Summer Snippets

July 30th, 2022

It’s 8am and we are one day out from moving. I’m rushing around trying to make the girls lunch for camp, a very elaborate affair since they also need two — yes two — snacks, which makes for three different containers they have to lug around in their backpacks today, in the woods. There’s also the water, bug spray, hand sanitizer, bathing suit, towel, change of clothes, epipen… It’s a logistical puzzle every damn day x2.

The girls are mindlessly eating granola while watching their iPads. I guess Phoebe is watching a crafting show because she pushes her pink headphones back to ask me if I have a trash can and some bungee cords handy.

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Eliza has a patch of stinging nettles rash, a tiny bit of poison ivy, and a litany of bug bites. She woke up this morning with a new summer badge: the eye purple and swollen shut because of a black fly bite. She goes to camp at 9 every morning and does not come inside again until after 4, when she usually has branches in her hair, mud on her face, and at least one new bandaid on some limb or other. 

Phoebe is missing several front teeth and has a deranged look about her. She refuses to let me brush her hair this summer, and instead just shoves an incongruously glitterous headband against the tangles. 

Every morning, we argue about shoes. They have two pairs of sneakers they have never worn that are “too nice” for camp, according to them, and one pair of really worn out, beat up sneakers that used to be a pretty pastel color with light-up soles, and are now a dull, muddy brown and don’t velcro shut anymore. They fight over this one pair and refuse to wear the others. They aren’t supposed to wear shoes “with holes” to camp, for some reason, but almost always end up wearing their rubber Natives because it’s all we have. We have had draaaaama over shoes every morning this summer. 

After camp yesterday I compulsively suggested we go to Target in Keene to buy some new shoes. I stupidly thought, maybe if we go get new shoes, I’ll have one less problem every morning. I forgot that Target is this magical place where other people buy cute things but I almost always suffer great trauma.

Within minutes, my kids were barefoot, their muddy Natives kicked aside and left for dead in an aisle as they rifled through shoe box after shoe box after shoe box. The only pair of shoes we could find in their size had Elsa on one foot and Anna on the other. That was a hard no for me. We left without shoes, but not after ransacking the place. 

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I did get them each a pair of skorts from Target as a consolation. They have never had skorts before and were delighted by the fact they had built in shorts. One of them asked me if she could wear them without underwear, and I gave in after some light arguing. When we got to camp, she immediately marched up to the counselor: “Guess what? I don’t have underwear on!”

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Eliza asks, “Why is it such a big deal if someone sees my butt?”

I reply: “It’s really not.”

Eliza: “It’s like, they see your butt, so what. I don’t get it.”

That’s my girl.

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My kids are in a phase of loving to learn about math. They are interested in the intricacies of time telling and how to tabulate their currency collections. They’re obsessed with figuring out what they need to achieve round numbers when it comes to their cash. They want to know exactly how much a puppy costs.

I deflect the puppy questions and typically end up frustrated with the endless math questions as well, particularly because they tend to come later in the evening when my tolerance is down and my exhaustion of talking high. 

“Can we please stop talking about math?” I beg them. “No more learning for today! Shouldn’t we watch TV?” This might not be good parenting.

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Eliza: Caio!

Me: Caio?

Eliza: Caio means hello and goodbye!

Me: Cool!

Eliza: Caio.

Me: Hello!

Eliza, dead serious: That was the goodbye one.

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