Thank Goodness For Day Camp
Thanks to SUBWAY® restaurants for sponsoring my post about summer fun with my kids. Check out the Kids Eat Free program at any LA area location! Just purchase any two subs, two sides and two drinks, and you can get a kid’s meal FREE!
The video above was recorded last week at the “soccer park” (we have code names for all the parks in town: there’s The Green Park, The Football Park, The Soccer Park, The New Park, etc.) on a day that was not super hot. I call this “killing time.”
One of the aspects of working from home that I looked forward to the most was giving my kids a “regular” summer. That meant I planned to have them hang out at home while school is out – just being lazy playing the backyard, sleeping in, watching cartoons, making mud pies, whatever they wanted. I have fond memories of summers in my childhood. They are glimpses of tall grass in the backyard, a flag on the back of my purple banana seat bike, driving to Gramma’s house to swim in the pool, scraping my legs up on barnacles when I fell on the rocks at the beach…Oh wait, that’s not a fond one.
Anyway, I would give my kids the kind of summer kids should have – free from the pressure of getting out the door on time to go to daycare or summer preschool.
But ohmygodthewhining. Intellectually, I knew it was coming. I had all kinds of plans to stave off the whining. We’ll go to museums! The beach! Out to lunch! For bike rides! To the movies! Of course some of those outings get expensive, and for a while it was hotter than heck outside, so I didn’t have the heart to make them go out in the heat. So what do we end up doing? Playing video games, drawing, building with LEGO’s, running around in Mommy’s office, fighting, and whining.
Thank God for day camp. When the local parks and rec sent out their day camp brochure back in the spring, I had caved a little and signed the kids up for some sessions. Since they are 6 and 4, the sessions were not at the same time or the same frequency. I thought that was okay though, because it would give me time alone with just one of the boys at a time. They would love that, right?
Once the summer whining began, I started looking forward to day camp as my savior. The first session rolled around and I was joyously packing the 6 year old off for the day, when the 4 year old piped up. “I want to go to camp too!” Instead of insisting that he stay home with me for a little bonding time, I called the office and was able to score a last minute slot for him in the Tiny Tot room. It’s basically pre-school but without the learning. They play, make crafts, sing songs, and eat snacks. Learning is ancillary.
Kyle, the 6 year old, went to LEGO camp that first week. It was the kind of camp I’d like to attend, led by certified Play Tek technicians, who were both young women, by the way. Total geek girls. Kyle loved them. After that session, which was only 4 days long, ended, he wanted to continue going to camp, so I picked up the phone again and got him into the Rec Camp, which is basically like school without the learning. For 3 days this week both kids were in camp from 8:30 to 12:30. Not quite school hours but it gave me some blissful quiet, and returned them to me tired and unwilling to fight each other.
Kyle is also playing basketball with the local youth league. He has practice on Friday evenings, so Stewart comes home early to take him. Games are once or twice a week, and I get to see my mom friends there, so I look forward to it for two reasons – a little catch up time with mah girl and a little psycho Bleacher Mom screaming action for Kyle. After all, how will he remember to guard his man if mom’s not reminding him from the bleachers?
By the time school starts, these kids will be in the groove. After all, they won’t have a chance to get out of it.