When I Was Your Age, We Got Kicked Outside after Breakfast and Didn’t Come Back Until Supper

“So, what do you two have planned for the week?” my husband asked my 9 year old and me at the dinner table.

“The pool.” “Clean out a couple of closets.”

I think you can figure out who gave which answer.

Dimples is such a neat freak.

O.K.  Fine.  I was the one with the closet response.  Because I was trying to impress Cap’n Firepants with my planned productivity for the week, and trying to spare him from regretting too much that he is not a teacher or a nine year old that has 2.5 carefree months lying ahead.  I am a caring, kind-hearted person who does not like to rub things in.  Unlike some other people who shall remain nameless, but may or may not have the nickname of “Dimples.”

O.K.  Fine.  My idea of fun is organizing closets.  You got me.

As you can probably tell, Dimples and I have very different ideas on how this summer is going to go down.  Our divergent objectives started to become apparent about two months ago when I unsuccessfully tried to sign her up for various different classes.  To each offer, she shrugged, and said, “I don’t really think I’d like that.”  I quickly realized that she did not want “to be tied down”.  If there had been a class which included unlimited access to the neighborhood pool every day from 8-4, she still would have declined – because that would have held her to a schedule.

Plan B was “Mom Camp”.  We did this a couple of summers ago.  It was a complicated arrangement involving popsicle sticks and two cans that helped to ensure that she did not spend her entire weekdays watching the Disney Channel.  Although she rolled her eyes every time I responded, “Mom Camp” to those who inquired about her summer activities, I believed that, deep down, she secretly liked it.

Or, I could have been wrong.

“I don’t want to do Mom Camp!” she said, quite firmly.

“Well, what do you want to do?” I asked.

“Whatever I want.”

My turn for eyeball rolling.  “I am not letting you watch T.V. and play video games all day.”

“I won’t!”

So, I came up with a compromise, which I think is more than fair.  For the next week, she gets to do things her way.  She can prove to me how great she is at monitoring her tube time and coming up with creative activities for the rest of the day.

If, after a week, I am dissatisfied with the way she is conducting her summer, then I get to take over – with the New, Improved Version of Mom Camp.

We shook hands.  And I pretended not to notice how limp hers was.

This is how much fun we would have doing Mom Camp. Except without all of the extra kids. Or all of the supplies. Or the mess.  But we’ll definitely have a fire extinguisher on hand.                                                                     photo credit: ialla via photo pin cc

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Posted on June 3, 2012, in Dimples, Family, Humor, Parenting, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. I remember Mom Camp! We are kinda doing a whole lot of Mom Camp here. We made a “Nantucket List” that we want to accomplish of fun activities/recipes/places to try, and they are pretty excited about it. They came up with it. There are a few I am going to try and avoid- like the whole summer. A lemonade stand? Is that really something I want to do at 8 momths pregnant? NoOOOOO.

    • Well, Day 1 went well. So, she seems determined to make this work. That takes a lot of pressure off of me, so I’m good with that!

      And, no, I do not think you want to do a lemonade stand in this heat. Ughh! But the pics would be cute…

  2. I have a feeling Dimples will end up doing what she wants – hehe!

  3. i think dimples needs to come over here and stay for a while amidst the horror and chaos that is my house. after that she will think you and/or mom camp are a PICNIC! my kids have contracts (except for the three year old who can’t read yet – damn it), regimented schedules, and are all scheduled for camp and vbs. we’ll see how long before they wear me down and i check myself into the loony bin.

  4. Where do I sign up for the “whatever I want” option? I think adults should get a chance to do that, too. 🙂

  5. I have the same problem at my house. My oldest is talking beach trips, lots of working out, etc. She remarked that it’s funny that you have all these big plans for the summer and don’t end up doing half of them. My youngest one then said she has no goals whatsoever this summer. That way she won’t feel she let herself down when she gets nothing done. Let me know if your plan works.

  6. I like the way Dimples thinks

    • Darn. She was just reading over my shoulder and saw your comment. I’ll never hear the end of that. On the up side, I showed her “Decowpitation” and “Gummy Bearskin Rug” on your site, and got to see her dimples as she laughed.

  7. We did this time card thing a few years ago, where the kids had hourly cards with fun and chore stuff. They had to cycle through all the cards before they could have free time, but it actually worked pretty well.

  8. In the years gone past , when it was safer,,we would send our two girls off with jam sandwiches and a bottle of lemonade. They would be gone all day,
    However that cannot be done anymore …so you have my sympathy..10 weeks..oh my! Best of Luck!

  9. I like your title – my mom didn’t care what we did as long as we stayed outside.

  10. I wish we could still kick the kids out until dinner. You know how much fun I would have had as a kid if that were an option? Good luck. I’m silently hoping Dimples can manage herself well enough to get to do whatever she wants all summer.

  11. Being the official first day of summer break, I have already heard the dreaded words, “I’m bored.” My response? “Go outside and play!” Love this post!

  12. I’m interested in the idea of Mom Camp that is for moms. I think some of the time I spent at camp as a kid was wasted. I just didn’t know about the reality of adulthood. To think my biggest complaint was that we “had” to go swimming. Oh my.

  13. We’re looking forward to seeing how Dimples spends her week. We would have opted for the 8-4 poolside schedule. 🙂
    Bella and DiDi

  14. The collies are putting their money on you! 🙂

    Cheering you on,
    the rotten collies and chuck 🙂

  15. The final line of your post filled me with a sense of foreboding 🙂

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