Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Days

Summer is in full swing. The older two boys are at camp.

Richie loves it, even though he got thrown into cheese sandwich debtor's prison. I sent the lunch money check in the wrong envelope and all hell broke loose. If you don't have a positive balance, they hand your child a cheese sandwich in a baggie--with no side dishes--not even a single green bean. That'll learn 'ya to have an airhead for a mother!

Johnny is on the fence. "It's not camp, mom," he told me. "It's summer school. The teachers even call it summer school."

"Yeah, but isn't one of your classes Speed Stacking, where you make a pyramid with plastic cups?"

"Yes," he said. "But the first word is 'speed,' and I'm slow at it. That's a problem."

Well, there are problems and then there are problems. At least they've made friends, which is really all you can ask out of a camp when you're a kid. If you also enjoy the activities, then that's a fringe benefit.

Reason being: Have you ever noticed that most camp games were created by a crazy person?

"And now we're going to blindfold you and see how fast you can fill a bucket of water with a teaspoon that also has a raw egg on it. But wait! You also need to balance a cotton ball on your nose while naming the left-handed presidents of the United States. Yaayy! Fun!"

Meanwhile, on the home front, J.J. has three new "babies." Pete Cougar (who is a leopard,) Shuga Flack (a horse), and an anteater named Cracker. To J.J., consonant + vowel = great name for your child. If the word also happens to be a snack, that's even better.

Last night, J.J. was jumping on Richie's bed while Richie was trying to sleep. I went in and told him he needed to be a better role model for Pete Cougar and Cracker, and even Shuga Flack, who was lost by that point.

He leaned in and whispered to them, "I'll be a better popcorn."

When I talk, it must sound like interchangeable syllables that make no real sense. Because of that, I love to see how J.J. interprets things.

We say prayers at night, and it goes like this:

Richie: "I pray for poor people."

Johnny: "I pray for our grandparents."

J.J.: "Um, I like French fries, and I like choo choo trains, and I like going to the grocery store..."

He's come up with some pretty cute phrases though, like for petting Ben, he calls it, "softing the dog." And for getting photographed, he calls it, "taking a smile."

He's like the radio show host Delilah, who, instead of asking people who is on their mind, says, "Who is on your heart?" Maybe it's the old lifeguard in me, but I always picture CPR when she says that.

Anyway, I hope you're having a great summer. I hope that your biggest worry is being slow at speed stacking. I hope any bad news about money comes to you via a cheese sandwich. And, because that is probably impossible, I pray that, everyday, you at least get to do something you like to do.


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