I know what you're thinking. Impossible, right?
But I'm here to tell you it can be done. I am almost sure.
With only a week to go before Teenage Summer Camp closes for
repairs the season, we are on track to pull it off.
We may even come in slightly under budget, as long as butter prices remain stable.
Two 15-year-old boys are the biggest challenge. There's about 12 feet of boy altogether, which holds about as much liquid as the diving end of a public swimming pool.
Milk, juice and 12-packs of every variety disappear as fast as you can say "If I catch you drinking out of the container again, I am going to shut down your online medieval butchery and send you outside to climb trees and drink from the hose just like we did when we were kids, before there was vitamin water."
Their sisters go through butter, flour and sugar as if they are running a cupcake factory. Which is an exaggeration by a degree of roughly a dozen cupcakes.
Even so, we've discovered a few tricks to keep costs to just this side of ruinous:
(Actual results may vary.)
1. Ignore their pleas for every fast food offering in a 25-mile radius as long as possible. (My record to beat: halfway home from the airport.)
2. Minimize grocery shopping. For example, this week, we limit ourselves to one trip per day, not counting the search for little paper umbrellas and cupcake ingredients the girls need for their ongoing project, Destroying the Kitchen with Martha Stewart.
3. Have the children help in meal planning by inviting them to create their own grocery lists.
4. Discard the children's grocery lists which contain nothing but Pop Tarts, breakfast cereal and ice cream flavors.
5. Shop for store brands with names like "Always Save," "Dirt Cheap," and "Mommy Doesn't Love You Enough."
6. Prepare to defend your purchase of store brand "toaster pastries" against such fierce protests you will start to believe they can actually distinguish one partially hydrogenated vegetable oil product from another, until you remember that these are kids who believe goldfish taste like cheese.
7. Craig Claiborne's basic pancake recipe: One quadruple batch makes enough pancakes for four teenagers to put four times as many on their plates as they can actually eat. Snatch some back and you won't have to make pancakes again until the day after tomorrow. Or possibly yesterday.
8. Let them eat cupcakes.
Photo: Shark-infested sea of cupcakes by Martha Stewart and the Whimsy Twins.
Postcards from the summer camp archives: Teenage wasteland
A day spent forcibly undergoing spa treatments at the hands of two tween girls is no day at the spa
Admit it. You thought the shark infested cupcakes were kind of cute. As a matter of fact, I bet they were your idea and after the girls walked away, you secretly rearranged them.
Posted by: Paulita | June 26, 2010 at 02:35 AM
Nope, having dealt with the Whimsy Twins once or twice myself I can vouch for the fact that they probably came up with the Shark Infested Sea of Cupcakes all by themselves. Left alone at my house for half an hour they came up with their own Hamster Tennis match, using Alex's hamster and the ping pong table. I intervened before the SPCA was called but not before the hamster learned first hand the meaning of match point. Playing out their fantasies in cupcakes actually shows a huge leap in maturity for those two. Less possible jail time...depending on what's actually IN the cupcakes...
Posted by: nthnglsts | June 26, 2010 at 08:03 AM
You would have more luck rearranging actual sharks than attempting to intervene in a Whimsy Twins production. It's best to just save your energy for butter slick mitigation and/or hamster rehab.
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | June 26, 2010 at 08:44 AM
really-- I love the book idea (Destroying the Kitchen...)--you need another project
Posted by: LK | July 12, 2010 at 05:19 PM
I think that will be the title of the girls' cookbook...
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | July 12, 2010 at 05:48 PM