This is the time of the year that most moms scramble around trying to find summer camps for their kids. I am certainly in the thick of it. The older I get the more I scramble. Because you know, if they are at home it is difficult to do all the thing that one wants to do without kids. Not that I do bad or wrong things but there are things I like to do and I don’t need small chaperones to do them. For instance when I look at a clock and it reads 12:59 I often say, or think, 1:00. One would think that this makes perfect sense to bump it up the next minute. I mean, hey, how accurate are the clocks these days?
I’m telling ya, pretty dang accurate according to my kids. Bedtime cannot be announced a nano-second before the actual time showing on the cellular device or things go awry. Arguments begin and things get put off and before you know it they have managed to take a nano-second and turn it into a fifteen minute wedge of time. That is what I mean when I say I scramble for camps. I need a break from all of the exactness that these children demand.
Also, they are either too literal or not literal enough. If I say we MIGHT go get ice cream around 1:00ish, they pounce on me at 1:00 on the dot. “But you said we were going to go get ice cream at 1:00 and it is 1:00.” No leeway whatsoever. I respond, “I said MIGHT and I am thinking that I am not wanting ice cream right now. “
“OK. When then?”
“Excuse me? Are you paying?” That makes them sulky and I immediately begin a new Internet search for another camp. Preferably one that actually lasts all week and not the new abbreviated ones that are only Monday-Thursday. One that includes Saturdays and Sundays would be a dream.
Some summer days I look at their smirky, little faces and want to scream! Other days, I grab my purse and shout, “Last one in the car is a rotten egg! Let’s Get Ice Cream!” But on odd, rare, summer days I say things I shouldn’t when I hear, “But mom, can you wait until I finish this game?” I am standing in the threshold with purse hung exactly like Queen Elizabeth, on the elbow crook and he wants me to wait until the game is over. After hounding me to the nth second on so many occasions, I am ready to go. “OUT the DOOR buster! This Instant.” A sloth would have beat him to the car.
I could have hand cranked an entire gallon and a half by the time I got the car loaded and the “shot gun” argument settled. Then we wade through several minutes of screaming/deciding which ice cream place to go. Finally, I drive up to the ice cream squawk box and order what I believe to be the official order. As I am handing over the debit card, a loud wail erupts from the back seat, “Not the cookie dough bites again! I wanted mint chocolate chip!” As I turn around, the woman is handing me the last cone and giving me the eye.
I trade cones. I hate cookie dough, but I lick away because if I don’t it will melt down my front. The conversation is at an all-time lull while the licking commences. I pull into the driveway and the new teen (birthday yesterday!) informs me that he is not going to camp this year because he is just going to hang with me.
Hysterical laughter can be heard from afar.
“Oh, no, my little teenage friend. You are going to camp this summer. I have an entire notebook full of camp forms waiting for me inside. Overnight camps. Sports camps. Church camps. Robot camps.”
He is so stunned he stops licking for a moment. “Seriously?”
“Yep. Going in right now to fill in all those forms and send them off.”
I climb the steps to the back door and I hear the youngest whisper to the newest teen, “I think she means it.”
And in fine teen form, he replies, “DUH!”