I’m phoning in a thoroughly mediocre parenting performance. My husband is up in Vermont, admiring the panoramic mountain views (and possibly doing the odd ‘man chore’) while I am back home on the urban ranch, failing to complete the required health forms which are due at the Y summer camp, along with my daughter, in five hours. It has been hammered into my thick skull for years (though not, apparently, to any effect) that No child will be permitted on the camp grounds without an updated immunization form per the state health regulations of blah blah blah.
The really puzzling part is that I can’t find a single medical record for any of my three kids from the last 20 years. I did one of my gung-ho office overhauls a few weeks ago, ordered another round of lifestyle-enhancing crap from the office guru guy. There doesn’t seem to be much change in my lifestyle other than losing all our family’s medical records. I’ve been searching in the 39 possible places I might have filed a camp health form and come up with: Nada.
So, should play stupid or try for the free-rider, anti-vaccinating shtick? (What would Jenny McCarthy advise?) Or maybe I could do a hit-and-run and just drop my kid off and hightail it back up to Vermont before my incompetence is unveiled. (If memory serves, there’s a battle axe checker whose job is to publicly shame the parents who didn’t send the health forms to camp three months ago.) I’ve been searching and searching, I swear! I moved all my piles multiple times this evening. It’s hard work.
My desk is a meth lab of dysfunction. Among the detritus: two empty vials from the vet in which I was supposed to place chunks of my dogs’ feces so we can make sure they aren’t harboring life threatening parasites. This was on my to-do list weeks ago and my dogs may be dying of heart disease and malnutrition as I speak. Also: because I’ve failed to brush my dogs’ teeth with meat toothpaste, as instructed, I’m overdue to arrange an anesthesia-assisted deep cleaning the result of which could be the removal of several (or lots) of their teeth, according to the
charlatan vet whose “passion” is veterinary peridontal disease. Naturally, we can’t possibly know the extent of my pet-owning criminal negligence until we go for the full-on surgical (kaching!) approach. How 1950s to ask about the cost of such a procedure. Sparkling white doggy teeth? Priceless!
Anyway, back to neglected humans. The whole camp prep routine makes me insane, year after year. I don’t know why I can’t get my act together. I feel like a loser. I wait until the last minute to get everything together. We have hours of Target and Walmart and CVS drama. I can’t find the camera charger. I procure the wrong sweat pants. We have sub-optimally textured sheets and towels. All the other kids arrive with neat little trunks decorated in smiley faces and we roll in to camp with a car load of garbage bags, frayed nerves, and… no vaccination record.
These are First World Problems, I’m well aware. But even so, I wonder sometimes if the gatekeepers of camps and schools and all these other institutions forget how easy it is to look like an idiot without quite being one.