I run this motherfucker like Cleopatra. Until my kid shits everywhere. Then I'm dethroned.They say bossy girls get shit done. And I agree. I have always thrived on being the boss. To be honest, few things in life give me more pleasure than telling other people what to do.

Growing up I, like lots of little girls, often played house (of course I was always the mom, telling everyone else what to do). When I grew tired of house, I transitioned to playing school (where I was obviously the teacher, also telling everyone what to do).

As an adult, I achieved my childhood dream by becoming a real life grownup teacher—the giver of As through Fs for 100 students. With a stroke of my red pen, I could determine a walk across the stage at graduation. Or summer school. I was drunk with power.

Well into adulthood, my obsessive compulsive tendencies were allowed to flourish. Saturdays were for laundry and scrubbing the apartment spotless. Sundays were for grocery shopping and cooking. No deviation from this plan was permitted. Towels were color-coded in the linen closet, folded into perfectly symmetrical rectangles. Shoes were lined up on the shoe rack immediately upon entry. The bed was always made. Nary a speck of dust could be found. If it sounds a little OCD, it was. But I was the boss, so it was okay.

Then I had children.

You know where this is going. Continue Reading

Summer Camps: What the F*#k?!

There she is, your proud daughter, showing off her skills at f-ing TREE CLIMBING CAMP.

I am often reminded about the many luxuries 21st century moms have that make our lives easier than the lives of our mothers and grandmothers. Like, for instance, my mother did not have a baby monitor — not even one with JUST sound. A video monitor?! Not even fathomable. Also, and this one floors me, she did not have the luxury of baby wipes! What the hell did she use to wipe our butts? (Never mind our hands, faces, arms, church clothes, spills in the car…) I sort of don’t want to know what she used / how she wiped our butts though, so let’s move on.

Despite the fact that mommies of today have mini-vans with back-up cameras and doors that open automatically, what’s inside those vans proves my next point. Although mommies of today have it a lot easier, things are a hell of a lot more complicated for us as well. Check out our car seats! They weigh 30 lbs, require a 2-hour training course on installation, and our kids need to be in them until they leave for college. Compared to the 1980s… you know the scene: rolling around in the “way back” of the station wagon. Not buckled. Certainly NOT in a car seat unless you were a baby. Or you were in the front seat, where you were allowed to fiddle with the radio. (MAYBE your car had a cassette player. Fancy!)

Lives of mommies of decades past were harder, but they were also simpler. This has never been more apparent to me than in the past month as I finally began the arduous process of deciding on summer camps. Holy crap! People! Seriously with the summer camps??!!

Growing up, we went to summer camp. It was free. It was called: Go outside and play. Come back when hungry. Full? Good. Go back outside and play. And repeat.

Now don’t get me wrong, as a mom, I am a fan of the summer camp. The idea of having a place to park my kids for a few hours every day for a week… sounds marvelous. So let’s do this. I start with my town’s Parks and Recreation camp catalogue. I am instantly overwhelmed. There are, of course, baseball camps, soccer camps, arts and crafts camps, and even the dreaded dodgeball camp. However, did you know that there are also camps like these?

Fencing Camp (like, the sport of fencing)
Tree Climbing Camp
Jedi Stunt Training Camp
Frozen Princess Camp
Taylor Swift Music Camp
Video Game Camp
Fiesta! Camp (a.k.a. foreign language camp)

I mean, are you kidding??!! Tree climbing CAMP?!

Also, as I quickly learned, there are camps through my town’s Parks and Rec department. There are also camps available to me through the neighboring 5 towns’ Parks and Rec departments. And finally, and this is the fattest catalogue of them all, our entire county has its OWN Parks and Rec camps. And those are JUST those run through all of the Parks and Rec departments! It seems there are also 2,523 privately run camps within a 30 mile radius of my house.

I spent more time than I will admit agonizing over which camp to put my children in, but we finally made our choices (one of which IS, in fact, Jedi Stunt Training Camp).

As I nostalgically think of my simple, happy, carefree childhood, I like to think of what summer camps for girls would have looked like in the 80s. Here is my list:

Jem and the MisFits Camp
Rainbow Bright Camp
Punky Brewster Camp
Proper French-rolling of Pants Camp
Hair Crimping Camp
Cabbage Patch Dolls Camp
Hungry Hungry Hippos Camp

(I would have kicked ass at French-rolling of Pants Camp.)

If you have kids of different genders, you may have noticed how differently they feel about the ridiculousness that is Valentines Day.Ah, yes. February 14. St. Valentine, the patron saint of making everyone feel loved (or unloved) and riddled with anxiety that they’ll disappoint their significant other. Like many aspects of parenting, this day is viewed quite differently in my house—a house where both boys and girls live. Here’s the breakdown of how to prepare, celebrate, and react to this ridiculous super special meaningful holiday if you’re a girl vs. a boy.

(Warning: stereotypes ahead. It’s okay. Have a chuckle.)

Valentines Day Prep

If you have kids, chances are you’ve helped them make the “box.” It’s supposed to be a cute receptacle in which other kids’ valentines can be delivered. Here’s how that goes.

Boys:

Materials needed: shoebox and one crayon

Refuse to acknowledge a box is needed until 7 pm the night before.

Write name on shoebox with one crayon. Say “I’m done.”

Girls:

Materials needed: several shoeboxes (to allow for practice runs and/or errors in sticker placement), 3 bottles of glue (plain), 3 bottles of glue (glitter), 5 sticker sheets, ream of shiny “fancy paper”, markers, crayons, colored pencils, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, pom-poms (small, medium, and large), magical fairy dust, 5 strands of unicorn hair, gas for 3 trips to Michaels Continue Reading