I May Have Run Over an Elderly Gentleman While Driving Carpool… Oops

This picture imlies that he was washing my car.  He in fact, was not, but I couldn't find a better picture of an elderly man near a car... MAKE DO.

This picture implies that he was washing my car. He in fact, was not, but I couldn’t find a better picture of an elderly man near a car… MAKE DO.

See how polite I’m being?  Calling him an elderly gentleman and not an old curmudgeon?  No, that would be rude and I am not rude.  Well, unless you consider running a poor old curmudgeon over with your car “rude.”  Then yes, I may be rude, but I have an excellent vocabulary and that has to count for something.

Well Judge, my infraction was merely that.  I was exceeding the limit by a minuscule measurement as my true intention was to get the minors in my vehicle to an establishment of learning to imbue their gray matter with knowledge.

My lady, (This is a Parliamentary court in the 1700s, obviously.) your grasp of the English language is truly inspirational.  Clearly, a logophile such as yourself could do no harm to our language, let alone an old curmudgeon.  NOT GUILTY!

(BTW:  A logophile is a lover of words and vocabulary, which I wouldn’t have to define for you if you were one.)

Moving on.  My neighborhood is fill with inconsiderate speeders during morning carpool.  Especially the first couple weeks!  Most of my neighbors have kids in elementary school and being that our development is exactly .1 miles short of the school bus cutoff; we’re all trying to get to the same place at the same time (anything shy of LATE).

The fact that this elderly gentleman was in this neighborhood in the first place leads me to believe that he wandered in from somewhere with a minimum age.  Regardless – as the busy moms sped around beeping from door to door, it was I that mowed this man down.  I must have been going at least 30MPH, which is fast in an area that has a sign. I don’t know if they’re just not quick or there’s something wrong, but there are enough of them to require a sign.

 

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Frankly, someone should try and speed these kids up.  Maybe if they got rid of the knickers and padding reminiscent of a 1908 football game and gave out some bikes.  The sign could simply read:children at play(Let’s be honest, these tykes don’t look so speedy either.  Nor do they seem to have the latest in outdoor play equipment.  Razor anyone?)

But I digress.  The elderly gentleman in my story was not walking on the sidewalk, but on the street and going against traffic, no less.  He held up his arm in what I took to be a friendly hello.  I waved back, pretending to recognize him, as I do with all my neighbors.  Plus, he was pretty darn old, so maybe he thought he knew me. When I was about to pass him, he flung himself to the sidewalk as if narrowly escaping a careening boxcar.  I guess that wave was really the international, “Slow Down Crazy Lady” sign. 

Oops, I didn’t recognize it without the shaking of a cane, though he did seem a bit melodramatic.

old man yells at cloudI guess the main question is:  Did he pitch himself to the curb or did I send him hurling to the sidewalk?  I didn’t hear a thud; that’s always a good sign.  Though it’s hard to hear much over the din of 6 elementary schoolers trying to one up each other.

Kid 1: I have PE today.

Kid 2: Yeah, well I had it yesterday and 2 kids in my class got lice from sharing bike helmets.

Kid 3: Yeah, well 4 kids in my class got lice and I sit next to one of them… who also has braces.

Kid 4: I’m getting braces.

All other kids: Lucky!

Kid 5: Yeah, well I have glasses.

All other kids: No fair!

Kid 6: Well, I may have scoliosis!

All other kids: Why can’t we have scoliosis?! (creepily said in unison)

Me: Hey, could someone look under the car for an old man?

Me Answering Myself: Huh?  (I tend to answer myself in carpool, as no one pays attention to the driver.)

Still Me: Forget it.

Did I hit that elderly gentleman out for a morning walk?  I can’t say for sure. I didn’t see any wrinkly parts in my chassis. 

Wow, there’s a sentence that could be taken out of context!

Did I mean to run him over?  Certainly not.

Do I think he was being melodramatic?  A little bit.

Am I spraying out my car for lice?  Without question.

(PS no elderly people were harmed in the writing of this blog… I can’t say as much for lice)

xo

-Jenny From the Blog

8 Reasons Sending The Kids Back to School Sucks

smarter than 5th grader ecard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I was as excited to send the kiddos back to school as the rest of the moms out there who’ve had a 12week hiatus from normal daily life. I just wish we could remove a couple irritating back to school elements from the equation (listen to me, I already sound more scholarly … ugh, school is officially in session).

Here’s my list of said irritating elements, I mean, the annoying stuff that comes with those darn kids needing an education:

1. Waking up early blows: I love those extra minutes/hours you get to sleep during the summer, not to mention the stress-free morning routine. There’s no mad rush to get to a bus or carpool lane. No one needs to check and make sure work is completed and paperwork is signed to avoid getting docked a letter grade.

Even when the kids are in camp, I have no problem dropping them off late because, well, I know there won’t be a pop quiz in archery or dodge ball, and no one is grading their lanyard making skills (except for me, that is).

2. It makes me feel stupid: During the summer I’m crazy smart. I figured out the logistics of carrying four chairs and an umbrella, a cumbersome (but cute) straw bag, and two boogie boards from my car to the beach with little assistance. I could tell you the location of anyone who’s ever been on the Bachelor with pinpoint accuracy, due to my summer reading, which consisted of anything you could buy in the checkout line at the grocery store. I know, brilliant, right?

Now, I’ll be expected to know the order of operations or who won the Franco-Prussian war. I don’t even know who was in the Franco-Prussian war and it seems like the name is a total hint, which makes me feel even stupider. Crap, is stupider even a word? (P.S. The older they get, the “stupider” you get to feel. YAY!)

3. Getting to bed early: Because of the whole waking up early disaster, I now have to get my kids to sleep at a time that will allow them to be fresh and rested the next morning … apparently punctuality is important to the school boards. That said, my kids have this amazing ability to get a second wind right when I need them to settle down.

In fact, merely telling them “it’s bedtime” is like announcing through a bullhorn that it’s time to play with the dog, remember you have unfinished homework, realize something hurts you, that you lost something, decide you didn’t have enough for dinner, or start to divulge the details about your day, which I inquired about six hours ago, and got no response.

4. There are NO excuses not to workout: The summer schedule can be pretty erratic — one day one kid is home, one day another, we do things like find beaches or spend days at pools or go to arcades. Things that require my attendance, things that take up the time I could use to stay in shape. Now, with them gone six hours at a clip, it makes it much harder to find reasons to stay away from the treadmill, the gym, or those Insanity videos, which will induce mountains of guilt.

Maybe I’ll put up signs asking solicitors to come to my door, or I’ll make appointments at free clinics to ensure I’m in a waiting room for a good portion of the day, or I could always go to the grocery store multiples times daily because I forgot one item (wait, I already do the last one). Darnit’, I may have to actually lift a weight or something.

5. Making lunches could be the worst task known to man whoever invented the idea should be shot and dragged by horse through the town square and then shot again: I don’t know why the task of making lunches is so burdensome. It’s not like I don’t feed my children on a pretty regular basis, because I do, and I have since, like, forever. But for some reason, there’s this pressure to have something healthy and to cover the food groups or pyramid or isosceles triangle or whatever it is these days, plus the extra act of putting things into Ziploc baggies is sheer torture.

6. Teachers are a judgy bunch: Over the summer I can be a total slacker. No one knows if I’ve considered swimming the equivalent of bathing for the last week, if my children wore the same clothes for three days straight, or if they ate pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But at school there are these other adults who are watching them … and smelling them — and they are totally aware of such negligence.

Plus, those evil drill sergeants request that I sign and return things, on time no less (or they take it out on my children). They expect my kids to arrive before the bell rings … with fresh breath, and full bellies, and finished homework, and signed reading logs, and … It takes a lot of effort and acting ability to seem like all that stuff is done with ease. I don’t mean to seem paranoid, but I’m pretty certain they throw darts at pictures of the bad moms in the teachers’ lounge.

7. I have to compete with other mothers: OK, I know I don’t HAVE to compete, buuuuut my competitive nature is a real hindrance when I try to explain that to myself. Let’s just say, if I don’t beat out the other moms, ahem, kids in the fourth grade science fair this year, I’m gonna be pretty pissed.

8. School supply shopping: Seriously, if you want to test the boundaries of your patience, spend a day in a crowded discount store … with your kids and eight bazillion other people trying to vie for the last pack of Crayola Twistables. Don’t forget to add in the time it takes for your child to pick the perfect folder or composition book.

My daughter spent 25 minutes deciding whether the kitten popping out of a birthday present was “better” than the puppy looking at the kitten with sad eyes while the kitten batted him in the snout. Seriously, neither is going to make you a best-selling child novelist so just freakin’ pick one before I stab myself in the eye with this compass!

Summer Camp is OVER and I Had to Say Goodbye to My Bestie – WHY?

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 3.13.39 PMWHY??? Why must all good things come to an end? It was one crazy summer and I’m not gonna lie, I made an unlikely friend that I’ll never forget. We had so many incredible moments together. Enjoying the daily grind.

So to my Summer Camp Bestie,

I’ll never forget those moments we spent watching the sunrise over the lake. Each night, when I was worn out from those long camp days you were the one who put the wind back into my sails. YOU were the one!

Each morning, I woke up excited to seek you out — knowing that you would put a smile on my face when I was angry at having to wake up to Reveille and would have spit fire at anyone who dared to so much as say “hello.”

We did it all together at camp and even though we live so far apart, I will never forget the special moments we shared. The laughter and the tears. Because of you, my cup runneth over. I had the time of my life and I owe it all to you.

PS – This is for you!

SWAK,

Jenny From the Blog
AKA
Jenny From The Bunk at Camp Lenox

PLEASE, SHARE SHARE SHARE THIS CAMP SERIES WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND JOIN THE INSANITY ON FACEBOOK

How to Make Home More Campy

I’m Back I’m Back, But I Forgot How to Be Normal

Day 32 Things I Invented in Camp Out of Necessity 

Day 31 Along Came A Spider…

 LOVE YOU KEURIG

You Can Learn Pretty Intense Stuff About Your Kids While Playing with Barbies

The other day, a sales girl at a clothing store asked a friend’s daughter what she wanted to do when she grows up — and her answer: “I want to be a housewife.”

Said friend’s jaw dropped and after explaining that she works full time (to avoid the clerk judging) she questioned where that answer came from. Aren’t kids supposed to aspire to bigger things? Why doesn’t she want to be an astronaut? A movie star? A professional baseball player… a lion tamer?

I laughed because well, it was really funny. Plus, stuff like that is only funny when it’s not your child. (Nope, it’s funny when it’s yours too.)

That said, lately Ry has said she no longer wants to be a famous Parisian fashion designer for dogs … So, I thought I’d set up a scenario where I could figure out her aspirations,  or at least identify some of her strengths — for future careers, by playing with Barbies.

I gave her the new Entrepreneur Barbie and thought we should figure out what she’s an entrepreneur of … Did she start a company? Did she invent something? Did she design a building, a line of jewelry?  What does she look up on the iPad (that came with her) who does she call on her cellphone?

Within seconds, I was told that she’s a talk show host. Within minutes, Ry had built a set and put two other Barbies on a sofa for her to interview.

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Please notice they all have drinks, which I’m told is “In case they feel their mouths getting dry from being nervous.” Well, whatever she’s going to be, we can add insightful and systematic to her assets. Continue reading

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How to Make Home More Campy So Your Kids Will Feel More at Home

IMG_5680The other day I wrote about being homesick and back-homesick. Yes, I coined the last one, so I’ll expect royalties if you use it.  Basically, it’s the feeling campers have when they return home and it feels weird to be normal.

As a parent, we want you to be back-homesick because it means you had a great summer and the fortune it cost us to send you to camp would NOT have been better spent on a family vacation or a fall wardrobe. That said, as parents it’s also pretty annoying that you’re not more excited to see us and be back home. Well, as someone who spent the summer at camp and has now experienced both sides of this phenomenon, I feel confident that a couple tweaks to your home will be the difference between mopey kid — and kid who barely notices they’ve left camp.

Look we all spent a lot of time and money, making camp more homey – we sent, great sheets, a soft rug, a cushy chair (which they don’t need) for bonfires, plush towels, their favorite pillows, stuff to decorate the walls, fans for comfort, pictures of us … But I’m gonna teach you the tough part — How to make home more Campy:

1. Start by taking all their electronics and tech items. If they want to text a friend they’ll have to write it in a letter. They’ll complain a little, but deep down they love to be disconnected.

2. Tell them they can only drink sodas from the vending machine. If you don’t have a vending machine. Act as one … take a dollar each time they want a soda, but only give them a soda 2 out of every 4 times they pay you … and 1 of those times give them the wrong soda … that’s about right.

3. Make them write letters to you about their day in order to eat dinner. They love that!

4. Don’t allow your daughters to wear any jewelry they couldn’t make themselves.

5. Make a fancy chore/job wheel and turn it each morning. Make sure everyone else slacks on their chores, so that your child feels like the only one REALLY doing his/her job — don’t forget to fail him/her during inspection.

6. To wake them up in the morning, do not gently nudge, tickle or kiss them. Blare Reveille in their ears and follow that by speaking into a bullhorn while announcing what’s on tap for their day.

7. When they’re sleeping, close off all the ac/heat to their rooms — open their windows and maybe drip some honey or juice on them to ensure the maximum amount of mosquito bites by morning. Trust me, they’ll thank you for it.

8. Serve all their meals buffet style and make sure there isn’t a single item on the buffet that they truly enjoy. If you do cook something they like, eat most of it before allowing them to the table and fight them over the last piece. This will feel normal.

9. Have your kids crochet you a potholder at least twice/week.

10. Allow them to snack on whatever crap they want … with the stipulation that it’s a month old and that they must keep the packages opened and stashed under their beds, behind their drawers etc. Campers know that Cheez-Its taste best when fished out from a mattress.

11. Cheer for them at random times for doing random things … like, if they’re in the bathroom, bust in with “push it out shove it out way out” nothing says “I love you” like an impromptu cheer… they’ll beg for more.

12. Make sure their bathrooms are flooded with a brownish cesspool of water at all times. (Put them on anti-biotics.)

13. Draw things on their face while they sleep — in sharpie.

14. Run all the water in your house on hot for large (but varying) increments of time before your child takes a bath or shower — they’re used to bathing without knowing how long they’ll have.

15. If your child still takes baths, make sure to throw in some dirt along with fish that nibble and snapping turtles, then tell him/her to try not to touch the bottom.

16. After you wash their clothes, make sure that at least 10% of the items are ruined, 10% are lost and 10% belong to someone else.

17. Also, do not, I repeat, do not fold any of their clothes! Roll them into balls while damp and throw them around their rooms haphazardly. That’s how they like it.

18. Do not let them listen to the real words to any songs!

19. If you have a boy and a girl, tell them they get in trouble if they go into the other one’s side of the house.

20. Call them to meals in a staggered fashion and claim it’s too crowded for the whole family to eat together.

21. Any gifts or new items should be mailed in the form of a care package. Tell them it’s coming weeks before it actually arrives and when it does — inspect it and remove half the stuff, claiming it’s contraband.

22. Never wash their water bottles, just let them fester in the hot sun and refill them every morning. (Put them on anti-biotics.)

23. Steal a pair of their underwear while they’re sleeping, nail it to your front door and make all their friends stare at it.

24. Never let them leave a table without fighting over who has to bus it. Even in restaurants  — tell the waiters/busboys to “back off,”  whichever child loses has “got this.”

25. Wake them in the middle of the night by hovering over them and screaming “We’ve got spirit yes we do…” when they groggily respond, goad them by announcing “We’ve got the most!” and then run out of the room.

PS — You should probably put your kids on anti-biotics.

SWAK

~ Jenny From the Bunk at Camp Lenox  Blog

PLEASE, SHARE SHARE SHARE THIS CAMP SERIES WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND JOIN THE INSANITY ON FACEBOOK

I’m Back I’m Back, But I Forgot How to Be Normal

Day 32 Things I Invented in Camp Out of Necessity 

Day 31 Along Came A Spider…

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through 

Jenny From the Bunk is BACK From Summer Camp – But Forgot How to Live in The Real World

goodbye camp pic

I’m Back I’m Back I’m Back!!! In case you didn’t hear, I’m back from my summer at Camp Lenox. I have so much to catch you guys up on, first of all, being home kinda sucks…

Yep, this summer I’ve gotten to feel both homesickness and “back-home sickness,” and they’re oddly similar. When I was at summer camp, and there was downtime, a rainy day, a rest hour, a cancelled period … the locomotive (that is camp) went from careening around bends to simply chugging along. During those times, I missed my hubby, my coffee, my bed, hot water …

Coming back home from summer camp is not so different, except it’s worse … that same freight train doesn’t slow to a chug, it screeches to a halt. Continue reading

You Helped Me Go Glamping This Summer

Dear Readers,

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Remember when you guys awesomely tweeted and put up Facebook requests to #SaveJennySendKeurig? Well, it actually worked and that means you guys made a difference. Sure, you could’ve volunteered at a homeless shelter or served food at a soup kitchen, and I bet that woulda felt great. But if you didn’t, I’m just saying, please take a moment to be proud of yourselves because you made a huge difference in my summer.

I had been suffering from major headaches, groggy mornings, and snappy AM syndrome. That is when you literally bite someone’s head off for simply smiling, asking a question, or saying hello. It’s not pretty. Also, it’s probably not a good condition to have around children.

Plus, I’d like to reiterate what I’ve had to endure until now. This was no glamping trip. You probably can’t empathize because the stuff I’m about to discuss is hard to put on paper, let alone imagine, but do you know how truly difficult it is to watch a glorious sunrise over a breathtaking lake while drinking a crappy cup of coffee?

I doubt it.

Do you know how tough it is to endure slightly uncomfortable chronic headaches that hit around noon as I’m hiking to a resplendent waterfall, tie-dying an awesome tee shirt, taking a relaxing yoga class with awesome kids, or learning how to spin like a DJ?

I don’t think so.

What about how truly heartbreaking it is to feel tired at around 2 and be forced to take a siesta during rest hour? I don’t think you could really sympathize until you see me resting snuggly in my bed, having a camp nurse rub my temples and tell me, it’ll be alright.

Well, do your best because …

I was forced for like nearly a month to do these things, it in many ways reminds me of The Shawshank Redemption (well mostly because the coffee tasted like sewer water, but also because I like to fill my pockets with sands and slowly release it out my pant legs).

Then this happened …

 

The last couple weeks have been magical and you made that magic happen, cheers!

SWAK

#JennyFromtheBunk

#ThanksKeurig