Five Summer Freak-Outs for Moms

Posted by: , July 18, 2011 in 11:48 am

Okay, so I adore noxema Five Summer Freak Outs for Momssummer break.  However, summer is the season for me to freak out about stuff that for some reason, our parents didn’t even worry about.

1. Sunburn. If you’re in your thirties or older, you remember the coconut smell of that brown bottle of Coppertone.  One eight-ounce bottle lasted about three summers, and the cap was all encrusted with sand.  I believe that “suntan lotion” had about SPF 0.003. 

You know how now they tell you that even a few bad, peeling sunburns as a child increase your chance of skin cancer later in life?  Yeah … things are not looking so good for me.  Plus, during the time we were crisping my skin on the rocky beaches of Rhode Island, my grandfather was having melanomas removed.  Now I go to the dermatologist every six months so weird-looking moles can be lopped off.

Now when you see the crazy lady at the beach whose entire family is wearing long-sleeve rash guards and giant floppy hats?  That’s me.  Also, obviously, I am now a sunblock freak.  I buy sunblock by the gallon.  Literally.  I buy gallon-sized jars of a sunblock that’s made for Australian people Five Summer Freak Outs for Moms, where there is no ozone layer left anymore.  (By the way, sorry about that, Aussies.  I assume my excessive use of AquaNet in 1987 is at least partly to blame for that.)

My kids used to complain about it, but then I took them with me to the dermatologist for one of my mole inspections.  He removed three dysplastic moles at that appointment.  They turned to the wall and sang Girl Scout songs during the removal, but they got the picture.  Also, I have trained them to say “I’ll thank you when I’m thirty” while I apply the sunblock. Five Summer Freak Outs for Moms

2. Mosquitos. I freaking hate mosquitos.  The Peanut Butter Kid and I are mosquito magnets, and then the bites swell up into quarter-sized hives.  And there is no sound quite as annoying as the high-pitched whine of a mosquito hovering around your head in the dark while you’re trying to sleep.

All that is bad enough.  But now there is West Nile Virus to freak out about.  Last weekend I found a dead bird in my backyard and got about ten mosquito bites all within the space of about five minutes: let the freak out begin.  I reported the dead bird through Pennsylvania’s handy “I Found a Dead Bird” West Nile Freak-Out Reporting Page.  I assume the good people at the Pennsylvania Department of Health put this page up so that crazy moms would stop calling them every time they find a cat with a dead bird in its mouth.  The best part of reporting a dead bird through this website is the subsequent e-mail you receive, with the subject line, “Thanks for your Dead Bird report.”

vintagepopsicle Five Summer Freak Outs for Moms
There ya go!  That 4-ounce popsicle should hold you for the next 10 hours.

3. Dehydration. When I was a kid, one popsicle in the afternoon was apparently enough to keep us hydrated.  Now I need to carry water with us at all times, plus possibly a back-up IV.  My dad asked why they can’t just drink when they get thirsty.  I don’t know. It might have something to do with the fact that they are so unaware of their own bodies, they can’t tell they need to go to the bathroom until it’s a dire emergency.  (Note: this system sucks in a house with one bathroom.  Because as soon as one kid realizes she has to pee like a racehorse, at least one other kid will realize the same thing.)

Also, I cannot just buy bottled water while we’re out, because then I get a lecture from my environmentally-conscious kids.  So I have to plan ahead (not my strong suit) and bring water in a reusable bottle.  And don’t forget: the bottle cannot have BPA in it, because that causes autism.  Oh, wait … too late.

paintings by mary cassatt 5 Five Summer Freak Outs for Moms
“Children Losing Their Math Facts,”
by Mary Cassatt, 1884.
4. Brain Drain. As smart as my kids are, the learning falls right out of their heads during the summer.  This is especially true of math facts.  I wouldn’t care so much except then in September, I have to spend more time helping them with their homework.  If I just stay up their butts all summer with flashcards, it actually saves me time in the long run.  This is one of those things we didn’t worry about when we were kids, because, let’s face it, school moved a lot slower back in those days.  It was okay if you didn’t know your alphabet in first grade.  Now you need to be able to parse sentences and draw Venn diagrams.
humanbeatbox Five Summer Freak Outs for Moms
I’m not sure our dinner table needs a percussion section.

5. The “Medication Vacation.” Oh. My. Gawd.  We have had ONE day with the Pork Lo Maniac off the medication, and I’m already questioning whether we can do a whole summer like this.  Honestly, it doesn’t seem to bother the Pork Lo Maniac as much as it bothers the rest of us, especially her twin sister.  The ADHD meds help keep her fidgeting and repetitive sounds under control.  We spent the entire day yesterday listening to her be a human beat box.  I can tune it out pretty well, but Cookie needed ear plugs.  “I’m with her all. the. time.


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