How are you? Good thanks.
This week has been busy, really busy and also saw the arrival of Ryan’s first overnight school camp.
From the minute he came home clutching the note, this camp has been a bit of a pain in my asshole if I am honest.
The kid is of the anxious variety, which is you know, difficult at times, but the world would be boring if we were all the same, and we deal with it as best we know how. For me this isn't always easy. I wasn't an anxious kid. I find it hard to relate.
When I was young, I came home clutching a school camp note, I would be immediately excited at the prospect of having, what is in effect, a sleepover with my entire grade. Activities, shopping for souvenirs and then rubbing those souvenirs in the face of my siblings on my return.
My kid came home with the note, thrust it under my nose, and the first words to come out of his mouth were, “I don’t want to go, what if the bus crashes?”
What if the bus crashes.
I did what I always do in these sorts of situations and I told him that the bus crashing was very unlikely, and you are going because it will be fun.
I don’t mean to be dismissive of his fears, but for fucks sake.
So After much protesting and pleading and debate and fears of busses crashing, not liking the food, not being allowed to take his iPod, going through the likely hood of there being a fire, flood, tsunami, plague of rogue bees, falling off the side of the Blue Mountains and random sasquatch attack, I just paid for the bloody thing, because if I just forked out $160 bucks for you to go, then you are going, end of discussion.
Letting the kid give in to his anxiety is something I am not about to let him do. He will go to camp, he will have a fucking good time and he will LIKE IT DAMN IT!!! He will return having survived and it will be Kid 1, anxiety-0 and that was all there was about it.
So anyway, as the camp grew closer, the kid would come home and report on various things he was and was not allowed to do on camp, like he wasn’t allowed any lollies or electronic devices, he was only allowed maximum $20 sending money and he had to take a raincoat, that kind of thing.
In an attempt to get him excited, and because he doesn’t own a fucking raincoat, we took a trip to Kmart for a rain coat and those little travel toothpastes and soaps that he is unlikely to even crack the seal on, but whatever. Mini toiletries are fun for camp.
As we headed toward the checkout, we passed a display of lollies and I casually asked if he would like to take a bag with him to camp? He could take a bag to eat on the bus, and if he was very good, he could sneak a little bag in his pillow case for munching on in his cabin with his mates when the lights went out.
This was a big mistake, you would have thought I had asked the child if he wouldn’t mind smuggling 5kg of marijuana in his boogie board bag through a Balinese airport such was his shock and horror at the thought of bringing an item to camp that was on the prohibited list.
“WE ARENT ALLOWED ANY LOLLIES” He gasped and his face went all ashen at the thought of being caught with them. He gave me a look of disgust at my parenting skills. How dare I encourage him to break the rules? Just where did I get off calling myself a responsible parent kind of look.
When packing his bags later that evening, he watched me like a hawk as I placed every item in his overnighter, constantly wary and suspicious that I might sneak a packet of fantails in there while he wasn’t watching.
After reassuring him that I had no intention of putting any fantails in his bag, because I already ate them all, He went to bed.
The next day at the ass crack of dawn, I got up to pack him in the car with Cabbage who would drop him at the school on the way to work. After a quick check of his bag to find no traces of fantail, he gave me a hug and a wave and excitedly left for camp.
I spent a few seconds reassuring myself that the child was in no way clairvoyant and his bus was very unlikely to crash, before I went back to bed.
This afternoon we pick him up. A little more grown up from his first overnight school camp, (with NO lollies) and he would have won a little battle with his anxiety and won.
I wonder if any other kids snuck lollies?
I miss his worried little face.
Have a fantastic weekend. xx