We are on the last day of Sam’s first week at Summer Camp and already I’m exhausted. One of the parents I talked to said that you’d think during the summer with all these camps lined up for the kids, you’d have some time to breathe.
Ay. Think again!
Sam’s pre-school set up themed weekly summer camp sessions, and we signed her up for four of them — Cooking, Water play, Denise Fleming week and Ooey-gooey (I have no idea what that entails). She is in camp everyday from 9:00 – 12:45PM, all packed with her lunch, milk, a water thermos, sunblock, insect repellant, and a change of clothes.
On the one hand, I feel it’s a great decision because:
- We solved the initial problem of sitting down to lunch with her friends and she is learning to eat more independently as the days go along;
- When I take her home, she is extremely exhausted so sleep comes easy – both for naptime and bedtime! It’s amazing, I walk out of the room and in two minutes’ time she’s snoring her way into dreamland. I love it!
- The additional 45 minutes she spends in school makes for good breathing space. Jamie, once fed and changed will sleep for a majority of the time as the apartment is peaceful with no older sister to wake her, so I am able to get things done more efficiently and can sit down (for a heavenly 10 minutes) to just do nothing. The other day Jamie and I were able to go for a brisk walk as well, which is good exercise for me! Best of all;
- Sam looks forward to camp because she and her best friend Elie get to play together everyday. The teachers always tell us (me and Elie’s mom Helene) that the girls are in a world of their own because they play so well together. In fact, Sam calls her camp, “Camp with Elie”.
But I will say that camp for Sam is camp for me as well, and 4 days into the first one (cooking), I will admit that I am spent. On one hand, her pre-school is located in the same building as the Jewish Synagogue, and so there are a lot of restrictions as to what they can bring in for lunch. We can’t even ask them to heat the food in their microwave, and Sam is used to hot lunches at home. I’ve had to be creative in what I send, and I use the night before to “cook” something and heat it in the morning right before we leave so that it is at least room temperature by the time she gets to it. I also have to make sure that it’s something she’ll eat, so that she doesn’t come home hungry, and delay her much-needed nap.
What really makes it tiring is that everyday after camp, Sam comes home extremely dirty — to put it mildly. Apart from the heat, sweat and stickiness, Helene and I are told that both our girls like to roll in the sand and play in the mulch (Part of their bonding ritual I guess!). Now I did not really grasp the concept of mulch until I saw it all in Sam’s hair (And to my horror, after I hugged Sam when I picked her up, she headed straight for my clean little Jamie and gave her a big dirty hug!). I have to give her a bath in the middle of the day, right before her nap. When she wakes up, there’s no guarantee that she will stay clean either, so sometimes she takes a 2nd bath before going to bed. So apart from cleaning her off, I have an increasing pile of laundry, and half the sandbox in her shoes. To think that they’re only doing cooking now — so I worry about the Ooey-Gooey theme.
I do miss having Sam around all week, and I know she misses me. Sometimes it’s hard to get her out the door in the morning because she’d rather “stay home with Mommy and Jamie.” But the minute we get over that hurdle and are in the car on our way to camp, she is excited and even forgets to say goodbye. When she comes back to me she feels so proud and accomplished that she was able to “cook” and be with her friends. So all in all I’d stick with camp!
For the next two weeks, we’ll be out of camp and don’t have much lined up until the next one (Water Exploration is the next theme, so hopefully that will be easy on the cleaning!), and that poses a challenge to me to find ways and means to keep her stimulated and entertained. Hmmm…
Now it makes me think that summer is just exhausting over-all!