By Terri Lively
I just spent 40 minutes filling out forms for my kids to go to Day Camp. There are forms at school, at the doctor, at the dentist, at soccer, at gymnastics, and anywhere else you go. I find it hard to believe in today’s day and age that I still have to fill out forms for my children with paper and pen. Each time I am faced with this task a voice inside my head says, “Isn’t there an App for this?”
Nope. And so here we are 40 minutes later...
I am shocked that we haven’t abandoned this silliness by now. For goodness sakes, we are members at this facility, isn’t all this information already in the system? And what really has me spitting nails is that I already did forms like these when my daughter took Yoga class (I know, very California…they handed out banana shakes at the end of class. No, not really.) and my son played basketball there.
So when I got the phone call from the camp director saying she hadn’t received my forms, I was certain when I informed her that I had already done the form thing for those activities, that would be that. But I was wrong, naturally. Apparently there are a whole new slew of forms that they need specifically for Day Camp, to which I responded with a very cheerful, “Fabulous!”
It was in fact this cheerful tone that prompted my husband to hiss at me from across the room to “cool it.” He’s right though; we live in a small town. Chances are I will run into this lady at the gym or at Albertson's and I guess he thought she might not have been fooled by my cheery tone.
So I got to work. Right out of the gates, however, I started getting crabby when they asked for my home, work and mobile numbers. Do there really need to be three different phone number lines? Seriously, if you want to call someone and you don’t start with his or her mobile, I have to wonder if you should be allowed to use a phone anymore.
I fixed it though. I just wrote my mobile over and over again. In my case, however that is accurate since it is my mobile, my work, and my home number. But the phone number lines were just the beginning of the form hoops I jumped through this evening.
Here are five REALLY important things I had to fill out on the forms today:
Whether or not my female child had any abnormal menstrual history: Now I understand this question at the doctor’s office, when my daughter is at least 10! But she’s 6. Besides, this is NOT the doctor’s office. What is going on at Day Camp that my daughter’s menses needs to be on their radar anyway?
Whether or not my child has ever had problems with diarrhea or constipation: At the risk of revealing too much, who hasn’t? This seems like a silly question to me. Of course the wise acre in me really wants to tell them all about it in literary detail. Then, where it says on the form to please explain any “yes” answers, I would write, “Please see attached three page essay called, ‘Mom! I Just Peed out My Butt.’”
Supplemental Medication Packet: This one was one of my favorites because you have to sign the form even if your child doesn’t take medication (which, again, was covered on page 1, right after the three phone number lines). Now if your child has prescriptions they need to take and they have to take them at Day Camp, then by all means, fill out the form. But if they don’t take anything, is it seriously necessary to fill out a form and write, NO MEDS on it? Yup. Apparently it is. This particular form has the reek of lawyer all over it.
Permission for authorizing the use of sunscreen: Okay, in all fairness they said they need this one because of allergies and even though we covered this ad naseum on page 2 of my 12- page packet, I was willing concede that this form was legitimate. That is, until I read the line where it says, “I authorize the XXXX staff to directly apply the sunscreen to my child.” So I ask you, how does one apply sunscreen indirectly? Would that mean if I didn’t initial this spot that they would have to apply it like the perfume trick where you spray it in the air and walk through it? Seriously people.
Release and waiver of liability and indemnity agreement: This is where they try to get you to say that it isn’t their fault if your child gets seriously injured or killed on their watch. Let's just be clear, Day Camp, I'll sign that I'm not gonna sue the pants off of you if you seriously injure or kill my child…but it does not say anywhere that I am not going to go medieval on your a$$. And let's also be clear, I would definitely consider going medieval on your a$$…right before I go ahead and sue the pants off of you anyway, liability and indemnity agreement or not.
I just glanced at the top sheet and realized that I had better go get the white out. On the first page after I wrote out my husband’s information and it asked “Relationship”, I responded “Great!” I have a feeling that might be the kind of cheerful that he was worried about…