Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Summer Camp!

After Camp - Day 1
I signed both boys up for a week of separate summer camps this week. I thought it would do them both good to meet new friends and be adventurous and be outside all day.

I knew Jack would love it and he does. He's fishing, watching bugs, going to the zoo and playing in the gym. My only worry is that he'll wish he could go the whole summer and be upset that he's not.

I'll be honest I was dreading taking Daniel to his camp even though he told me back in May he'd do it. I don't think I blogged about this but at his end of year pre-k picnic he refused to get out of the car, cried his eyes out and we had to drive home. Well-meaning people coming over to the car to try and encourage him to get out just made it worse. So I was thoroughly expecting the same thing, especially since this would be a new place with new people.  I've been building up to it for weeks. I mean really - how do you make a 5-year old do something he's frightened of? It's not like they are being disrespectful, they are just terrified!

As fate would have it the first morning of his camp I also gave a ride to his babysitter Cat. She's working for me a few hours a week so hitches a ride in with me. When we got to the camp Cat and I walked him in and he didn't know what to do. He wasn't going to cry in front of Cat or make a fuss. So he looked shell-shocked but he held it together and I made a quick retreat to the car. All the way to work I was in shock how smoothly it went. I really think having Cat there was the difference as he didn't want to make a fuss in front of her.

This theory isn't something new of course, I know that. Many teachers have told me over the years that the crying stops the minute the parent leaves. We all know that. But I didn't know how to handle the period between getting out of the car and getting him in there and that's where I think having a 3rd party with me helped. It certainly beats prying his fingers off the door handle and manhandling a screaming, crying child.

Two days in and he's loving it. Made a friend with a blue t-shirt and one with glasses he informs me. He's been messing about in the creek and playing outdoor games.

 So camp success for both of them! Hurrah!

Now soccer camp is a different matter. Jack started tonight and Daniel flatly refused to, but that's ok. Baby steps are fine with me as long as he's taking steps.

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