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

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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

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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

Dear Readers – Day 32 – Things Invented at Camp Out of Necessity

Dear Readers (Day 32 at Camp Lenox),

dance night

Brilliant things I invented out of necessity: SO, we just had a DJ at camp. Honestly, I love dancing. You know who does not love me dancing? Most kids that are the age of campers. There’s that factor … and also, I was in my Uggs and a sweatshirt, but I was not going to let those things be setbacks. No, I danced with my favorite counselors and campers.  I showed my skillz, I raised the roof, did the hip hop modified Cabbage Patch I’ve been working on, threw out a retro running man… Oh yeah, I did my best moves, but I realized my moves, which I thought were pretty darn fly (using those terms to describe them is a sign that they are anything but), were not by comparison.

That is how I, (out of necessity) thought up the most brilliant dancing style and I’m pretty sure if I hone it and put it on DVD I’ll be able to sell it to the masses and ensure they’ll be a hit at every upcoming camp dance, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Sweet 16, and school prom they chaperone.

I’m calling it Dance Magic or maybe Abraca-dancing (not sure yet, so refrain from using either as I’m copyrighting the terms as I write this). Anyway, Abraca-Dancing will be irresistible and anyone who is proficient at it, will be da’ bomb, yo.

Let me explain with a couple scenarios:

1. You’re kickin’ your fly moves to some song and you only know the chorus, but all the kids know every word. That’s OK, you should be proud, at least you know the chorus, but to be accepted, you’ll probably want to distract others from your obvious missed word mouthing. This is a great time to reach across the little dance circle you’re in and mouth, “Oh snap … is that a penny behind your ear?” then (while moving rhythmically, you pull out a coin and show the other dancers).  “Whaaaaat?” Throw a made up gang sign and you’re a magical rockstar.

2. Say Talk Dirty to Me comes on (not the one we all know and love by Poison — I kinda had a thing for C.C. DeVille) and everyone starts to do some weird slide based maneuver that you just can’t pick up: You look across to your fellow dancers and point to your pocket where a bit of a handkerchief is poking out. You nod your head to the beat while pointing to it, as if to say, “It’s yours… go ahead grab it.” (I mean what teen/young adult would turn down a handkerchief?) Then they’d pull it and it would just keep going — one tied to the next, to the next and so on. You could add some cool backing up step, to imply your body is down for the party, but your face would be all business with an expression that says “What the hell is happening here? Does it ever end? Even I am amazed!” (selling it is key). Then finally, they’d get to the end … as the song also came to an end: embarrassing moment averted, awesomeness revealed.

3. Now, let’s say everyone is twerking. Maybe you can twerk, maybe you can’t, but it doesn’t matter because you’re not about to twerk with a bunch of kids 10-20 years your junior. It’s gross. You may not think it’s gross, but they’ll think so. And being gross is what people will use Abraca-dancing to avoid. This is the time to pull out the big guns because your grossness will be trumped by the sheer embarrassment you’ll feel, caught in the middle of kids twerking.

You will not only want to deflect from the twerking, you’ll want to stop it all together.  Reach down to your toes, as if you’re about to twerk and come up with a fake bouquet. Then (while showing it rhythmically to the crowd), tap it on another dancer, cup your hand around it and turn it into a dove. Then open your hands and let if fly away. Do this over and over — tap, dove, set free, tap, dove … until the song ends. Note: You’ll wanna have 12-14 doves handy.

Of course, if none of these work, you can always make yourself disappear.

SWAK

~ Jenny From the Bunk

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Day 31 Along Came A Spider…

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

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

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

- See more at: http://www.thesuburbanjungle.com/dear-readers-camp-lenox-day-31-along-came-spider-ran-away-home#sthash.ZUMdfiiS.6LRgILqj.dpuf

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

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

- See more at: http://www.thesuburbanjungle.com/dear-readers-camp-lenox-day-31-along-came-spider-ran-away-home#sthash.ZUMdfiiS.dpuf

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

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

- See more at: http://www.thesuburbanjungle.com/dear-readers-camp-lenox-day-31-along-came-spider-ran-away-home#sthash.ZUMdfiiS.dpuf

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

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

- See more at: http://www.thesuburbanjungle.com/dear-readers-camp-lenox-day-31-along-came-spider-ran-away-home#sthash.ZUMdfiiS.dpuf

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

Day 25 I Did Not Think This Through

Day 18 Did I Pass the Swim Test 

Day 17 Who Knew the Great Outdoors Were So Buggy, I mean, Lovely? 

- See more at: http://www.thesuburbanjungle.com/dear-readers-camp-lenox-day-31-along-came-spider-ran-away-home#sthash.ZUMdfiiS.dpuf