Do you see the resemblance?
Alternate title to the post: "I hate summer vacation."
Fifth grade is over, which means elementary school is over. Which means my list of "nevers" has expanded to include: I will never be an elementary school mom again, I will never have to buy blue plaid uniforms again, and I will never have the luxury of on-site after school care again. But, wait, I have a middle schooler now. I shouldn't need after school care, right? Because middle schoolers are mature and self-sufficient?
Side note: significant "nevers" in my life have included never change another diaper, never have to strap a kid into a car seat again, never lug a stroller along and never pack another diaper bag. But guess what? PSYCHE. Because when my "baby" was 10 years old? I got pregnant again. Boo yah, aka natural planning fail.
But I digress. Back to the mayhem of summer scheduling. This summer was supposed to be pretty laid back on the Carlie front, because, hello, middle schooler, you can hang out at home while I am a work. We don't need no stinkin' camps. Still, we made a few selections of age appropriate camps that she really wanted to do for fun. These are babysitters boot camp, "make a music video" camp, choir camp including a production of "Sound of Music," and be a helper at VBS.
Carlie has gone to VBS every summer since preschool (minus one when it conflicted with an out of town trip.) That's six sessions of VBS at our church (plus a few at other churches, which I'll tack on at the end of this post because? OMG, holy cheap child care). Last year, fourth grade, she didn't really want to go to VBS, but then decided at the last minute to go, because "next year, I get to be a helper." Why those two are connected, I don't know, but the "get to be a helper" aspect of VBS has been on her mind for at least a calendar year.
All of this build up to get to the inevitable point: of the few measly camps she was wanting to do, VBS and "music video" are the same week. OF COURSE THEY ARE. Have you met my life?
Let us compare, from Carlie's standpoint:
Music Video - work with a hip hop choreographer and vocal coach, record and tape in a professional studio and get to have a copy of the video on DVD at the end of camp
VBS - get to be free child labor doing the grunt work for the teachers. But you get a free tee shirt!
Music Video - of course someone will notice her raw talent and untapped potential and within months she will be the next Disney flavor of the week
VBS - brownie points with Jesus.
But let us also compare:
Music Video - noon -2 x five days a week. Noon to 2? That's convenient for a working parent!
VBS - 9 am to 3 pm, enough time to actually, I don't know, say, GO TO WORK
Music Video - $125 (ish, don't feel like looking it up fo sho right now)
VBS - $30 fee waived, because you're helping (generous!)
And of course, I got her signed up as a VBS helper before realizing the scheduling conflict, so she is committed to that now.
Fast forward to Friday night. I am laying on the couch, hacking up a lung, spewing green phlegm all over the place (not really, but kind of ), and at 8:30 pm Carlie runs into the room and shouts "I'm going to be late for dance!" Oh, son of a... that's right, she has a dance class at 8:45 pm on Friday nights, followed by practice dancing from 9:15-10:30. How could I forget? Said class has sucked the life out of my Friday nights for a year now.
So I haul my sick ass off of the couch, brush my teeth and hair, put on a bra and shoes and schlep her ass to dance, feeling like total crap. I get her there, and even dance a few times, you know, to make sure I spread the plague to everyone in the joint. And did I mention the part where I pay $7 billion per year for dance?
And at 10:30 pm, with my throat swollen shut and my lungs collapsing, I get in the car with my little sweet girl, who I know is oh so appreciative of the sacrifices I make for her, and she gets sad and teary-eyed. ME: Oh, honey, what's wrong? HER: I really want to go to that music video camp.
Are you fucking kidding me?
So I, sick and full of martyrdom, commence to have a melt down about appreciation and commitment and blah de blah blah blah.
And she, over-tired, up too late and channeling Veruca Salt, commenced to have a full blown fit about NEVER getting to do ANYTHING that she wants to do.
Scroll up and re-read the part where I just crawled out of my death bed to take her ungrateful ass to DANCE CLASS.
I am so jacked up on sudaphed (the real kind) and dexamethorphan that I can't even remember where I was going with this story. Oh, wait. I remember. My kid is an over-indulged brat. That was the point.
On the plus side, she has also been raised with a healthy dose of Catholic guilt, and I have no doubt she will wake up and be apologetic this morning, as is her usual M.O. But still...
PS: My VBS story. I'll keep it short. One year, about second grade'ish, a girlfriend and I got this GENIUS idea to schlep the kids around town to all of the different church VBS programs because, hello, cheap to free daycare all summer long. Some of the highlights were Carlie receiving communion at a church of different denomination BEFORE having gone through the rigorous "first communion boot camp" at our church, Carlie needing to learn a significant amount of Vietnamese (wherein significant amount = enough to survive in a 100% non-English speaking environment) and Carlie being featured in a gorgeous photo on the cover of the newsletter of a Presbyterian church as the poster girl for their children's program. The Great VBS Caper was not one of my more well thought-out plans.