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On the 12th Day of Christmas, My College Kid Gave to Me (aka Why Winter Break Should be SHORT)

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

Actual image of the boy man's room

 You know the tune, sing it with me…On the twelfth day of Christmas, my college kid gave to me… 

Twelve dirty dishes

(in the sink. Every damn day. Who am I kidding, every damn meal, which apparently happens every damn hour)

Eleven pizza dinners

(not a complaint, I would have been fine with more)

Ten loads of laundry

(which he tried to shove in the machine all at the same time)

Nine lights left glaring

(even though I incessantly nag him about this)

Eight missing tumblers

(the good insulated, lifetime warranty ones I love)

Seven sweaty socks

(found under his bed, days after he left)

Six late nights worrying

(which was really all my fault. I said ‘text me before you come home.’ What I meant was text me by midnight so I know you’re still alive)


(shower curtain rings. I have no idea how in the name of all that is holy this happens)

Four clogged toilets

(it’s an old house and he’s, well, he’s a boy man…who bought 11 pounds of ham)

Three ripped shirts

(shocked there weren’t more)

Two stained rugs

(the brand new ones I bought after Wags the dog’s “great brown out of 2018” incident)

and semester grades with only one C!

(sweet…we’ll take it!)

Still have college kids at home? I feel you. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my boy man with all of my heart and soul. He is one of the greatest joys of my life, and I miss him like crazy when he’s away at school. But at 22, it’s time for ‘away at school’ to be the passing of the baton it was always meant to be. As in here, take it, take it, take it, please, please, PLEASE take the damn baton. It’s time. 

When he’s away, it’s just us girls (and Wags) here, so sometimes we have soup for dinner. Or lentil salad. That does not fly with the boy man.

Which he told us after being home for all of 4 minutes:”I feel like you guys don’t even eat when I’m not here.” Followed by “can I use your card to get some groceries?” I said sure and thought he’d get you know, actual groceries.

This is what he bought: smoked ham, honey ham, pepper ham, turkey ham (how is that a thing?), a giant $50 spiral cut ham, pepperoni, hot Italian sausage, ground beef, ground bison, regular bacon, thick sliced bacon, center cut bacon, whole milk and swiss cheese*.

*not a cardiac approved diet. *holy meat sweats.

Somehow he also managed to use my debit card to eat at Chipotle, Five Guys, Chick-fil-A, Mod Pizza, Subway, Jersey Mike’s, Billy Pie  (local RVA peeps you HAVE to try this awesome joint), Buffalo Wild Wings, Panda Express and Smoothie King (at least there may have been some fruit involved in that one). It was a winter tastecation. And now that he’s back in school, my debit card needs a serious vacation.

Having college kids at home is NOT budget friendly.

I did manage to get a clerk at J. Crew to give me the “college student discount” after I wondered out loud why the kids were getting the discount and the parents weren’t. I appreciated that break, but college parent discounts should be an actual thing at way more vendors. Like every grocery store (Trader Joe’s, I’m talking to you). If your kids are still home, all I can say is hang tough, when they leave you’re getting a raise.

And possibly a new house.

Definitely a new bathroom. I have clean towels (on towel racks) every morning now. And I can take a warm (or even a hot) shower. There’s a full roll of toilet paper on the holder, the bath mat is not sopping wet, my toothpaste  doesn’t look like it was mauled by bears and the hand towel no longer lives on the floor. 

My phone charger is exactly where I left it. So is the remote. And the throw pillows, the couch throw and the couch. I don’t know how, but all of our furniture gets shoved around every time he’s home. It’s like he’s five and making pillow forts again. But this time barbecue sauce, chocolate, peanut butter and something that smells like coffee (how brave/stupid was I to  smell it?) got spilled on the fort.

I can’t have nice things. 

Or sleep. No parent with college kids at home is getting any sleep. I got woken up about every 2 hours. Usually by rummaging in the kitchen.  And the loudest microwave on the planet. Who eats this much?? And why does bacon have to be involved in every meal? If I have to clean bacon grease off the stove one more time, I’m getting rid of it. I don’t need to cook anything. I can live off apples and Lara bars. 

But I can’t live without sleep. This is why every college should have a winter session, mini-mester, or whatever you call it when the winter break is short and sweet like God intended it to be. That way our kids can go back while we all still like each other, and we can start missing them again by January 5th (otherwise known as the twelfth day of Christmas). 

For anyone who isn’t there yet, hold on. And read this mom’s hilarious list of the 15 reasons she’s glad her college kids are going back to school. She is my spirit animal. Hang tough parents, spring semester is coming.*

*And parents of high schoolers, spring SATS are coming too. Fast. Got prep?


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