The kids are finally out of school!
Summer Fun! Or Not!
A nearby cosmetology college offers a short-term day camp so kids from first grade to twelfth grade can learn about skin, hair, and nail care, exercise, nutrition, and all sorts of other things. So all this week, Jane has been learning about face masks and nail files, doing Zumba, and putting makeup on model heads.^ She’s stoked.
Sunny is going to YMCA Camp. She’s . . . not so stoked. In fact, she’s ticked, and the main reason she’s so angry is that Jane doesn’t have to get up as early as she does.
This is unfair, Jane is hogging all the age, and there is no way we will ever catch Sunny having fun at Y Camp.
‘What did you do today at camp, Sunny?”
“Nuffin’. It was not fun and I didn’t like it.”
“Did you swim?”
“Yes. I got a purple band, ’cause I can swim without a floaty all across the pool, so I could go in the big pool with the big kids and there were all these noodles and Marla and I played Cowgirls and Jason was the bad guy and Orson was a whale-cow. And we did crafts and played a running game—my team won because Marla and I are sneaky!”
“Wow! Sounds like you had fun.”
” . . . No.”
Fountain of Youth
Watson thought we could rig one of these for the front yard. You know, to class up the place.
I showed Jane the image and she said, “Let’s do it! Please?”
“Well, we’d have to find out—“
“And can we make it so we could swim in it?”
“You mean make the bottom pool bigger?”
“I guess. But you could just leave the top part off.”
” . . . The part that makes it a fountain?”
“Yeah. It would be so cool. Don’t shut down the image, Mom—I want to show Sunny!”
Slightly Creepy Convos
You ever really listen to the conversations you have with your kids and think how odd they would sound out of context?
Matthew Clarke did. And then he took it a strange step further:
There are three of them now, if you’re interested. The second one is my favorite so far, probably because it’s really familiar—in context, I mean.
What about Fahrenheit 235? I’m in rush . . .
Summer reading lists are appearing at the library. I like the early birds—they’re happy and relaxed in the knowledge that they have plenty of time to browse through the options, find stories they’ll actually enjoy, and put their choices on reserve or InterLibrary Loan if they aren’t on our shelves.
It’s best to savor the peace, because all too soon, the late birds—aka “Toast”—will be running around, desperately judging books by page counts instead of covers, and discovering that all the titles with the fewest pages were just checked out—for three weeks—and the only ones left are War and Peace and the complete works of Thomas Hardy.*
Both flocks have provided me with the impetus to look over the kids’ summer learning lists before late August, even though my children tried to hide them from me in the bottom of their trash can.**
Sunny’s first grade prep is mostly not forgetting how to read over the summer and to keep trying to tie her shoes, but Jane’s fifth grade prep is a little more substantial.
Luckily, her required summer reading is School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari—she owns a copy, she’s read it, and she could tell me all about it when I asked.
Before you raise an eyebrow at the title, it’s about four kids with phobias who are sent by their families to a special school, run by very strange people, to learn to overcome them. Weird things happen, as they tend to do, and while the kids aren’t completely cured by the end—according to Jane—they’re at least functional enough for a couple of sequels.
Now, if we could just get Janie’s math phobia under control . . . wonder if there’s a School of Bored within driving distance?
(Ms. Daneshvari has one of the coolest author websites ever, by the way. Go see!)
Janie showed me this one yesterday. Her cosmetology camp played them over lunch, presumably to encourage table etiquette. Or something?
I honestly have no idea why this is so funny . . . but it is.
Most of the other videos these guys make are a similar combo of Wayne’s World and punk’d, and clearly not for my demographic—though I can still remember why I would have found them hilarious about fifteen years and a common sense filter ago.***
Still watched ’em though. And laughed. Don’t judge me.
Warning: If you show your kids this video, you will have to restrain them from doing the T-Rex bit during the next meal. If you’re more worried about the Rhino . . . good luck to you.
^Rule in our house is no makeup until she’s 13 or older unless she’s onstage as a clown. She’s negotiated down to lip gloss, but only if I can’t see it shine from across the room. But at least she’s learning how to apply the stuff with brushes instead of trowels, which is more than I can say for a lot of kids I see these days—and I was a teenager in the eighties, so I know about heavy makeup. And clowns.
*This is when we field questions like, “Do you have Apocalypse Now? Someone told me it was based on Heart of Darkness. Or something?” Or “Does this book have themes? Because I only have three days.”
**I’m glad they didn’t know the school sent me digital copies, or I’d be looking for my missing laptop right now.
***Hush, it’s around here someplace.