Educate ‘Em Already!

I am so STINKING HAPPY about the start of school next week words can not even convey my feelings! This past week of parenthood/summer dwindle has been awful!! The kids are picking and gouging at each other every other minute, I’m screaming like a crazy woman and it’s been cool enough that all the windows and doors are open to let some of the pleasant outside inside. ‘Cause the Lord knows we need some pleasant in here!!!

Granted, I suspect half the reason this past week has involved everyone being cranky is that we all (I’m betting Captain Schenanigans fails his test tomorrow) have been diagnosed with strep throat, sans the symptoms. Weird, right? Manchild had a 24hr fever that went away, and 3 times in the next week he woke up complaining of belly pain in the middle of the night. It went away with Peptobismol. But finally I hauled him into the kid vet to get an answer, and it was strep throat. No sore throat at all.

Girlchild is always crying wolf for her ailments, but I knew she had been having seasonal allergy symptoms all week. So I called back to the pediatricians office and asked them just to run a strep test on her, it was 6:15pm. God bless them, they agreed! I had her father run her right from riding lessons to the kid vet again, and sure enough, she was positive.

Now I KNOW I have shared every inch of my food, drink, and air space with these two little petri dishes. I feel fine, but the odds are not in my favor. Though I have had a little more stomach acid than usual, that could just be too much caffeine. SO I drug the kids with me to my doctor, always a fun carnival of juvenile wrangling, and got my throat swabbed. Positive. Unlike the rest of my day.

My conclusion is that we wrung all the fun out of summer, and there’s just nothing left. Our most recent journey took us to the Grange Fair in  Centre Hall, PA. It’s a family tradition to attend, and watch extending farming family members show their animals. I LOVED it as a kid, and mine feel the same way. The extra icing on the cake was that on our way up to PA a man delivering wrapped mini doughnuts to a gas station gave each of my kids a free package of their choosing. Yes, a man fiddling in the back of a minivan called my children over and offered them free sweets and I thought it was a brilliant idea. Don’t judge me.

Turns out the man places and extra order of doughnuts each week just to give away. “To let kids know there are still good people in the world” he told us. Made their day! Then we got to the fair, and were allowed in for free with our Maryland 4-H Members card. Not an approved discount, just the kind heart of an old man working the gate. Smiles.

The day after the fair we toodled around Millheim, PA. Our favorite town in the world. The Manchild begs for me to put the windows down when the Amish buggies go by, and Girlchild can not get over the huge flock of less-than-wild ducks that hang out in an alley off the town square. Yes, Girlchild is in love with a bunch of alley ducks, and wants nothing more than to feed them goodies. Let alone that she can not stand when her mama asks her to feed our own flock of 6 chickens and 2 ducks. Old news. She’s a bit of a traitor, not gonna lie.


So I also got the fun challenge of attempting to wiggle our minivan out of a parking spot where the spot next to me holds a live  horse and wagon. It’s a little, lot, different than parallel parking in the city.


Our next fun endeavor was supposed to be camping this Labor Day week-end in western MD. We go every Memorial Day week-end and Labor Day week-end, or at least we did. I had the pet sitter lined up, it’s been on the calendar for a year, we get the same camp spot in the same campgrounds each time- same group of friends, too. ‘Cept this year. We hadn’t heard much chatter about it in our friend circles, and one by one it turns out each family had decided not to go this fall. One by one, dropping like flies. I was hot! We camped without friends for our kids Memorial Day week-end when people were afraid of pending thunderstorms, and it was MISERABLE having to entertain your own kids on your vacation. What? Who wants that? So upon hearing that we were the only ones still going, we called to cancel the trip. I ignored our grocery list of camp chow, didn’t go grocery shopping, and was happy not to have to pack the entire basement in the back of our van.

So, Michelle at the Maryland State Parks Reservation Line could not be sweeter. Especially when she told me that we never had a reservation in the first place! I vaguely remember being on the fence about camping again after the last trip, just needing a break, guess I never made the reservation online. Guess I am now praising Jesus above that I did not just shove all we need for 3 nights in the woods in the back of our car, drive 3 hours on Labor Day week-end, just to tell the family that we had no place to stay. DANG, that was a near miss!

Low and behold, here we are the week before school starts and this is the first year BOTH my spawn are getting on that blessed yellow bus 5 days a week to leave me home ALONE 2 whole days a week (I’m a part-time RN). I’ve waited for this moment my whole life. I kid you not, we are all more than ready. These kids need someone to challenge them, this mama needs to be child free for the first time in 7 years, and this house needs a cleaning schedule. Praise God for letting us all get strep this week. It would be a shame to waste those precious mere 180 days of educational bliss. That’s my tax dollars hard at work, you know. And I am happy to pay em! Go ahead and teach my baby to read…




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