Becky's Book Club, Blame, and Bribing...
Ok, this isn't really a book club. I'm not the type of person who can commit myself to something like that. But here are the three books that I've read in Provence that I highly recommend.
1) Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein. I suppose one would classify this as "chick lit" but a very good kind of chick lit. Loved it. Not too taxing on the brain and wanting to keep reading.
2) Love in the Present Tense, by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Picked this up because author wrote Pay it Forward (which most of you would probably know from the awesome movie) I loved this book so much. Stayed up half the night reading it. In fact, will buy all of her books now.
3) Amy and Isabelle, by Elizabeth Strout. Another great book. Picked it up because it's about a mother/daughter relationship, but so much more. Amazing.
I just love when I pack three books and I love them all! It's the little things in life like that that make me happy, happy, happy. Pre-Dictator, I swear, my luggage would include, um, ten books or so.
But I do feel like my brain has turned to mush since having The Dictator. I thought three would be enough. It's not.
And, now, I'm out of books and still have a couple days left of vacation.
So I will be reading an autobiography by John Daly. He's a golfer, with a foul mouth and gambling issues. So maybe it's not really about golf (cross fingers, cross fingers.) I bought it for The Fiance. But, hey, you never know.
Now, I've been calling home to check on The Dictator, of course.
She started her first week of camp this week. Swimming camp. I was distraught, to say the least, when on her first two days, I heard she came home and refused to swim and her lunch hadn't been touched.
She loves swimming. The gal needs to eat! I didn't get it.
The Dictator is an October Baby, which means we were forced to make that decision to either keep her back or push her a bit forward. I chose to push her a bit forward. So, yes, some of the campers are a tad older than her.
And, yes, she actually can't really eat by herself yet (You have to open everything for her) and she's mostly toilet trained (but not entirely) and she can't swim on her own. (Someone has to watch her!)
So I freaked. And what does a mother who is so far away do when she hears something like this? Well, of course. I had to blame someone.
I was one second away from calling the camp, or sending a pushy e-mail saying, "What the hell is going on over there? She's not swimming and it's swim camp and she's not eating a thing. She's not even three! Someone should be HELPING HER!!!!"
If I were there, I'd have taken her in myself and had a little talking to the counselors. In a very nice, charming, flash my pearly whites way. (Then I would have spied on them!)
Yes, I will be VERY pushy. Especially when it comes to my child!
And, also, I hate to say this but we did buy the school a bus (or part of a bus, when they called telling me their bus for the school broke down and would I mind donating money.) I swear, I was so mad. I rather buy a couple of good counselors.
Sure, they'll call to ask me to donate for a bus, but when it comes to making sure my child is having fun at camp, where are they?
But, on her third day, my mother reported to me that The Dictator did swim and ate a couple Fruit Loops for lunch.
We had to send her to camp wearing her bathing suit (My suggestion, thank you very much...) and had my mother speak to counselors explaining she doesn't know how to open things by herself.
I didn't call or e-mail. I held back.
I learned that The Dictator does fancy one of the younger "counselors in training," who is 13, and will go swimming with her.
Then, after my initial, PHEW, I thought, "OK, THAT counselor in training will be getting a nice gift certificate to Lululemon, because she is taking care of my child!"
So, yes, maybe there does need to be some bribing involved. I'm not sure. But you can bet your bum that I will be getting that counselor in training the gift certificate.
And, also, when I get back, I will be spying when she goes to art camp. I know. But, have you ever spied on your kids from behind a tree?
This parenting thing, I swear, has so many layers. It's so political, isn't it?