We are three weeks and three days into this six-week camp, and I think it’s safe to say that Mae will chalk this up as one of her worst experiences ever. Yesterday morning was chaotic with lots of crying and begging to go to camp at her regular school. Nobody wants to play with her, everybody hates her, the kids are mean, the camp is boring, she feels lonely. I told her that I did my best to find the right camp. I reminded her about the summer camp fairs and the mountain of brochures. I told her that I thought we had found a camp she would enjoy more than her school’s camp. I reminded her that the day before she’d told me proudly that she hadn’t given up while riding her bike when pedaling got tough, and I said that she should try the same with camp. I said everyday is a new opportunity to make new friends or try again with lost friends. She likes to ask for second chances, so I suggested that she ask for a second chance if there was someone with whom she’d burned a bridge. And, finally, I told her that all six weeks are paid for, and I asked her to promise me that she’ll try to stick it out and make the most of it. I promised her that if she makes it through the sixth week, she’ll never ever have to go to this place again.
I felt like I’d talked someone off of a ledge — not that I know exactly what that feels like, but this must be close.
On a happier note, I made dinosaur cakes (sour cream citrus pound cake recipe courtesy of Down Home with the Neelys cookbook) on Monday night/Tuesday morning, and took them in for Jay’s camp group this morning. They are studying dinosaurs this week, which made for a great excuse to make use of this cake pan. I showed the treats to Jay when we came downstairs for breakfast and he was surprised and impressed. He said that he wanted a T-rex, and I told him he’d have to ask his teacher. At pick-up, he told me that he did get a T-rex and the best part of his day was eating the cake (head first). I may not be able to pick a summer camp, but I do know how to make a four-year old’s day.