From the Mommy Files…

Is It Really Over?

Posted on: August 13, 2010

Well, yes.

Summer camp actually ended two weeks ago.

The girls had a great time singing, dancing, doing art projects and more. When I’d pick them up at lunchtime, the kids would be practicing for the show they’d present on the last day. Boo was clearly in her element. Bebs was very much into it as well.

One afternoon I came to pick up the girls and Bebs was in the lobby watching the kids practice. She sang along and did the arm movements to the dances. I was thrilled when they told me she was trying to stand up alone. I was really hoping that seeing all the other kids running around would motivate her to walk. (Last week I told you a few days after camp ended, she began standing up alone and walked alone with her walking toys, or holding just one hand.)

On the last day of camp, they staged their own version of the “Wizard of Oz.”

The kids made the sets and their costumes. They sang and danced. Bebs was going to be in the show too. I was surprised when the teachers told me she would be. I figured since she still wasn’t standing up or walking unassisted, she’d just sit with me.

On show day, Bebs screamed through the first part of the show. We could hear her from backstage.

The kids were just adorable and did a great job. One group was lions, another tin men, another scarecrows and more. The kids played multiple roles and did them well.

After the first few numbers, the littlest kids were wheeled out on a wagon. There was Bebs! She immediately stopped crying. They came through the audience – in costume – and ultimately were placed in front of the stage where they could see the other kids. She was fine from that point. She couldn’t see the kids from backstage. She wanted to see the show!

During the second performance, Bebs would not stay backstage, so she sat with me. She sat on my lap and did the arm movements to the dances, sang along and cheered for the kids. It was too cute.

Boo was very cute too – she played a munchkin, a bush and a lion.

If you recall, that first day of camp, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I felt like a teenager whose parents had gone away on vacation. I filled my hours without the girls with – well, work. Don’t yell at me yet!

I caught up on work. I went on an interviewing spree, speaking with enough people to provide fodder for articles to write for several weeks into the future.

Don’t worry. I did have a little fun.

Every Friday, I “took the day off.”

It was so strange to be out without the girls.

Strange, but nice.

And our afternoons were very pleasant. We were happy to be back together. We each had some time to do our own things. It’s good for us to be apart for a little while.

As camp came to a close, I feared I would get too used to the time, and would have a difficult time adjusting as well.

I was right.

It’s been a crazy two weeks since camp ended.

Once again Boo had some issues changing routine – not as bad as when school was out.

Bebs, on the other hand, is really having camp withdrawals.

She’s constantly asking for one of the teachers, and for one little girl who arrived at the same time they did each day. Bebs is still telling me, “camp!”

I tried to start “playing school” again. That worked for two days.

Then Bebs got sick. Then Boo.

We took some longs walks to pass the time.

Then it got really hot and the mosquitoes have been awful. We’ve been stuck in the house. Everyone is stir crazy.

It’s been a tough two weeks.

Well, there have been some tough moments.

Boo started a swim class before camp ended. So that takes care of a couple hours on Monday, by the time we walk there and back. Bebs made a friend there too. There’s one more week to go.

Also, Boo started her new dance class. Now we have some time blocked out on Saturday as well – while Bebs takes her nap.

But still – the $64,000 question is, how do I keep them sufficiently occupied the rest of the time?

School doesn’t start until September 7.

Yeah. I know. We have a few more weeks to go.

Thus, I’m reminded how important schedules and routines are. Rexanne Mancini, who writes about parenting, says on her website, that “Routines are an ideal way to keep your family and children calm, secure and at ease with life’s variables.” She also says, “Little children need routines and schedules in order to learn how to manage their time and attention.”

Hmm…

Today’s a new day. We’ll start getting into a new routine, keeping school schedules in mind.

We’ll get dressed and leave at the appointed time. We’ll have to plan specific activities to fill the morning and afternoon. Lunch will be seved on school time.

They seem to get into a routine fairly quickly – with any luck we’ll be on track soon, and when school starts, it’ll be an easier transition.

We’re already working on moving Bebs’ nap schedule to accommodate the 2:30 pm pick up at Boo’s school. Bebs wants more structured activities too.

I told them both – under protest – they will start going to be earlier next week. They need the extra rest.

Then to figure out how to juggle my work around all that.

No one said it would be easy – but we can do it!

Now everyone will know what’s expected and when.

Hopefully then we’ll all be on track soon and we’ll have some more of that calm in our house.

Wish me luck.

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