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Dear Mommy Shorts,

Can you please write a blog post addressing the annoying theme days at camp? So far, my son has had to dress up like a super hero (it’s been 90 degrees!), a pirate (who the heck has pirate costumes lying around?), and tomorrow is Hollywood Day. What does that even mean??? He’s 3 1/2 yrs old. Am I the only one that hates this? Am I a terrible mom because sometimes he’s the only one who doesn’t dress up? HELP!

Sincerely, Andrea

Dear Andrea,

No! You are not a terrible mom! Or at least not the only terrible mom because I forget about costume days at camp all the time too! I mean it should be easy to remember costume days because literally EVERY DAY at camp is a costume day, but who the hell has 8 weeks worth of costumes in their house? Do they expect us to buy a costume for each totally made up day?

I always find out about the theme of the day that morning and then I’m left scrambling around the house. I mean, yes, there is a printed calendar on our fridge, but who looks at that thing ahead of time?

We skipped Super Hero Day (by accident) and totally ignored Harry Potter Day (Mazzy doesn’t even know what that is) and on Favorite Team Day, I actually had to talk Mazzy out of wearing a Giants t-shirt that was three sizes too small. On Crazy Hat Day, I stuck a bunch of pipe cleaners in Mazzy’s baseball cap, which was great until the pointy wires started sticking into her skull on the ride to camp. She opted to leave her Crazy Hat in the car when I dropped her off. 

Last year, I was notorious for forgetting to check the calendar and having to come back home to cobble something together. Or grab a Princess costume. Or her pajamas. One morning, Mazzy picked up an empty paper towel roll and said, “This will work!” and brought it to camp. I didn’t understand what she was doing until we got there and all the other kids were showing off their fancy Pirate costumes. And there was Mazzy happily looking through her paper towel holder, aka her makeshift telescope. I have never felt like such a half-assed parent in my life. 

Camp Color Week (where each day of the week is designated to a specific color) is almost more impossible than costume days because Mazzy doesn’t own anything that isn’t pink. This is a problem of her own making because I stopped buying other colors after she refused to wear them. Mazzy conveniently forgets this fact when it’s Yellow Day and she asks to wear a yellow shirt and shorts.


“WHYYYYY NOT????!!!!!”

Because I’ve gone to great pains to buy you clothes you will actually wear 365 days a year minus the one day the word “yellow” is on the camp calendar.

Because my camp theme track record is pretty abysmal, I actually ordered Mazzy a witch costume on Amazon for Halloween in July Day— the one day she could have picked anything from her dress-up bin, except she wanted to go as something scary. “How about a ghost?” I suggested, knowing I had a sheet in the house, although cutting up my good sheets for one minute of wear at camp seems pretty extreme. “No! A Witch!” Thankfully, this conversation happened a few days ahead of time which allowed ample time for delivery.

I did notice that when Mazzy showed up in her full-on store-bought witch costume that most of the kids had gone the half-assed route. There was a “gymnast” who was just a girl in a sparkly leotard. There was an Incredible Hulk who had green make-up with brown lines on her face but otherwise dressed totally normal. There was a kid with a pirate patch that looked like the mom had cut one side of a sleep mask off. And then there was a doctor who was wearing a white t-shirt with a stethoscope drawn around his neck with a sharpie.

So, I guess I’m saying most of the moms are half-assing their kid’s camp costumes; you’re just not noticing because you’re too embarrassed looking at your own horrible handiwork.

For Hollywood Day, I suggest a regular outfit with a pair of sunglasses. Someone once told me the most important people in Hollywood are always the least dressed up people in the room.

Take that and run with it.

XO, Mommy Shorts

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