Written by Jenna McCarthy.
When I was a kid and summer rolled around, my parents' "plans" for me could be summed up in one concise sentence: "Go outside and play."
Because my kids would drive me batsh*t crazy and I'd get no work done at all if I tried that, instead I spend weeks crafting elaborate schedules and forking over thousands (yes thousands) of dollars so that my children can be enriched, entertained and out of my f*cking hair for that endless stretch of heat and humidity.
The options are mind-boggling: There's sculpting, swimming, surfing, sailing, science, art, gardening, gift making, gymnastics, Junior Guards, Jujitsu, soccer, swimming, tumbling, fencing, Irish f*cking dancing. As much as I'd like my kids to be well-rounded and culturally enriched, I have to wonder: Where are the programs that might benefit me? I love a macaroni necklace as much as the next mom, but honestly.
Then I figured out the answer. I'm calling it Fantasy Camp, and the brochure is below. I'm giving the idea FREE to the first person who is ready to turn my dream into a reality; all I ask is that you guarantee me two spots.
1. Yes, Mom: During this week-long intensive camp, your child will learn that these aren't two random words; they're the ONLY TWO WORDS IN THE UNIVERSE YOU WANT TO HEAR when you ask them to do something. Children will be fined for using phrases such as "in a minute" or "but I set the table last night" or "ugh, whyyyyyyyyyyyyy?" during camp hours. For obvious reasons, Yes, Mom is one of our most popular camps, so sign up early!
CAMP NOTES: Healthy snacks will be provided. Kids who b*tch will be sent next door to Shut Up and Eat It.
2. Shut Up and Eat It: It's a long and grueling week for sure, but by the end of it, your child will be returned to you with a new-found appreciation for all that goes into putting that godforsaken meal on the table. They will understand that you made the f*cking grocery list. You spent 30 minutes circling the goddamned parking lot at the grocery store trying to get a spot. You traipsed all over that nightmare of a place hunting all of that crap down. Then you forked over your hard-earned money for it, brought it home, assembled it in a colorful, balanced fashion on a plate and placed it in front of them. Camp motto: "It's hot, it's here, somebody else made it and other people think it tastes good, so Shut Up and Eat It."
CAMP NOTES: Our sister camp, Don't You Roll Your Eyes at Me, is a suggested prerequisite.
3. Don't You Roll Your Eyes at Me: This interactive, hands-on camp teaches your child the basics and importance of nonverbal communication. An extended day option will cover hands-on-hips, muttering-under-the-breath, door-slamming, exaggerated sighing and stomping up and down stairs.
CAMP NOTES: We reserve the right to reassign any campers not making progress by mid-week to Yes, Mom.
4. Bathroom Skills 101: This camp includes but is not limited to: changing the empty toilet paper roll (it's not that hard! we promise!); rinsing toothpaste out of the sink before it petrifies there and has to be removed with a chisel; the purpose and proper use of a bath mat; how to floss teeth without turning the mirror into an ode to Jackson Pollock; and last but certainly not least, flushing the goddamned toilet.
CAMP NOTES: Due to the scope of material covered, this is a two-week camp. We offer a 10 percent discount for any campers simultaneously enrolled in Yes, Mom and Don't You Roll Your Eyes at Me.
5. Don't Step Over It; PICK IT THE F*CK UP! On day one of this fun and enlightening camp, your child is introduced to a magical and possibly foreign concept: Their sh*t does NOT magically pick itself up all day, every day. This sporty camp will instruct kids on all of the many options available to them in the following real-world situations: The dirty laundry scattered about their bedroom like a stripper's castoffs; the wet towel on the bathroom floor; the stack of papers that fluttered from the counter when they raced by; the remote that fell out of their lap when they went to get more popcorn, so that you'd have something fun to clean up tomorrow.
CAMP NOTES: Kids hate the sh*t out of this camp. For that reason, it fills up quickly. We suggest registering immediately and then saving it for when you need a good, strong punishment, such as when your kid refuses to say Yes, Mom or just won't Shut Up and Eat It.
6. Be Nice to Your Brother/Sister: Fine, this one is essentially a week of bribery and threats. Consider it free babysitting.
CAMP NOTES: Good luck with that.
*NEW CAMPS ARE BEING ADDED WEEKLY, AND WE ARE OPEN TO SPECIAL REQUESTS! LET US CUSTOM-DESIGN A CAMP THAT'S PERFECT FOR YOUR KIDS!*
***SPECIAL NOTE*** Due to overwhelming demand, husbands can now be enrolled in any of our camps, too!
About the Author: Jenna McCarthy is an internationally published writer, TED speaker and the author of five books including If It Was Easy They'd Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living with and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-so-handy Man You Married. Find her at JennaMcCarthy.com.