A very wise friend of mine told me this weekend that the key to a successful blog is writing every day. That way people get invested in your posts and want to look at your blog every single day. That means that every single day I need to be constantly aware of potentially interesting, funny moments that I can work up into a pithy blog post.
OR I need to steal funny stories right out of my kids’ mouths. They are literally sleeping upstairs at this very moment while I am stealing their funny. Frankly, it is the least they owe me.
So last winter, I was consumed with researching the best summer camp for my kids and picked what I thought was a great one. The camp seemed to have the right balance of field trips, “academics” (including “peaceful conflict resolution” for preschoolers – WHAT), and of course, inflatable waterslides. My obsessive research paid off, and the camp ended up being a great fit. They both played outside all day, L made a bunch of new friends, and J expanded his fart-noise repertoire. What more could a mom hope for?
On the drive home at the end of the 8-week camp session, I asked the kids to tell me in one sentence about the very best thing they learned at camp. I truly expected to hear about how they could now successfully avoid conflict or, at the very least, something about waterslide safety. But instead J says: “I learned that Jewish people are not ticklish and that frogs do not have spectacles that you can see.”
My mind raced. Do I deal with the vaguely racist comment first, or the comment that sounds like he dropped acid and now thinks that frogs wear invisible glasses? Also, ARE Jewish people not ticklish? Because that is like a superpower, and also, I could not think of a single time that I had tickled my Jewish friends, so oh my god, is he right? And did I really just ask myself that? Before I could decide what to say, though, J adds this clarification: “Wait, not spectacles, what are things boys have? Testicles! I mean testicles. Frogs do not have testicles outside their bodies. Can I have a piece of gum?”
Sweet jesus, this was too much for me to handle. In a daze, I focus on not hitting parked cars and mumble something about just because his Jewish friend is not ticklish doesn’t mean that the zillions of Jewish people in the world are not ticklish. And I hand J the whole pack of gum, which immediately makes L yell that she wants gum, too. Which is why my children ate an entire pack of Trident on our drive home from summer camp one day. They thought we were celebrating the end of camp – I was just trying to avoid saying the wrong thing and driving off the road.
Some days that is still my goal.
Next summer I’m going to try keeping the kids at home. That way I can teach them my own wacky ideas, and shove gum and candy in their mouths when they say things I don’t know how to handle. Stay tuned.