In an effort to be a good person and store up some much-needed karma points, I’m volunteering this week at gardening camp. Yes, it’s every bit as thrilling as it sounds. Our opening activity each day is to wash the trowels and our physical game is to go weed the large garden. Seriously, if I was an illegal immigrant, I’d be making 25-cents an hour to do this. I’m very much looking forward to the fact that my daughter has to have her wisdom teeth out this week because it gives me a great excuse to NOT go to gardening camp the last two days of the week.
NOTE: I am NOT a horrible person, but yes, I signed my older child up to have her wisdom teeth out tomorrow just because I can’t handle any more time spent with children who are allergic to the sun but whose mothers decided to sign them up for gardening camp anyway. Unless we’re going to teach the kids to grow marijuana hydroponically in their closets under grow lights (which I was all for, by the way, but the state funding for this camp wasn’t on board with it), you’re going to encounter the sun at gardening camp. We also have a few children whose mothers decided gardening camp was perfect for their kids because their kids have the social skills of a wet cardboard box, and plants can’t call you names or take your toys. As for my daughter, I’m making it up to her because she really wants her eyebrows waxed but she’s an even bigger chicken than her mother, so I’m going to pluck her eyebrows while she’s still under anesthesia.
I can handle the twenty-or-so kids who signed up for the camp (I’m pretty sure I should know how many there are, but meh…) and I can even handle the activities designed by a helicopter mom somewhere (the biggest camp rule is No Running… really? No running? At camp?). And we do get to go stick our feet in the creek every afternoon if everyone was good that day. But the thing getting me is the bugs.
We’ve got your typical mosquitoes and wasps buzzing overhead, and I am very proud of myself for not shitting every time a spider crawls out of the ground beneath the weeds I just helped some six-year-old harvest. But I think what’s freaking me out are their sheer numbers. Screw the zombies everybody keeps going on about, it’s the bugs that are going to organize. They’re plotting as we speak and they’ve got the numbers to back up their threats.
While my instinct is to start stomping like the cast of Riverdance with my size-11 shoes every time I see one, I have to realize that I’m setting a horrible example for the impressionable children, and it’s bad enough that their mothers have convinced them it’s not okay to venture outside to pick up the shovel they left on the ground without a fresh coating of sunscreen (seriously, I have one camper who’s allergic to hand gel… how in the world are you supposed to survive tetanusy things if you can’t use hand gel? We have to take her inside for the special soap her mama sent, because soap is also on her list of objects she can’t touch.)
In order to teach the kids a teensy bit of environmental responsibility, today’s lesson is on the environmental impact of killing even one little bug and the chain of events you could accidentally set in place. For now, I will forgo the discussions of time travel and the Dr. Who diagrams, and just tell the little beasties not to kill every single insect they see, and especially not to make that horrible high-pitched noise they use when they see one.