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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Code Green…the Full Monty

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for brain transplant

I admit it.  I am a sucker for that puppy dog face and those big blue eyes.  I am also highly susceptible to guilt: “Well, I guess if you are an adult, you don’t have to keep your word.”  So yes, after bailing out of Camp Wilderness Friday night, I told my husband we had to camp out all night across the street tonight. 

This time Dr. Hubby tossed the big tent, mosquito surround net,  two hammocks, two cots with cushions, three chairs, four sleeping bags, flashlights, lanterns, tarps, ice chests and food in the back of the pick-up and hauled it across the street early in the afternoon.  He pushed wood up for another fire, mowed the surrounding area, and then set up the camp.

Then we walked over there.   The kids began staking claim to the hammock, the cot, and the sleeping bag each wanted.   I must say, though, the hammock rodeo was rather entertaining.  For the seven-year-old, it took three tries before he managed stay on the hammock without being thrown out.  Once he got it in, he had to negotiate with the ten-teen for his blanket and pillow.

Later, when it was my turn in the hammock, both kids held onto the sides so I wouldn’t get thrown.  I guess they didn’t want a trip to the emergency room to interfere with their camping trip.  It was rather enjoyable in a painful-nylon-cords-cutting-into-your-back sort of way.  The seven-year-old pushed my hammock back and worth and scratched my head to keep me happy.  “Look, I’m multi-tasking,” he announced to anybody within ear shot.   The ten-teen, not to be outdone, pushed harder resulting in more hammock rodeo.  I managed to avoid being thrown by getting a leg on firm ground on either side of the hammock resulting in the first ever hammock wedgie.

By dark-thirty and after chasing frogs, hunting for snakes, and with no TV or radio available, everybody went to bed.  Dr. Hubby opted for his folding lounge chair by the fire, once he figured out how to make the chair recline without doing a back flip.  The ten-teen held out for the hammock.   The seven-year-old and I chose the cushioned cot inside the tent with the mosquito net closed. “This is just the best ever!” came from the sleepy seven-year-old.  The coyotes began their evening concert after all was quiet;  the seven-year-old pulled his cot next to mine and the teen-teen joined us in the tent, only all cots were taken so she had to sleep on the tent floor.  After her academy award performance playing the long- suffering, unappreciated older sister forced to sleep on the hard, hard ground so her baby brother could have a cushioned cot, she finally settled down.

At 3a.m. she made an encore performance only this time she was sound asleep.  I climbed over two cots, a sleeping child, and three flashlights to guide her “off stage” and gave her my cot, more guilt.   I had had my seven hours of sleep which normally comes between 11p.m. and 6 a.m. but tonight had occurred between 9:30 and 3a.m. I grabbed a blanket and joined hubby by the camp fire.

“Have you gotten any sleep?” I asked. 

“Who can sleep with all the dogs howling?”

 “I didn’t hear any dogs, just the third act of “Les Miserables”. What time is it?”


“Good, only three hours till daylight.”

We sat staring at the fire and sharing memories of past campouts and gatherings, enjoying the opportunity to have an uninterrupted conversation.

“What time is it now?”


“Good, only two hours and 25 minutes till daylight.”

The exact moment the sun broke over the horizon and I had managed to doze off, the seven-year-old awoke and announced “Wake up!  It’s morning.  Can we have S’mores for breakfast?”

“No, we are going to McDonald’s NOW! I need coffee,”

Ok, so ours is not the traditional camping out family experience, but then again, no one has ever accused us of being traditional.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Code Green

by Jody Worsham All rights reserved for Camp Sin-a-way-for-Summer
My seven-year-old has decided that he is through with first grade now,even though there is another week of school left. I know this because his behavior rating he gets from his teacher at the end of each day has not been green. Green is "good", Yellow is "Better get your act together, son." Orange is "No tv, video games, or snake barfings." Red is "Butt whoppin' time". This week he came home with either orange or yellow every day.
In a last desperate effor to finish the week on a high note, I resorted to the age old method of discipline parents have ascribed to for generations...bribery. If he came home with Green on his behavior card, we would go camping in the woods. This is a major sacrifice on my part. To me camping is an air conditioned RV with cable, running water, and a McDonald's and Wal-Mart within two miles.
This afternoon he proudly showed me his Green card; that sounds funny. When I asked him if it was hard to get Green today and he said "No." "Then why didn't you get green on those other days?" I asked. "I didn't have a goal. Let's go camping."
We had to stop at Wal-Mart for Hershey chocolate bars, graham crackers, and marshmellows. You can not go camping without making S'mores. I talked him into eating our hot dogs at the house before we loaded the pick-up and headed across the street to some wooded acreage we owned. My plan was to stay until midight, then come back across the street to our house. He evidently thought we were going to live there the rest of the summer judging from the number of sleeping bags, extra clothing, stuffed animals, bottled water, pup tent, flashlights, and games he had packed. His sister packed twice as much. Girls tend to do that. They were as excited as if we had announced we were going to live at Disney World for the rest of our lives.
Two hours later the fire had died down, we were sticky with marshmellow goo, and Dr. Hubby and I were enjoying watching the fire and having a conversation. The novelty of camping out had worn off and without any snakes to entertain themselves, the children resorted to their stand-by activity ...aggrevating each oher. They alternated dragging the sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals from the tent to the bed of the pick-up and back while maintaining constant bickering, complaining, and tattling. I finally got in the bed of the pick-up to see if I could get the seven-year-old to settle down and go to sleep. We enjoyed looking at the stars for about five-seconds;then he started telling me about Pluto and why it wasn't a planet any more, that we were on the dark side away from the sun and the Chinese were waking up about now, when would the sun burn out, and the fact that he didn't understand why Mars was still a planet. With my lesson in astronomy over and my back and rear-end numb from the hard pick-up bed, I went back to my lawn chair and the fire.
"Don't worry," said Dr. Hubby, "the coyotes will start howeling soon and they will be ready to go back to the house." They started howeling right on cue. From the pick-up bed I heard "I've got to survive. I'm only seven." I looked at the pup tent which was the right size for a three-year-old and noticed that the ten-teen must have been practicing her cheerleading routine inside or else she was preparing to go to war with the coyotes because the tent resembled some alien pod struggling to morph into Godzilla.
At 11:00 all was quiet. We started loading everything back into the bed of the pick-up, being careful not to disturb the sleeping survivor. The ten teen was crushed that we were leaving and wanted to know if we could come back and spend the whole night tomorow night. I promised that we would camp again, soon. I just didn't tell her how soon.
I am considering withdrawing my first grader from school early. I don't think I could surivie anymore Code Green bribes.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Unconventional Mother's Day

Unconventional Mother’s Day

By Jody Worsham’

All rights reserved for a long lasting memory

While most traditional Moms are receiving breakfast in bed, roses, gifts of perfume, or long distance calls from far flung offspring on this Mother’s Day, I remain the unconventional mom.  I mean what else would you expect when you are both grandmother and mother to two of your children who are also the siblings to your other daughter.  So would you expect my Mother’s Day to be any different?

For a week the children had been secretly hauling crafts and cardstock to the upstairs sewing room with continuous admonitions not to come upstairs.  Backpacks came home from school Friday with bulging pockets along with warnings of “Don’t look inside!”

“I hope you like cards,” leaked the seven-year-old who was quickly bopped on the head by the ten-teen resulting in WW III for which I had to negotiate peace treaties beginning with “I don’t know what this is about,  so stop fighting.”

Today is Mother’s Day; I was awakened not with breakfast in bed, roses, perfume nor the aforementioned secret avalanche of cards, but with “What’s for breakfast.  I’m hungry.”  The bulge that I am not supposed to know about is still bulging in the backpacks with no indication that they will remember them  before the day is over.  I just hope it is not something alive, perishable, or made from cheese.

The children did call me out to the backyard a few minutes ago.  “We want to show you something.”  Ah ha, my big Mother’s Day Surprise.  The ten-teen hollered from the trampoline “Watch this!” like I haven’t heard that command a million times.  “I’m going to do what you taught me.”  She proceeded to do forward and backward flips in the air while the seven-year-old ran around the outside of the trampoline singing a medley from “The Nutcracker” and “Hail to the Chief.”

Ok, while it wasn’t what I expected; sometimes the unexpected brings the most joy.  Who wouldn’t be pleased that a child listened and put into practice what you said, even if it was forward and backward flips, and a child singing from the classics and hinting that I would one day be known as the mother of the President of the United States?

Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms, specially the unconventional ones.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Who Reads The Medicare Mom?

Ithought this might be interesting to know. I tried to embed one of those Monkey Surveys but it told me to ask a technical person for help. Since my ten-teen is in school right now, there is no one to help me so I decided to do it the old fashion way. You know, ask. You can answer by way of your comment. First, are you between birth and puberty? I thought that might slant my topics, or maybe try to figure out why you aren't doing your homework instead of wasting your time reading me. Secondly, are you between driving the kids to school and sucking up coffee all by yourself in the kitchen? Maybe I could include a recipe for coffee cake or something. Thirdly, are you just before The Home for the Out of Money and after Medicare? In that is the case, I will be sure and post in LARGER type Fourthly, do you read The Medicare Mom in the morning, afternoon, or evening? With that information, I could post when the most people are awake. Fifth, do you read The Medicare Mom out of sympathy, support of the elderly with children, my mother told you to, or by accident. This answer might explain my number of page views. In all fairness, if you answer my questions, I should answer yours. So pop a question to me and I'll see if I can come up with an answer. It will be up to you to figure out if it is the truth or not.