Life is kind of random right now and I”m just going to toss things out that have been sticking in my head for one reason or another . . . no reason, no plan, nothing nefarious. Just stuff to get out of my head and into yours.
1) Monday I took in some of the neighbor kids as it was President’s Day. We lucked out. It was a gorgeous, 80 degree, sunny perfect (if heavily pollinated) day here in Orlando. The older boys had classes in the morning. I took Andy and four of his friends to the park for a picnic and park stuff. At the last minute the kids grabbed a video camera and started planning their park version of “The Creature From the Black Lagoon.” I spent most of the day scribbling in a notebook, hanging out and people watching. “MY” kids were way wrapped up in their project. I was left to entertain myself and guard the Oreo’s.
It’s been awhile since I’ve sat at a park watching other parents, particularly parents of young kids. I think I’m getting old. I wanted to get up and scream at some of the folks. There were two distinct groups of parents. To the first group I say “Get off your butt, put down the cell phone or whatever it is absorbing all of your attention and stop threatening your kids with the stoopid 1-2-3 countdown. The countdown only works if you act on it.” Gaaahhhh!!!!! To the second group I say “Lighten up! The kid is three. If he’s melting down, it might be time to go home and take a nap. If he’s really melting down, your painful (yet, kind and well-meant) explanations of why his behavior is unacceptable is at best reaching him at a Peanut level of “WAH WAH WAH.” Just pick it all up and go home and everyone take a nap. It’s too late to teach lessons when Junior is flopped in the mulch wailing.
2) During our gorgeous park day, I brought along a copy of Real Simple magazine. Light on content, but the pictures were pretty – really I love magazines just to look at the pictures. It was a windy day and somehow the magazine kept blowing back to one page. After the third or fourth time, I read the ad. It was for something called the iPant. Here’s the copy: “Wacoal’s iPant offers superior comfort and smoothing along with amazing cosmetic benefits. The iPant is constructed of Novarel Slim (r) nylon microfibers with embedded microcapsules containing caffeine to promote fat destruction, vitamin E to prevent the effects of aging, ceramides to restore and maintain the skin’s smoothness; and retinol and aloe vera to moisturize and increase the firmness of the skin. . . .
It’s come down to caffeinated panties, has it? I, for one, am just saying no.
3) We’re now waiting to see which of the schools Dan has applied to will accept him in additon to hearing about a Naval ROTC scholarship. So far he’s been accepted by two schools – into their engineering departments and with grants. Yay. Still, though, the reality is we don’t have a lot to help with college and we REALLY do not want any of the kids to go into major debt to get an undergrad degree.
As I’m reading through the school stuff, though, I’m seeing why college is SO expensive. The meal plans we’re looking at include (at a minimum) 15 options for places to eat (including Burger King, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Chik-Fil-A, other smaller chains and a couple of “upscale bistros” I’m not making that up) . . . are you kidding me? Kids who in general have no experience planning their own meals (forget balanced and/or healthy meals) are given a card and let loose for a semester???? With all of those options? And people wonder why so many young adults are chunky? (Granted, tons of kids gain weight that first semester no matter where they eat, but come on . . . ) Don’t get me started on the housing, multiple gyms and other amenities – no wonder kids graduate and come back home – very few starting salaries would allow them to live in the style to which they become accustomed to in a lot of state universities. Heck, I want to go back and get a PhD or something just to live in the dorms (they have MAID SERVICE!!!!!).
Okay – just had to get that out of my system. May have to change the name of this blog to “My Old (we-walked-barefoot-in-the-snow-both-ways) Foil Hat.”