Sunday, June 24, 2012

Camp Grandma

School's out, school's out, teacher let the fools out!

Now the fools' parents need to find some way to entertain the fools during the long summer months. In our house that means signing both fools children up for one summer camp after another.

Our kids attend a variety of summer camps, but all of them pale in comparison to the annual week-long overnight camp at grandma's house. Yes, Camp Grandma is the highlight of the summer for everyone except, perhaps, grandma.

A week before camp, the questions start.
"Are you leaving us at Grandma's? "
"You're not staying with us, right?"
"We get to stay at grandma's all week!?"

Clearly, we are a total buzz kill. Our kids want us out of their hair for a week.

Of course, secretly, hubby and I are ticking off the days until Camp Grandma like prisoners counting days until release. As we pull our minivan out of grandma's driveway, we try to keep our hooting, yelping, and cries of joy from reaching our children's precious ears.

"Ohhhh, sweet freedom!" we yell as we drive away like bats out of hell.
We are eager to flee before Grandma comes to her senses and decides this whole "Camp Grandma" gig is overrated.

Camp Grandma is a week filled with parenting indiscretions.
Frankly, I'm amazed Camp Grandma is run by the same lady who raised me.

At Camp Grandma there is actually a cookie jar filled with...get this...cookies!
Kids can eat from the cookie jar without...believe it or not...being scolded!
Kids don't have to eat everything on their plates because....are you ready for this? ...maybe they aren't hungry!
Kids can play more video games because...I can't believe this one...they want to!

Children eat pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Days are filled with trips to the zoo, toy store, drive-in theatre, waterpark, and random festivals. Root beer floats are served nightly and the television is on non-stop. Or so our children say.

Grandma is adamant her grandchildren are lying, little heathens who do not get everything they want during their 7 days at Camp I can't believe this is my mother! Grandma.

I'm really not sure who is lying about the shenanigans that go on at Camp Grandma.
All I know is when I pick up my precious, sugar-filled angles at the end of the week, and ask them to do something, anything, their glazed over eyes look at me like I've lost my mind.

"Grandma doesn't make us do that," they say in unison.

Well, kids, welcome back to reality.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The "V" Word as in VAGINA

I am raising children so there is a laundry list of words and word combinations which can get you in trouble in my house.

Imagine hitting your thumb really hard with a hammer.
All of the possible words and word combinations you might say at that moment are banned in my house. This is one reason why I don't work with tools. I just can't risk the flood of profanity that would inevitably flow from my mouth. That, and I completely loathe home projects that involve tools, but I digress.

In addition to the obvious bad words, other really foul language like stupid-head, moron, and shut-up are also banned. I have tried banning "fart-face," but the alliteration coupled with the giggles makes the word difficult to ban in a house where 50% of us are children and 75% of us act like children.

You know what word is not banned in my home?

You want to know why?
Because it is an actual part of the female human body.

Children are curious creatures who have all sorts of questions.
It's hard to get all worked up over words that are body parts. We don't typically sit around talking about vaginas and penises, but I try not to overreact when the words are uttered. I might sweat a little and breathe easier when the questions have subsided, but I don't totally freak out prohibit our children from talking in the house for a day.

Why don't I ban the kids from talking in the house if they say the word vagina?
Well, because that is maybe the most asinine idea I've ever heard.

So help me understand why Michigan's male Speaker of the House banned two female state legislatures from speaking on the House floor because of comments they made which included the "V" word. Glad I don't live in that house!

"They will not be recognized to speak on the House floor today after being gaveled down for their comments and actions yesterday that failed to maintain the decorum of the House of Representatives."

The "V" word can get awfully messy all on its own, but I've never really thought the word itself would reduce the decorum of the House of Representatives. Isn't that what the elected officials do?

Wow! That is one powerful vagina! I mean hotpocket! Can I say "hotpocket"? What about "hoohoo"? Is "vajayjay" permissible? Oh, I'm so confused!

I can think of all sorts of "V" words that make my skin prickle. For example, varicose veins, venereal disease, vampires, and viagra give me the willies. The scariest and most dangerous word of all, however, isn't even a "V" word.

Nooooo, the scariest word is the "P" word. Politician.

When a male politician starts to make rules and laws about my lady parts, I want him to be banned from speaking in any house. Proper decorum demands it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I love my dad.

Growing up he seemed absolutely hell bent on teaching me how to appreciate the things I had versus coveting the things others had. I was a slow learner so this took tremendous effort on his part.

I would frequently moan, "But life's not faaaiiiiir!"

My father would agree. "Life's not fair. The sooner you realize that, the happier you will be."

When in the car with him, he knew he had a captive audience so he would drive me and my sister by a house and say, "See that man on his porch? He has no legs, but you don't hear him complaining. He is not complaining about not having the latest style of jeans or the newest electronic device. No. That man is just happy to have his arms."

Well, that will shut up a spoiled teenager.

This is an open letter of apology to my father. Who is my father?

He is the man who came to nearly every track meet I ever had from 7th - 12th grade. He showed up wearing white tube top socks pulled up to his shins and short shorts. I ignored his presence and pretended he was someone else's father.

He endured hours upon hours of seemingly endless dance recitals. He made me believe I could actually dance despite my two left legs and total lack of grace and coordination.

He's the dad who would pick me and my friends up from after school activities in his two-door aqua green Vega with gold interior. I would jump in the backseat and pretend he was one of my friend's dads. Yes, I even called him by that other man's name.

He's the dad who embarrassed me to tears even while my friends all called him "cool."

He's the dad who tells a great story and an even better joke.

He's the dad who is now a fabulous grandfather who has a gaggle of grand kids who love him dearly.

There are all sorts of dads in this world. I was blessed to get one of the best. My kids can say the same even though they are still too young to know it.

Happy Father's Day to dads everywhere, but particularly to one dad in Warren, Ohio.

He's a dad who taught his daughter to appreciate all life has to offer.
Dad, I'm still learning, but that's not your fault. I'm sure I get my learning disabilities from mom!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Fairy I Fear Most

I'm certainly not afraid of the Tooth Fairy.
I know she is an unorganized twit that I could totally overtake, but I'm absolutely terrified of her evil cousin.

In our house we call her the Knot Fairy. Trust me, you don't want to tick her off.

She torments my daughter about 4 times a week.

She sneaks into my daughter's room at night and uses her fairy powers to create massive knots throughout my daughter's hair. Honestly, Medusa has nicer hair in the morning than my daughter.

The other day, the Knot Fairy actually left red yarn and a Littlest Pet Shop Toy in my daughter's hair. It looked as though the tiny chipmunk was imprisoned in a web of tangled hair and yarn.

The only thing scarier than the Knot Fairy is my daughter when she tries to undo the Fairy's knots.

My apologies to our neighbors who live within a ten mile radius of our home. That screeching, high pitched, going-to-break-glass sound on Tuesday morning was not an injured wild animal. It was my daughter extracting the Littlest Pet Shop toy from her mane of hair. Please send your hate mail to the Knot Fairy.

The fact that the Knot Fairy doesn't visit her brother only reinforces and strengthens my daughter's resolve to hunt down and destroy the fairy. I don't blame her.

She has recently resorted to braiding her wet hair each night. The Knot Fairy can't penetrate the braids, but you should see the Punk Rock hairdo those braids create in the light of day.

Just give the girl some leg warmers and a friendship pin and she's a flashback to 1981.

Poor child.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Walmart Drama

I routinely text "I'm in hell" to my husband while in Walmart.

I have a strong love-hate relationship with Walmart. I hate it, but where else can I buy a loaf of bread, a coffee pot, and a can of paint under one roof?

I believe it is a scientific fact that no one can leave Walmart spending less than $17.96. Even if you just run in for a gallon of milk and band aids, you will discover Walmart has rolled back prices on random items like citronella candles, toothpaste, and flip flops. Before you know it your cart is full of forty-two dollars worth of products made in China and shipped to the U.S. for your convenience.

Inevitably, I take my odd assortment of necessities to the checkout line where I am reminded that hell exists on earth.

Hell is being in a Walmart checkout line with three carts ahead of you and a price check going terribly wrong at the register.

Looking around at the other lines you discover they are moving, albeit rather slowly. You're trapped in your lane because you are committed to it. You are superstitious enough to believe if you move to a faster lane, you will cause it to halt immediately.

There are no express lanes in Walmart despite the fact that several are labeled that way. This is just Walmart's way of instilling false hope in your heart before crushing it like a bug.

Damn you, Walmart!

No matter what line you choose, it will come to a dead stop as some walmartian insists the sign for live bait said $2.50 and not $2.99. Of course, the clerk at the counter has no idea so she needs to call the pimply faced, high school student worker to go find out.

Of course, the live bait is sold in the camping and fishing department which is a mere 2.5 miles from the register. As the pimply faced, high school student saunters off at a pace slower than your 92 year old aunt Erma, you begin digging in your purse for 49 cents. You are willing to make this donation to Walmart on behalf of Mr. I-Cannot-Dig-Up-My-Own-Worms just so the line moves. You can only find 27 cents at the bottom of your purse.

At this point, you have an out of body experience. You realize there are people not in Walmart, and you imagine what they are doing with their freedom.

You start to understand the desire to shoplift, and you know serving time would be less painful than standing in the Walmart checkout line from hell. As you consider shoving a gallon of milk up your shirt, you catch the eye of a 4 year old girl in the cart ahead of you. Her nose is running and she has Doritos stains on her cheek. Her look brings you back from your fantasy of shoplifting and you remain rooted in the line from Hell.

You look around for others who feel your pain, but there is no one willing or able to make eye contact with you except that 4 year old girl in the cart ahead of you. She begins eating her boogers and you realize you're hungry. When did you last eat? Will you ever eat again? Oh my! You might actually die in this line.

Panic sets in. You need to say goodbye to your loved ones. Your blood sugar is dropping and you know you aren't going to make it. You root around for your cell phone and text, "I'm in hell!" to your husband and a few other random people. At least they'll know where to find your dead body.

Aisle 27. Walmart, U.S.A.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Kim Kardashian Hates Food

Yes, I've had a little too much time on my hands. That never leads to anything good. While surfing the net in search of breaking news, I got the latest info on Kim Kardashian's struggles. Poor Kim!

Kim Kardashian reportedly said Indian food is "disgusting." Now everyone who loves Indian food hates her. In an effort to salvage her flawless reputation she further explained her comments by saying:

"In NO way was [my comment] intended as an insult to the Indian people or their culture. This is just my own personal taste. There are a lot of foods I don’t like . . . I hate cilantro and peppers, and there are definitely some Armenian foods that I personally find disgusting, but that doesn’t reflect my opinions on other Armenian people or my culture."

Frankly, her agent, publicist, mom, sisters, Kayne, should never let her try to further explain herself again. This is not her strong suit.

Now I'm even more annoyed by her than ever! What kind of person hates cilantro? I'm no Mayan, but I'm predicting an uprising of cilantro farmers and cilantro lovers. This could lead to the end of times.

Let's also take a moment and state the obvious. When I was surfing nonsense yesterday and typed "breaking news" into my search engine, I wasn't expecting to get the latest update on Ms. Food-Hater Kardashian. How is this breaking news?

One look at her figure, and any weight watching person can tell Kim Kardashian hates a variety of foods. I'm going out on a limb here, but I imagine she eats more of her words than any other thing on this planet. This is not breaking news.

In the end, I'm mostly annoyed because pepper loathing Kim has created in me an absolute unparalleled desire to eat my weight in Tandoori chicken with warm naan.

Stick a fork in me. I'm done.