Camp Storch
The Week's Stunning Accomplishments

The Summer House Rules

Dear boys,

I understand the past week or so has been a lot of extra...togetherness for us all. I understand it has been heavy on the "let's kick it around the house while Mommy works and yells a lot" and light on the "let's get the hell out of this house before we kill each other," and believe me, I'm working on it. As God is my witness, there will be camp. Just probably not for all of you, and not at the same time, and regardless, we still gotta focus on not murdering each other anyway, probably, because REASONS. 

Again, I take full responsibility for my own failings here — I keep talking big talk about taking you places but then remembering that there are three of you and psyching myself out because being that outnumbered in public still scares the crap out of me — but I do think I have observed a few specific behaviors that I would like y'all to work on, both as a collective herd of wild animals and as individual special snowflakes. 

1) Cups. Boys, the cup usage situation is out of control. It is B-A-N-A-N-A-S, as the kids might have said 10 years ago. You may not believe this, but cups are actually reusable. I know! Crazy. Also totally bananas. Maybe G-R-A-P-E-S or P-I-N-E-A-P-P-L-E-S, even. 

But it is true. If you get yourself a drink of water, then take one swallow, the water and the cup do not immediately need to be hurled into the sink as UNCLEAN, UNCLEAN. And then a fresh cup is not required 20 minutes later for your next drink of water. Likewise, if your cup has juice in it, and you decide you would like more juice, you can simply refill the cup. The same goes for just about every liquid imaginable! And don't even get me started on the possibility of rinsing a cup out and then refilling it with a completely different beverage of your choice! IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. 

2) Bowls and plates and utensils. See above, more of the same. I don't even understand what you're putting in and on all these bowls and plates — you appear to mostly be eating things directly out of boxes, snack pouches and other wrappers, given the evidence strewn all over the kitchen counter — but you've GOT to stop dirtying up an entire service for 12 every single day by lunchtime. If I unload the dishwasher and there are already more dishes piled up in the sink than will fit in a single load, you are using too many damn dishes. 

Yes, I could buy disposable plates and utensils, but frankly, I don't think the planet can handle that level of garbage. I mean, we've all seen Wall-E. Get it together, guys.

3) Toilet seat. Put it down. Come on. Also, AIMING. Please work on that. It's starting to get full-on public-restroom-in-the-subway up in here, and I really think we can do better. Let's at least shoot for "public restroom, but like, a nice one."

4) Toilet stuff, cont. This technically only applies to one of you, who I shall not call out by name but I think we all know who I'm talking about, but for the love of God, going to the bathroom does NOT require you to fully strip off your shoes, pants and underwear every. Single. Time. Particularly if you then require assistance to get your shoes, pants and underwear back on every. Single. Time. This Bizarro George Costanza stuff needs to stop, immediately. 

5) Speaking of pants, cont. While I would very much prefer that you refrain from answering the front door without my presence and okay — it's not just a safety thing, but also we keep getting Jehovah's Witnesses and I'm tired of politely explaining that we're not interested because we're busy worshiping Xenu Satan — at the very, very least, if you DO open the front door, please make sure that you are at least wearing pants. Okay, fine. Please just have underwear on, bare minimum. See? I'm flexible.

6) Stop fighting. Stop fighting. Stop fighting.

7) No, seriously. Stop fighting.

8)  Stop...I don't know. Doing whatever you're doing that's making him scream like that. Are you looking at him? Then STOP LOOKING AT HIM.

9) Seriously. I have no idea what happened or who I should punish but SOMEBODY is going to their room, okay?

10) The next person who whines about being bored and/or having nothing to do will get two (2) grade-appropriate math worksheets printed off the Internet to complete as a non-optional activity. So. You know. Maybe go play outside while I stay here, quietly morphing more and more into my own mother, because I said so, because somebody's gonna get hurt, because you were not raised in a barn, because I am not your maid, etc.


Your Mother

P.S. So apparently we also should have discussed why you don't spray people who are inside the house with the garden hose from outside the house. My bad. Clear oversight on my part, OBVIOUSLY. I will amend this list and get you an updated version later. Let me just rinse out my wine glass. 



I have two home with me for the summer. Ages 11 and 6. so they can fully self entertain. but they INSIST on being in the same room where I'm trying to work. Squealing and being loud. Gah. School starts when?


When I was a kid, my brother and I each had a specific cup to use - they were identical to keep us from fighting, and mom sharpied our names on them. Then she locked the cabinet containing the other cups. Just a thought...


Sooo relatable. I broke down and purchased Mario Kart 8=all 3 boys together in harmony at least for their allotted screen time.

When my boys suggest the possibility of boredom I suggest it is time to go through closets, drawers, the basement to find toys to donate. Problem solved.

I have given up on the bathroom- it is just gross all of the time, and all 3 of my boys do the total nudity required to go #2 routing. What is this? Very weird indeed. I blame their fathers genetics, though as far as I know he does his business with at least some clothes on. Don't ask don't tell....


I also have a kid that insists on stripping naked before going to the bathroom. Why ?!?!?


I would like to suggest that there are significant benefits accruing from small children answering the front door w/o pants. We, for example, have not received any visits from proselytizers for 24 years. To be completely clear, 24 years ago there was the incident of the naked 3 year old....


The ps made me snort water through my nose. Oy. you are a brave woman. This? Is why I started finding camps around Thanksgiving like a crazy person. When I complain about it this fall...I'll try and remember why.


Blah, blah, blah, heard it from 1970 to 1984 except you forgot the towels. Towels can be used more than once and if it's a swimming towel, it dries and only one towel a day.


You still have the strength and presence of mind to rinse out your wine glass? You're fiiiiine :D


Hilarious. Dont forget about stay either outside or inside, not in-out-in-out all day long. Slam! goes the door on the way out. Slam! goes the door on the way in. GAH.
You want it to be quiet, but then when you realize its too quiet its scary because OMG what are they DOING NOW?


I know, I KNOW we shouldn't use the paper products BUT OH MY GAH THE LAZINESS. Plus, we don't have a dishwasher (except me. I keep trying to enlst the girls' help but are these girls really mine? These oh, I didn't see that big ass dried up splat of spaghetti on the plate that I put away like it was clean -- are these kids mine? I am prett sure I taught better than that. So, paper. But, minimize the paper, children. Write your name on the cup so it doesn't get mixed up/tossed and REUSE IT. ALL DAY. MAYBE EVEN TOMORROW. I KNOOOOOOOOOOW. It's fascinatng.

Also, you'll put your eye out and are you air conditioning the house with that freezer door open?


I also have a strip naked to use the toilet boy child. But at least he will put his clothes back on. Sometime. Maybe.

Sara M

BEST. POST. EVER. So relatable on so many levels for so many of my kids. (I also have 3.)


Totally don't understand the stripping down for potty thing. My girl is weird too.


Took the kids (2 girls 4 & 12 - 2 boys 8 &10) to the movies. We stopped at the rest-rooms on the way out and soon enough everyone was accounted for except 8 yr old boy. I sent his brother into the restroom to see what was up and he came out and crowed into the lobby ''HE IS COMING, HE JUST HAS TO GET DRESSED'' He...NOOOOO, HE DIDN'T! Oh but he did, he stripped down to nothing THEN did his business. Child, NO! At home, whatever. In public, please keep your clothes mostly on.


I am still working on the cup thing with my 28 yr old husband...the struggle is real

I recommend making them wash dishes but they might be a little young


Pshaw, just get another wine glass!

Another one here with a kid who has to strip naked to use the toilet, and needs help getting dressed again.

Also, the "you can't be outside naked" rule is frustratingly hard to enforce.


YES! And I would just like to personally thank you for making me feel better about my children (only in that they are EXACTLY like this and it helps my spirit to know they are not mutant screaming naked toilet messing monsters of a variety that no one else has ever had to put up with).


Henceforth and forthwith, all males under the age of 25 must use the "sit and poke" method for urination. If urine drizzle is found, then all males under the age of 25 (all of whom may claim they didn't do it) will be required to stop playing and learn the wonders of spraying and wiping with CLEANING materials instead of BIOLOGICAL ones. (Good luck. Still working on this one.)


Every summer morning,, my poor mother of 4 would put a cup on the table in front of each of us and say "this is your cup for the day, if you lose it, drink from the hose". Eventually she had to do a similar bread-line technique with spoons too because they were disappearing. Years later she found them all in the backyard shed. Sorry mom, I have no idea.


I, too, have the privilege of working from home. And generally love the convenience. But, oh, the hell days of summer. Kids are mostly grown now, but I still have a residual tic from summer survival with them around. Always around. And their friends around. Typing frantically while the baby slept, then typing with her on my lap. Lordy. Trust me, this too shall pass. But I won't kid you, it will seem like forever. My best piece of advice: hire a sitter for a few hours so you can work. That, and lock yourself in the bathroom. They'll pass you notes through the door, but at least you'll be alone!


Ha! I also have a "naked pooper" and yes, it's, um interesting? Although now she's 5 and can undress/dress herself so it's not as annoying. But what the heck is she going to do when she's at school all day next year?!

Nikita Arora

I likes Summer Days very much. When I was Kid Me and my Family gone to Holiday on our House. My mom gave me cup of tea every morning. those are such a nice days.


Praise Cheebus, I'm so with you on the on the mystery of reusable cups, dishes and flatware. I have seriously considered labeling a cup for each person and hiding the rest. And somehow, in the last few weeks, we have lost all of our butter knives. Just gone. No idea where. Sigh.


LOL! Loved this.. and all very true! Boys!


From this post, I can only assume you live at my house. Especially 8 and 9. Here's hoping we all live through the summer :)


Yes, oh hell yes. GEZUS.


We have four stainless steel water bottles (Klean Kanteen FTW!) stored in a low drawer for my 2 boys to choose from. All of our regular drinking glasses (we don't use plastic cups) are out of reach - well, unless they climb up on the counter, which they have been known to do. If they're thirsty, they get their water bottle and fill it up. We don't drink juice - one less thing for me to keep track of.

Also, as "green" as I try to be, I will never be without Clorox wipes for the bathroom - my 5 yo has miraculously good aim and my 3 yo still sits to pee so it's not too bad, but still. I get them free at work - if I had to buy them I'd get 7th Generation or Method.

I agree that letting the door be opened by non-pants wearers is actually probably the best way to prevent future solicitors...

Leigh Ann

I have 3 girls, but otherwise, this describes my summer so far TO A TEE. Not even exaggerating. Even the bathroom parts.


Wait, you're using a GLASS? I mean, its almost a few weeks into summer - I abandoned the wine glass itself a long time ago....


No need to rinse if you are filling it with more of the same ;)


OMG the ps is awesome (well, not if it's your house, but yes because I can totally see that one happening at my house)


I love #4! Claire does this all the time - I have no idea why she needs to do this!


I feel you on every one of these points! Printing a copy to post for my boys. Fear won't make a difference in the least but I will feel better. Plus WINE!


Since summer has started my middle son has started praying, "And please help Mommy not be so angry all the time..."


I am printing this out and putting it on my fridge..... for my teenagers. Sorry, I know this wont make you feel any better..... It does not get any better. With the exception of #9...... not naked but compression shorts... I DO NOT want to see my teenage sons walking around in only compression shorts!


oh and number 4 does not apply to teenagers. But the do spend a long time in the bathroom. I would like to think they are only getting dressed again....


Yeah, Allie, I have teenagers, too. And it doesn't get any better. I told my husband yesterday that it was easier when they were toddlers, because I didn't expect them to be reasonable and responsible. I know, my own fault for expecting anything...
The dishes and the fighting are driving me crazy! And they went through three gallons of milk last week---just two of them! Gah! Unbelievable how much they manage to eat! (And do NOT believe that crap that girls eat less. Not my experience, at all!)
And to think that I was looking forward to summer...


Number 4 had me bursting because that is so our life here. We've progressed to redressing without assistance, but bathroom activity in the buff is still the norm.

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