It’s barely March and I already know what we’re doing nearly every day of the summer which is actually quite depressing.
Due to the insanely long school holidays here (2 1/2 months – what?), one has to find something for the little dears to do during this time so they don’t drive me completely fucking insane and I leave some sort of chance to do some, you know, work. So it’s summer day camp for them. The choices are dizzying. You can pay anything from $150/week for those at the budget end to upwards of $500/week per child if you have tons of cash and you love your little darlings more than poorer parents do (so the glossy literature implies). They can do sports camp, nature camp, art camp, lego camp, cooking camp, horse-riding camp, financial-planning camp (maybe I should attend this one? It’s called Millionaire’s Club, but I can’t actually afford the fee which is telling), drama camp, singing camp, math camp (really? Which unfortunate child is forced to go to that one?), babysitter’s camp (perhaps I can volunteer my children as guinea pigs for the budding caretakers?), science camp, guerilla warfare camp.. Ok, I made that last one up, but you could almost believe it given the range of options.
I have already pre-selected my children’s camps, even though they are not yet on sale because the moment the online purchasing options become available, every over-achieving mother in Stepford, especially those, like me, with an eye for a bargain (read cheapskate/broke) will be hovering above her mouse to snap up the available spots within minutes – and I mean literally minutes – of the camps going on sale.
It’s the same with swimming lessons. You need to buy them within 10 minutes or else you’re screwed and your kid destined to drown in some boggy lagoon while you’re checking your email because you didn’t secure the proper Red Cross lesson and you also didn’t teach him yourself because the pool’s too cold and full of wee.
I think the Pentagon should hire me, actually – I have executed this summer’s plan with military strategy. How to spend the least money, get the most fun, find camps that have the same drop off time, place, set of interests for each child despite the age discrepancy, will still allow them to leave in time for their afternoon swim lesson, and will not drive us so deeply into debt that we have to sell their kidneys in September before school starts (tricky). Plus I have all the sign-up times and login details programmed as alarms in my phones so no matter where I am I am guaranteed to be ON IT and will get them what they need.
I did say I knew what we are doing every day of the summer but that’s not quite true. I know what the children are doing – they’re going to camp. I know Husband is going on a three week hike through the Sierras (rather him than me). I know I will be doing a lot of ferrying and taxiing of infants. While Husband is hiking we’ll visit my father and Eight will go to horse camp. Five and I will loaf around and he’ll gleefully watch cable TV which he doesn’t have at home, no doubt compiling a long Christmas list from the ads he sees. But me? I don’t think I can bear to just sit here facilitating everyone else’s life. I shall have to plan a jaunt and do something I’ve never done before for no particular reason other than to relieve the unremitting predictability of daily life in Stepford.
When I think of what it might be, I shall let you know. It just doesn’t do to plan everything too carefully, Makes a girl restless, you know.