Thursday, May 08, 2008

"Beef Ramen Noodles! It's What's for Dinner!" or 10 Tips for When Your College Students Come Home for the Summer

As I write this, Jorge is on his way to the kids' school (about 30 miles away) to bring our college students home. The boy is home for the summer, and the girl is home for a couple of weeks until her first apartment lease kicks in.

There are some things you need to remember as your kids come home from college. Moms of toddlers, take notes, and welcome to your future.

#1. Try to remember the exact date they're coming home. I actually thought they were coming in two weeks from now or so, but SURPRISE! It's today. It's right now. (Can you tell I've been through this before? The first year, I counted down the hours and minutes until our girl was home. Now I'm more laid back. Which leads to the next tip.)

#2. Get more food. Lots more.

#3. Do your own laundry before they get home because they will have a semi truck-load full to be done. Last week my son ran out of quarters. That is not a good sign.

#4. Get more toilet paper. I don't care how much you have; I said get some more. Stick it in any cabinet, bookshelf, car trunk or crawl space, because you will need more toilet paper. All the time.

#5. Practice parking in your driveway. Sound easy? Pretend there are twelve cars in your driveway, and then try to park. Because not only will the college cars be there, but the friends' cars will be there, too. That's a good thing. Really it is. I'm just sayin', practice squeezing your car into a space big enough for a Power Wheels Barbie car.

#6. Get some more food. I don't care how much you already went and purchased per tip #2. Go get some more. You will never have enough. College students are used to going through lines and ordering all kinds of food, whatever they feel like that day. Gone are the days of college students subsisting on ramen noodles. They eat like kings now. Except around here. They eat like college students in days of yore around here. In fact, just to hit them with a cold, hard, real-life moment, I may prepare ramen noodles for dinner tonight, and not just because I can't cook much else. It's because life is tuff.

#7. Be prepared to Tivo your favorite TV shows because your favorite show may not be ESPN 24/7 or "Grey's Annoying Me."

#8. Be prepared for the younger siblings to enlist the college kids to whisper jokes about you and smirk at you right before your very eyes because their allies are home and there is finally someone who will appreciate the jokes made at your expense.

#9. Be prepared to give the talk, "This house is not your dorm room" in order to establish and maintain some kind of order and cleanliness throughout the summer.

#10. Prepare to re-give said talk 85,000 times this summer.

Bonus Tip: Buy more food.

PS: Just in case you're wondering ... I'm crazy about my kids, and I can't wait for them to get here.

There's nothing like looking at this picture and realizing that little boy is still somewhere inside this young man.

And the little ballerina is still inside the sharp young woman. They will always be my babies.

Especially my baby. Now I've gone and gotten all sentimental. I can't help it ... they're almost home! Moms of toddlers: Give your babies extra hugs tonight-- Tomorrow they will be signing leases and applying for jobs!


Mike said...

Beef ramen noodles. My favorite, too.


Sarah said...

I'm laughing and crying!! Your kids are beautiful...and I'm gonna hug my 6,5, and 2 yr old extra tight tonight. Thanks Linda :)

Ann said...

Linda, I loved this post! I got emotional at the end too! The pictures of your kids when they were little along side their current pictures, so sweet. And they are home, just in time for Mother's Day YAY!

Oh the ramen. What were those little plug-in pots called that we cooked them in? Do they still even make those? Hot pot? I can't remember. But I do remember how we would sit in the hall of our dorm and fling ramen at the wall and see who's noodles would slide down to the floor first, ramen noodle races. Isn't it comforting to know they are so well fed now? And I was so cracking up at the thought that your son ran out of quarters last week! Oh man you will have some serious loads this weekend! Have a super fabulous weekend! (And don't forget to watch Lost! I decided not to boycott it. again.)

marina said...

linda,thats what happen to me after my daughter first year in college "what's for dinner,I am hungery, is there anything good to eat yes they eat all the time,sometimes I look at her and can't belive how fast she grew so now I what to take it nice and slow with my son ,however when he comes home from college I will be a little old lady LOL!! marina

Susanne said...

I'll be there soon enough. Sigh.

PJ said...

Get more toilet paper!!!! ROTFL I needed a laugh today. (My married thirty-something kids still hit the fridge or the candy jar when they think I'm not looking. And the granddaughters first words are "I'm hungry" everytime they step through the door.) I love it!!

Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) said...

Since I'm certain to be up with one or more of my offspring tonight, I will indeed give them an extra hug. And then threaten their life if they don't stay in bed!

Beautifully said, Linda.

HisPrincess said...

Mine aren't college students yet, but they are teenagers and I can really relate to the food and toilet paper. What are they doing with the toilet paper? I don't think their backsides are proportionately larger?

Luckily we live on a farm so I don't have to worry about squeezing the cars in, we have plenty of room which is a great thing because parking isn't one of my talents!

SweetPea said...

Good post. I love the humor. The pictures did make me feel the pain of sadness a mother must feel as the children grow up and out.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Beverly Lewis said...

All true. Going for more food daily too. Every stage of the journey is fun.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm all about having some fun, so I welcome you brilliant humorists in blog land! I "amen" your sentiment about buying more food. My son returned home last week. We ate around 5:00 this evening, and by 8:00, he and his 16 year old brother were ordering a pizza! Welcome home son.

The fattened calf is gone. We killed him to pay for your tuition!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I've visited you before, but I don't think I've left a comment.


Kelley said...

These are all sooo true but number 6 is the one that kills me. I am so relieved to know this is normal and that you have experienced it too. I am not the only one wearing a giant target that says "Gang Up AND Make Fun!!!"

The pictures are so cute! It kills me how fast time flies and they grow up. Enjoy your time with them. My college girl is splitting her time between home and apartment this summer. I miss her a lot!

Ang baylis said...

Amen, Amen & Amen! I was happy to hear about #8. I thought it was just me! And... I wish I had a camera there when he pulled in the driveway. Apparently there were no boxes or bags or anything to put his clothes in because when the door opened, dirty laundry feel everywhere! Needless to say, they didn't smell very good! Nothing like the smell of sweaty boy! I'm like you in that I love my kids and am so happy when they come home! I loved the pictures!!!
Have fun and cherish every moment!
Angie xoxo

Cyndy said...

Okay...(sniff)...I am so going to cry now...Son is twelve and I KNOW that all this is just around the corner...I think it was the picture of the little guy in the diapers walking down the beach that did...(sniff)'kay gotta go get some kleenex...(sniff)

Life In Progress said...

How sweet was this post! I'm so thankful for friends (real-life & bloggy) who remind me to enjoy where I am because it all goes so very quickly.

Now, quit reading comments and GO BUY FOOD!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Ohhh....makes me sad just thinking about it, and my baby is only 2!

So I'm taking notes....and giving extra hugs.

sara said...

Ok, this is exactly what I needed to hear!! My college daughter will be home next week....i am going to print out your post and keep it taped to my planner!!! ha! Thanks for the tips.....and the laughter!!

Mocha with Linda said...

Okay, between you and Vicki Courtney, whose college boy is coming home, I'm gonna go buy stock in kleenex and surround myself with the baby albums.

How can days go so slow and years just zooooom?!

GreenishLady said...

You have it so right on the "buy more food... more food... no, really, buy MORE food", and on the toilet-paper, too. But you forgot to say: Clear out your fridge, because there will be lots of shelf-space required for all the extra things your young person will HAVE to have that will require refrigeration - like a case of drinks for when friends come over, etc.

Debbie said...

Then they get jobs & get married & maybe move away. The silver lining is that then they have babies of their own!!!

Lelia Chealey said...

Tears stinging my eyes I can't wait to get home to kiss & hug on Amiyah. Oh wait, she's the granddaughter...note to self: remember you have your own kids, one of which is 6 & wants the hugs/kisses you pour on the baby.
Thanks for the reminder sweet.

Sing4joy said...

You had me laughing all the way through and somehow teary at the end. (Took notes too - Buy more food. Buy more toilet paper. See?)
I am not far from the college years. *sigh*

Kim said...

I'm laughing right now but at the same time I'm scared. I only have one child but he is already acting like some of these "items" and he's only 8 years old! YIKES!

Thanks for posting has made my evening.

annie's eyes said...

You captured so much of what having the kids home again means. It does go so quickly doesn't it! Loved this post, and related entirely too well to the private jokes between them at mom and dad's expense. Nothing like the schooling of higher education to help them know so much more. I just made my store run for the onslaught which started today. Happy Mother's Day, Linda...I, like you, wouldn't trade a moment of it, yet timing is good again in September. Love you, Annette

truth said...

That was so much fun to read. #8 is the one that gets me at my house. But I love to see the comaraderie of the troops when they get together-even when it means I'm the one that's left out of the laughs.

kittyhox said...

Okay, that's not fair. First you had me laughing, then all of a sudden you pulled out:

"There's nothing like looking at this picture and realizing that little boy is still somewhere inside this young man."

...and my eyes are watering.

I'd better have twelve kids so I always have a little one around. I can't take the thought of my two-year-old marching off to college! I want him to live at home with me forever. Not really. But sort of.

Enjoy your babies!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

But, at least they will be wiping their own heinies while they are doing it.