I think he’s trying to make the separation easier for me by driving me absolutely bat-shit with all his creatures. I’m glad that hamster up and died last week because as it is, I’m going to spend the month playing Dr. Doolittle to the rabbit and the effing tadpole.

The tadpole, by the way, lives in this palatial tub, which until this Sunday was used to house some of the clothes Fiona had grown out of that will one day be Sidney’s:

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Those clothes are now in a heap on the basement floor. Oh, and that little terracotta pot was going to be used to grow a dahlia but apparently tadpoles need homes within homes.

I haven’t even mentioned that he’s got me ordering ALGAE TABLETS for it on Amazon and this afternoon I found him boiling a beautiful head of butter lettuce on the stove top.

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“Tadpoles like boiled lettuce,” he said.

Do they now? Do they need a whole head of fresh butter lettuce because I’ve got a few leaves of some wilting crap at the back of the fridge. Goodbye, fresh salad.

Yesterday it was kale. Goodbye, green smoothie.

His last words to me before bed last night were: “You need to cut the bunny’s nails while I’m away.”

Come again?

You could clearly do a lot worse than to be a pet in this house.

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Filed under children, pets, Seattle, sports, Summer, summer camp, travel, Uncategorized