Monday, June 8, 2009

Mommy Fail


A few weeks ago, the boys and I sat down and made a list of SUPER FUN summer activities designed to keep us from killing each other active. Last week was our first full week of summer vacation. I consulted the list, we filled the sandbox, we played outside, we went to the bookstore, we went for walks, we had a playdate, we kept busy. On a scale of 1-10, I'd give it a D-. The weather was eh, the boys were wild, and mommy was impatient.

Following a book store fiasco (Gremlin threw a book across the kids section at me) and a grocery store nightmare (Gremlin screamed from one end of Stop and Shop to the other when I wouldn't purchase a Star Wars Transformer), I decided it must be the transition to both being home all the time. I had previously rejected a week of summer day camp this early in the season but perhaps it was time reconsider. On Friday, I called our local Boys and Girls Club to see if there were any openings for the Kid Squad day camp that three of Gremlin's school friends were attending for the week. Thank the Lord there was! Where. do. I. sign?!

This morning promptly at 9:(02), I dropped Gremlin and all his gear with his name Sharpied inside at the B&G Club. His cubby did not have a name on it, nor was there a little name tag waiting for him as the other kids had. I had also read the wrong info in the brochure and dismissal was at 1:00, not 12:00. So I had to go home and get a lunch. No big deal. We had signed up last-minute and besides, of the 20 kids in the group, at least 10-12 were from our preschool! After a few minutes of clingy/shyness, Gremlin was in his groove and happily said goodbye to me from his spot on the floor, playing with his friend, Jack.

While at home, I got a call from the Club. We were in the wrong class. They had placed him in the Tot-tivities group (ages 2, 3, and 4) not the Kid Squad group (ages 3, 4, and 5), which was, of course, full up. They were in the process of moving him to the other group. Uh-oh. Big deal. We agreed we'd play it by ear and get a prognosis from the teacher at noon, when the younger class is dismissed.

Sure enough, I arrived at noon and Gremlin was playing outside in the sand. The two groups had shared snack time and when they broke up for activities, this new teacher brought Gremlin back with her. As soon as he saw me, he burst into tears. I looked at his face streaked with dried tears and I wanted to cry. The teacher confirmed that he had been crying off and on since "the break up".

Of course he doesn't want to go back - although he would like to if he can be in the class with his friends. I'll call and try again to have them make an exception but hopes are not high. Sigh.

Where's that list again?

17 comments:

anya said...

This will be my first summer as a SAHM, and haven't signed up my three year old for anything....I idealized this summer in my head but you just painted a much more accurate picture.;)
I hope that class will reconsider and bend the rules a bit....I know my son would go bananas without his buddies!

merlotmom said...

OMG! Say it isn't so! I had dreams of spending quality time with my kids this summer (the 9 y.o. boy is signed up for NOTHING). You've just confirmed my worst nightmare. Sh*t. Our summer doesn't start for another two weeks. I hope both yours and mine go better than recent evidence has shown. Sh*t.

Rachel said...

Oh no! Poor Gremlin! I hope they make an exception, for both your sakes!

I dream of summer camp for my kids... The kind where you drop them off in June and pick them up in August... Then I dream of boarding school in the fall...

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a bummer. We never did many summer camps, but we did spend pretty much every day at the pool or beach.

natasha the exile on Mom Street said...

Poor Gremlin! My baby doesn't like change much either. It's hard to get your groove back at that age!

We've been out of school since early May and I am so thankful that my parents are taking the boy for 4 nights next week that I.could.weep.

And I'm not thinking about the time between when he comes back and Septmeber. Nope. Not thinking about it. Look, something shiny!

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

Oh, I hope they can squeeze him into the other class. Poor Gremlin.

Otter Thomas said...

I hope you get things worked out for the Gremlin. I don't look forward to trying to pry my wife and son apart some day. There will be plenty of tears.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I am so sorry! That sounds like it was just as traumatic for you as it was for him!

Life As I Know It said...

Our summer vacation starts in 2 1/2 weeks, and, like you, I've made a list too...hoping we keep busy enough that we all remain kind to each other ;)

Funnyrunner said...

Oh I KNOW that list! today is the first day my boys don't have school and already they're complaining that they're bored (because mean mommy only lets them watch an hour or two of tv...)

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

Oh no! I hope you can get him back with his peeps.

Our summer starts Friday, although I had a test run today with 2 out of 4. I turned on the hose at 8:30AM and locked the door to keep them out there. That lasted until 9:05. Sigh. We spent the rest of the day running errands and I kept buying them stuff to keep them quiet.

FAIL here too!

anymommy said...

We haven't signed up for anything either and I'm starting to regret it. I like at least a couple of things to look forward to in a week!

I hope it works out at camp - it's so sad to think he had so much fun in the first class.

Andrea said...

I'm not liking the title of this post. You're being way to hard on yourself! The book store and grocery store incidents are totally not indicative of your success or failure as a mom. Book stores are made for adults, not for kids. Oh sure, there are educational toys and books and little tables that brainwash you into thinking there is something wrong with your child if they are not irresistably drawn to a book and will sit for 30 min quietly turning the pages, entralled by the Caldecott award-winning illustrations and text, not using said book as a projectile. Same with grocery stores. They are made for adults! Oh sure, there are cleverly placed products that sublimially (ok, explicitly) gain control of your child's mind so they scream and wail and sometimes beat on their sibling until you buckle, you acquiesce to their demands for the cereal or bendy straws or tube yogurt ehty Must. Have. NOW! And yet, if you give in, you are bad mom. If you stick to your resolve and your child's tantrum escalates, as it is wont to do, then you are bad mom. You see, book stores and grocery stores exist for the sole purpose of making moms feel BAD.

Not so with summer camps and programs! They encourage you to drive there, drop of your precious progeny, and say "bye-bye" until pick-up time, which if you are lucky is 4:00 PM. During that time, your child does things that children are meant to do! Things you don't have to organize or supervise! And you can go to a book store! Or the supermarket! Alone!

I bow to the gods of summer programs for kids. I wish I was a Good Mom who could provide the exact type of guided exploration, stimulation, creative outlet, athletic expression, and behavioral refinement that organized programs provide. But I am not. Instead, summer programs manage to do that with no help from me whatsoever, except for the fees, and lunch. It's kind of a miracle, really.

Around here, I have had wonderful experiences with both the Arlington Boys and Girls Club, and more recently (as in the past five or so years) with Camp Six Acres -- and for the latter, you cannot beat the convenience ;-).

Good luck, Christine! I admire your pluck and commitment to provide for your children what I, sadly, could not.

Sue said...

Ditto what Andrea said!

You the absolute best intentions, and although the world was on a mission to thwart those intentions, you are still a great mom.

It DOES get easier! I hope Gremlin gets into the right class, and I'm SURE you'll have a great summer.

Jen said...

I double ditto what Andrea said ;) It is not a Mommy fail at all!!

Wendy said...

It sounds like you and I have the same kid. LOL. :) Good luck!

Jennifer H said...

Aw, little guy. But you're awesome, and they're the ones who messed up his class placement.

Hope it works out, but if it doesn't, he won't remember it down the road, really. xo

 

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