Getting him off to camp was holy h*ll

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    ... but worth it. ;)

    All wk, difficult child warned us that he was going to throw a fit if we made him go to camp. He ramped himself up all wk, warning us and warning us. husband thought it was no big deal, it was hot air, so today, I had him talk to difficult child when it was time to go.
    (I packed the suitcase when difficult child was at a friend's house, and put it out of sight so it wouldn't cause him more anxiety.)

    Well, difficult child dug his heels in and argued and argued. husband was royally ticked. He said he was going to give difficult child only two choices--psychiatric hospital or camp. Okay by me.

    Well, difficult child was already fretting, but apparently that worked. He shouted and sobbed for 1/2 hr, until husband just gave up and didn't know what to do. I went in and sat with-him and gave him tissues and thought, sheesh, we should have started this hrs ago if we really planned to go anywhere on time.

    Lo and behold, easy child volunteered to talk to difficult child.
    We left her alone with-him, and about 10 min later, she came downstairs and told us we could go up and talk to him, and that he agreed to go to camp. She said he didn't want to be sent away forever, but mostly he wanted his mom. :surprise:
    easy child told him that fighting it was making it worse, and that it was only camp.

    So I went up and sat with-him again, and his shoulders were heaving and he was just sobbing. He apologized, and said he knew he'd do something bad today, he planned it, and knew it was wrong, but he didn't know how to stop it, and he hated being like this, and hated being who he is, and didn't know what to do.

    I told him that I knew he didn't like change but that we're his parents and here to help him, and that every time he goes to camp or does some big change like this, it is actually helping him learn to deal with-change and helping him to grow up.
    He said he understood, but it still hurt and scared him. I told him that I understood, but that he had to live through that hurt and it would get easier every time. (Actually, it's pretty normal to understand something intellectually but have a hard time digesting it emotionally. I know the feeling all too well.)

    I asked him what I could do to help him and he said he didn't know. He hugged me and cried and we hugged for about 15 min. Eventually, I ended up crying, too. He was so sad. And I thought of all the times I had yelled at him instead of hugging him when he was little, when I had no clue what was wrong with-him and we just thought he was being wild and obnoxious on purpose, and it made me hug him harder.

    Finally he calmed down and I told him to splash some cold water on his face (that's what my dad used to tell me whenever I cried) and also to wash his armpits. (He worked up a good sweat with-all that crying.)

    He did, I gave him a new shirt, and off we went. He started to read in the car, and then fell asleep.

    The camp is about an hr away and is really awesome. It's a horse/farm camp, and even to get the luggage to the cabins, they have horse-drawn carts. (Draft horses. The horses that the kids ride are regular riding horses.)

    The boys' cabins are really cute, like European chateaus, only much smaller, (about 20' X 20') and they have room for eight boys, two to a wall in bunks, and no storage space. I can only imagine the mess in the next few days. :(
    difficult child is the oldest in his cabin. The counselors are really nice teenagers, two to a cabin, and there are other adults everywhere.
    The girls' cabin is a huge, all-inclusive new bldg that looks like a hotel. AC, huge lobby, amazing.
    Discretionary spending or something ... ;)

    There is a really nice pool, and you can also sign up for rifle lessons. Get this--difficult child didn't want to! He's obsessed with-guns, has every WWI and WWII weapon memorized, and when he gets a chance for his own lesson, he balks. Go figure.

    I think a wk of mucking out stables will do him good. :peaceful:

    Frankly, I was very proud of him today. I know it was hard for him to transition. And it was hard for him to apologize and explain what was going on in his head.
    Unfortunately, husband was ticked, and somehow expected difficult child to just hop in the car and obey him. Like he's ever really done that b4? He said, "When we were kids, we complained, but we respected our parents."
    "But he's not you. He's got problems."
    "On top of it, it's Father's Day."

    One yr, I remember the kids were so awful, I asked husband to take me out to dinner alone. "You want to celebrate Mother's Day with-o the kids?" he asked, like I'd landed from Mars.

    Well, now husband knows the feeling. His turn. Poor guy. :laugh::whiteflag:

    Anyway, I am still proud of difficult child. He will have a great time and will fall in love with a horse and meet a girl ... or meet a horse and fall in love with a girl ... the same thing that happened last yr ...

    AND I HAVE FIVE DAYS ALL TO MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. BeachPeace

    BeachPeace Guest

    FIVE DAYS!!!!!!

    I am so jealous!!!
    by the way, Sounds like a great camp, getting out some good physical energy always helps to calm Blue (after of course he whines and fusses).
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm really glad he was able to process his feelings and how neat that easy child helped out! The camp sounds wonderful! Enjoy this time for yourself! My difficult child starts day camp tomorrow-same ones as last year. It's day camp during most of the week but then overnight on Thursdays.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Enjoy your five whole days!
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Enjoy, I'm a big fan of sleep away camp for kids and their parents. It helped easy child tremendously to learn that life goes on when he is away from mom. difficult child never really had a problem with separating. It was usually after he was gone and he realized that he had to live within some structure that he protested.
    Anyhow, have fun for the 5 days and hopefully he won't call 5 times a day.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you!

    This a.m., one of the administrators called and told me that difficult child did not want to go to the horseback riding camp. He just wanted to do the adventure camp.
    She wanted him to have a good experience, and since he has actually taken horseback riding lessons, tacking, anatomy, etc., I told her it was okay.
    Whatever ...
    I still get my week to myself.
  7. klnsc

    klnsc Guest

    My son started camp last week (9:00-4:00) and it was the most peaceful, restful week I've had in a very long time. He started a new camp this week (same times) that he's not too crazy about but that's ok. I'm off over the summers and am always trying to find things to do and places to go. I never thought of enrolling him in camp because I felt too guilty since I'm home. I don't care where we go this summer.... I didn't realize how nice it could be getting stuff done around the house, catching up on bills and spending time with- my older son (who gets overlooked during our crisis-oriented days).
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I didn't realize how nice it could be getting stuff done around the house, catching up on bills and spending time with- my older son (who gets overlooked during our crisis-oriented days).

    Absolutely!!! It's amazing how much I don't get done when difficult child is around. :anxious: