I had to go pick BB#2 up from camp early today after he complained he was sick. And as I watched him watch TV this evening while standing on his head, I had a pretty good idea that I’d been had.
He didn’t want to go to camp in the first place. When I originally signed him up months ago, he said he’d “try it for one day”. Then he seemed to at least be, if not excited, used to the idea that he’d be going. Though he’d been offered the choice of several day camps, none seemed to appeal to him so we opted to send him to the same one his brother had chosen so they could be on the bus together, even though they’d be in different age groups.
When they got off the bus after the first day, BB#2 immediately told me he hated it and was never going back. The kids were mean, and he just wanted to be home with me. (Cue mommy guilt.) But he’d barely eaten anything, his water bottle was still full, and the bus had been almost an hour late. Once he got home, fed and rested, he seemed willing to try again—especially when he learned they’d be having freezies later in the week.
And honestly, we weren’t prepared to pull him after just one day. He’s not much of a joiner, not one for organized activities of any kind (including school, to be honest). We know this. He takes swimming lessons, but this is not optional as far as we’re concerned. And I’ve been known to take money from my boys to pay for lessons missed as a result of tantrums or stubbornness (oh yes I have.) However, his interest in taking gymnastics faded after one class, and though we insisted he complete his Beavers session, he’s opted not to go back in the fall. And it’s not like his entire summer is structured. We’re currently fortunate enough not to have to put our boys in camps the entire summer because we need the childcare. Or, depending on how you look at it, we’re not fortunate enough to be able to send our kids to programs the whole summer (though even if we were, we would not choose to do so for a variety of reasons.) This camp is total nine days. Nine days didn’t seem like too much to ask—and it’s supposed to be nine days of fun!
Because we’ve pulled him from programs in the past, we wanted him to see this one through—in no small part because we were using the time to paint the house, and work! Yes, he’s only five; it’s not like he’s not destined to be a slacker who can’t commit to anything just because we haven’t found an activity he loves just yet. His brother (who was also slow to enjoy most organized activities) is enjoying camp very much. But there has to be a line at some point—doesn’t there? And a single day is not that line. So back he went. And while he wasn’t throwing fits at getting in the car each morning (once we gave up on the bus–long story), he also told us he spent a lot of time lying around on the ground instead of participating in the games.
Generally, we don’t mess around when we’re asked to pick the boys up due to illness, because, well, PFAPA. I half-expect BB#2 to have an episode any day now. But he was not running a fever today, and was well enough to eat brownies after dinner despite his earlier “sore stomach”, so I feel certain he was suffering from something else: homesickness.
The question is, do I make him finish out the week to learn the value of stick-to-it-iveness? Or am I the one who needs to learn a lesson here?
ETA: He woke up with a low-grade fever this morning, and is currently passed out on the couch, so…It’s sometimes hard to know when behaviour is signaling an episode, or when he’s just being five!
ETA: And now we’ve gotten an earlier appointment with the ENT–this week. Which is better than waiting until September, but, even once he’s feeling better, there goes another day of camp. So clearly, mommy is the one learning something from this experience after all…