Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Camp Cindy!

As many of you know, Dan and I do not have children, do not want children, and do not spend much time around children. It's by choice and, so far, it's been a good one. But, it's not like our lives are completely devoid of children. We do have 7 nephews, 2 pseudo-nephews and a goddaughter, all of whom we adore and spoil.

For the past two weeks, I have been hanging out in southern Florida with my younger nephews, Ryan (10), Colby (9) and Alex (7). Technically, I guess I am free daycare, but we prefer to call it "Camp Cindy."

Some things I've learned at Camp Cindy:

1) If decorating cupcakes with pop rocks, don't put sprinkles or jelly beans on top of the pop rocks. Who knew that icing activates the pop rocks and turns the cupcakes into erupting volcanoes? It's amazing how far sprinkles will travel when blown off the top of a cupcake.

2) Children cannot grasp the concept that puff-painted t-shirts are not flattering on camp counselors and should not be worn! Ever.

3) When wearing a puff-painted t-shirt in public, don't pick "Camp Day" to wear it to the science museum. As if puff-painted t-shirts are not conspicuous enough, imagine being one of four people -- and the only adult -- wearing one among a sea of "real camp" shirts. Nothing screams "welfare" quite like a hand-painted shirt among hundreds of professionally printed camp shirts with logos so attractive that they look like they could have come straight off the racks of Abercrombie. Where's that black bar? Oh yeah, there it is. It's across Aunt Cindy's eyes!

4) It takes a LOT longer to get out of the house with children! Children simply have a different concept of time than adults do.

A prime example of this would be last Tuesday afternoon, when we were scheduled to go on an amphibious bus tour -- a bus that turns into a boat We were running late getting out of the house. It was my fault really. I had no idea that you have to itemize everything that has to be brushed. (Did you brush your hair? Yes. Did you brush your teeth? No. Go back and brush your teeth.) Repeat once for each child and before I knew it, seven minutes had flown by.

Similarly, I had no concept of how long it takes to gather gameboys, yugi-oh cards and to save a game on the Gamecube. (Cindy, can I take my gameboy to play in the car? Sure. Can you help me find it? Sure.) Five minutes later and we found the gameboy in the car. (Where is my Elemental Hero Tempest card? I don't know, where did you have it last? I don't know. That's ok, we can leave without it. NOOOO, I have to have Elemental Hero Tempest - it's the best card in the deck!) Much later, it was found behind the Armed Dragon Level Five card in the same deck. (C'mon we are late! The bus will leave without us. Please turn off the Gamecube and let's go. Ok, just let me finish this stage. I have to throw this big boulder through the ice so I can fish for a frog. No, let's go. Ok, I'm saving it ... hey Ryan, can you help me break the ice? Let's go! Now!!)

Once I got all three kids, complete with gameboys and cards, safely buckled up in the car and was well on my way to the tour bus stop, Alex shouts, "My shoes!!" By the shrill tone of his voice, I'm thinking that his shoes must have gotten caught in the back seat, or that he put them on the wrong feet, or that he had two different shoes on. Wrong. On all accounts. The child had FORGOTTEN his shoes! C'mon, how do you forget shoes? Curiosity got the best of me, so, I asked, "Alex, sweetheart, how did you forget your shoes?" "I don't know, I just did." Circle back to get shoes -- lose 10 more minutes.

Stay tuned for the next post, Camp Cindy - "Things I Never Thought I Would Say".

Copyright 2006 by Cindy Lane. All rights reserved.


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