It has become abundantly clear that I should have shipped my kids off to summer camp. Weeks ago. Granted, I would have then been the unhappy recipient of an ungodly number of letters filled with angst, indignation and the desperate longings of two very homesick children. Ones who would likely remind me that I forgot to pack enough underwear and Hello Kitty Band-Aids. Never mind stamps and fancy schmancy stationery—so they could, of course, send more letters spelling out what a horrible mother I am imploring me to come and rescue them from some unnamed mosquito-infested forest as soon as possible.
Much like Diane Falanga’s heartfelt yet hilarious collection: P.S. I Hate It Here and the sequel to her 2010 book, P.S. I Still Hate It Here! More Kids’ Letters From Camp, I’m fairly certain my brood would craft the sort of plea that would appeal to her wicked sense of humor. It’s only natural to expect that I would find such supplications uproariously amusing as well. That said, sending Thing One and Thing Two to summer camp probably would have been at the very least an entertaining venture—not to mention preferable to what I’ve endured of late. More specifically, the insufferable barrage of grousing I’ve tolerated as it relates to handing my charges their “eternally evil” math workbooks (or so they affectionately refer to them).
Who was I to think my progenies would embrace the tedium that is long division, or the horror that is tethered so completely to large and unwieldy fractions and/or word problems involving planes and trains racing to some godforsaken place? ESPECIALLY DURING THE DELICIOUSNESS OF SUMMER!? An idiot, apparently.
My first clue should’ve been the time my dear children hid the cussed things in their big sister’s closet, hoping against hope that I would suffer death, dismemberment or, at the very least, some sort of memory lapse resulting in a reprieve from the toilsome task. Their incessant whining as it ostensibly relates to terrible, horrible, no good, very bad pencils and less-than-endearing erasers should have tipped me off, too. Please note: I have provided an embarrassment of perfectly wonderful pencils and erasers to the aforementioned heathens, much to their chagrin. And let us not forget the vociferous rant that graced the margins of a similar set of workbooks last summer—ones that disturbingly depicted tiny bookish entities with sinister-looking eyebrows and a penchant for consuming children’s brains.
I wish I were kidding. Likewise, I wish I could petition Diane Falanga to harvest notes of that ilk from the throngs of indignant youth that undoubtedly exist in this world of hyper-parenting. But I digress. Summer camp would’ve been fun for my kids. Notes or no notes.
Then again, I would have foregone countless days filled with the sort of hilarity that promises to cling to the corners of my mind for a very long time to come. Hilarity that involved painted-on mustaches that threatened to become permanent, deranged goat-inspired skits (don’t ask),errantly placed lizard poo (seriously, don’t ask) and the assorted vermin my dear husband stupidly encouraged our daughters to “adopt,” if only fleetingly. (Visit www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom to meet Phil and Perry, the groundhog and opossum that have since been returned to the wild—completely unscathed, I might add, except for the emotional scarring duly associated with listening to a couple of 11-year-olds toy with the notion of dressing them up in doll clothes).
Likewise, I would have missed the insanely funny lullaby (i.e. the Soft Kitty song) they sang with afriend in his parents’ hot tub late one night, and the golden opportunity to witness that which made me chortle more than anything: Thing One and Thing Two (an unlikely pair of rappers clad in two of the most ridiculous-looking swim caps and goggles) performing on Photo Booth. Thankfully, it has been digitally preserved for all time, however it pales in comparison to the live version I so enjoyed.
Planet Mom: It’s where I live (curiously pleased that I didn’t ship my kids off to summer camp). Visit me there at www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom.
Copyright 2012 Melinda L. Wentzel