Friday, August 21, 2009


There is a thing called de-bugging. You do this when you have to remove some kind of scourge that has infested something where the scourge should not be dwelling. In a similar type of undertaking, George the Elder and I have spent the last week de-camping our young sons. This verbiage should not be confused with the actual word "decamp" - which decidedly has already occurred, hence their arrival back home from New Hampshire on a plane accompanied by bags of disgustingly dirty clothes. No, this is the removal of camp behavior that is perfectly acceptable when you are at camp - but not desirable in the "real world" or, better said, "The World in Which You Have A Mother Who Is Watching You."

You see, five weeks at camp surrounded by - no, immersed in - no, saturated in twenty-four-hour-a-day-seven-days-a-week macho manlike behavior has some not so pleasant after effects. These residual behaviors, acceptable only when 95% of the people that you have dealings with for 35 continuous days have a penis are:
  • Burping whenever and where ever the feeling strikes you. This shenanigan is immediately followed by a verbal judgement of the quality of burp or just good old fashioned laughter. Hardy har har har.
  • Farting whenever and wherever the feeling strikes you. This particular enterprise is often followed by a rapid-fire-verbal-exchange-post-fart-ritual that has something to do with doorknobs, no give backs and some other witty repartee that I cannot seem to follow. The verbal badinage may also be paired with some physical movement that requires the actual touching of a nearby real life door knob, the punching of a brother or some strange alien hand motions.
  • The use of the words "sucks", "pissed" and "balls"
  • The use of the word "balls" is ofttimes accompanied by references to certain actions, such as "suck my" or descriptive characteristics such as "hairy" or "swinging"
  • The pre-camp phrase of "Oh my Gosh" has been temporarily replaced by the phrase "Oh my God" and we have even been treated to a single time use of the phrase "What the Hell???" (I am doubtful we will hear that one again. Once uttered, the room became eerily quiet while the utterer realized that his life was dangling by a very very VERY thin thread)
  • The leaving of dishes and trash and clothes in places where dishes and trash and clothes do not belong. They do this as if someone will be right behind them to clean this up - say like the MAID or something.
I wish that I could say that George the Elder or I have some magical parenting secrets that would erase these errant behaviors from their current repertoires, but alas, we are armed only with the super-nasty parental stare/glare (as in "what the @#$ did you just do??"), our own over used phrases such as "would you like to do that again or would you prefer to live just a little while longer" and the tried and true, "Do you think that you are still at CAMP????"

Week One of the return will be up tomorrow. We believe that we have eradicated at least the burping and farting at will. We have two more weeks before school starts and we are optimistic that the rest will be dealt with by then. If not, we will need to resort to more stringent parenting techniques like public flogging or sensory deprivation. We haven't had to resort to these the past several years, but we are holding on to them as alternatives "just in case." Forewarned is forewarned.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Manly men doing manly things in a manly manner! Wendy, this happens when you are away for the weekend as well (in case you were interested) and will continue unabated until they are, well... forever. This is a part of the joy of being male. You can take the boy out of the camp but you can't take the camp out of the boy. And why would you want to?
They just need to learn when it is appropriate, ie out of earshot of mom.
Rock on, Wisneiwski men!