I have noticed since my youngest passed the decade mark, I’m just not concerned about a lot of stuff that used to seem really important. As the kids get older, I realize that a little less anxiety on my part is probably good for everyone. Then again, there’s a whole new set of things that I am starting to get a little antsy about.
Things I stopped caring about:
Days you are supposed to wear your favorite sports team’s shirt to school.
Some families like to put their kids in various camps for the summer. We’ve tried that, but this year, I thought we might just stay-camp right at home.
Here’s a sample day:
Make your own breakfast bar
Mom thoughtfully leaves out several boxes of cereal bowls and spoons. If you can reach the top shelf of the fridge and grab the milk, you are in business! Have one cereal. Or two. Or three!!! Three cereals in the same bowl! What’s next? Cats and dogs living together in harmony?!? Also, if you let mom sleep in, she may look the other way if a few cookies find their way into the bowl.
Whose shirt is this anyway?
This is an exciting prize-driven game in which several shirts are presented to campers and each person identifies who a particular shirt belongs to. If there is group agreement with that identification, the player wins that shirt! Disputed ownership will result in a penalty, but mom may allow a quick tussle or exchange of insults.
Stuffed animal arranging
At this time, campers are encouraged to group stuffed animals and arrange them artfully on a blank canvas – sometimes a bed that has been made by the camper for this purposed or desk that has been organized. Creativity encouraged!
Field Trip Lunch
Campers will be driven to the lunch destination that is located closest to the dry cleaner, bank or Starbucks.
After several lighthearted attempts to “get help” with clearly kid-led tasks, Mommy will ritualistically respond “In a Minute” approximately 17 times as she “works” on the computer. That is when the magic happens! Doll’s hair curled with a Magic Marker! Simple laundry bins transformed into race cars with tape and some wheels mom got you that one time in Home Depot.
The Price is Right
In this exciting game-show style activity, campers will be taken on a field trip! To the grocery store. Mini-games like “Where do they keep the tofu?” and “The snack wars” lead up to the grand finale challenge, “Who can sneak the most candy into the cart before mom notices?” Mom may also let two lucky campers role play as checker and bagger.
That’s a full camp day right there. But campers do not have to line up or board a bus, because they are already home! Summer fun awaits!
The other day I came across this doozie from the CEO of Levi’s: don’t wash your jeans
Don’t wash your jeans. Really? Do you know how much time I spend washing jeans? I immediately saw a filmstrip in my mind of me with hours of time granted back because I don’t have to wash jeans: I’m strolling around the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a butt scavenger hunt, something my friend Beth (like me only with more wonderful ideas) said she once did. Now I’m sitting in a comfy chair re-reading some Maya Angelou (I totally forgot why the caged bird sings. How does that happen?) and look! That’s me coming to the end of the Appalachian trail! I have brambles in my hair and a wild look in my eyes, but I’m tan, fit and have an air of accomplishment.
Well, turns out I’m not getting all that extra time. Turns out we are not supposed to machine was our jeans because Mr Fancy Pants CEO of Levi’s wants to be all environmentally responsible. Thousands of gallons of water used in the life of a pair of jeans, detergents going in the water supply blah blah blah. But what he does want us to do is spot clean them with a toothbrush and hang them to dry. Oh, and freeze them to get rid of the germs and smell.
Well, sorry environment, I’m not gonna do that. Toothbrushes are for teeth and I have enough trouble keeping that up. The whole thing sounds like more trouble than it’s worth. I only use cold water anyway, and freezing probably uses as much electricity. Plus, as this person pointed out, the freezing process might not really work and heating is more effective. As much as it might be fun to stash our clothing in the microwave and freezer, I think that might drive my husband right over the edge.
So, what are the things you really don’t need to wash? I did a little research, and this is what I came up with:
According to http://www.realsimple.com, which recently ran a cover tag-line that read “Easy Ways to Clean Anything” (actually just an alphabetical listing of 26 things that started with different letters, but an interesting read), you DON’t have to wash: the dishwasher (unless it smells, which my family is always saying ours does — so I do clean it with lemishine), your duvet, because it’s the cover that takes all the yucky, and the freezer. Man, I have totally cleaned all of those. They do say you should clean the duvet if a stain gets through the cover, which is what happened to us. And you can refer to this picture of my freezer before cleaning.
So, what else? CNN was inspired by the Levi’s guy and ran this feature about what you don’t have to clean. http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/24/health/gallery/what-not-to-wash/index.html?hpt=hp_t3
Here’s my takeaway from that one. Duh! Why would I wash a salad bag that says pre-washed? Though I have heard that it isn’t really really clean, but it was a neatfreak conspiracy theorist who said that. Also, I think this sneaky article, which is actually titled (after they get you to click with “What you can skip washing”) “What you can skip washing — and what you can’t” is reporting that according to the NIH and the graphics person who handled this story, you are supposed to be washing bananas. Show of hands: who is washing their bananas before eating them? Police, please cuff those hands.
Over on Martha Stewart Living’s website, I searched the site for “don’t wash” and “you don’t have to wash” but there were only articles about how to wash stuff (including jeans, by the way) and, curiously, an article titled “Have you tried figs” which did not have any directions about washing or not washing these figs they want you to try.
There is also an interesting trend of not washing either your hair or your face to maintain its natural balance, but I’m not sure this really counts, because it just means wash less often or with something different from the traditional shampoo or soap formula. It’s funny because this is the same week my 11-year-old son came home with an info-packet from school that read “What’s that smell. Oh no! It’s Me!.”
Here is a sampling of what I found in my son’s laundry last week:
I understand the picks, the earplugs, even that little metal thing, but what’s with all the pencils? Isn’t it uncomfortable to carry pencils around in your pockets? But more, importantly, why have pencils inundated my house? I find them EVERYWHERE! Not just in the laundry: they are on the floor, in the car, under the carpet, all over. I don’t believe that I have ever even purchased a pencil yet here they all are. This is the drawer from the side table in our living room:
This is not even the primary pencil location, it is more of our third-tier writing utensil holder. There are Number 2 pencils, Halloween pencils, mechanical pencils, fat pencils — do I need to go on?
And why do none of them have erasers? Where are those erasers going and why isn’t the now useless pencil thrown out immediately when the erasers are gone? I probably throw out about 3 pencils a week and they still keep coming.
Today, I found a pink colored pencil in the laundry. Now, I do not do the whole “boys can’t wear pink” thing but the likelihood that my electric guitar playing, heavy metal, long haired eleven year old son was using a pink colored pencil is slim.
I can only imagine what next week will bring…