Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Camp Report

After a week of being a single-child family, Mike drove up and retrieved our other one on Friday, and now we're back to the two-child dynamic ("It's not fair that HE gets a sleepover and I don't" "Hey! You guys went to Starbucks! No fair!" "Silas is being MEAN to me!" "Helen won't stop BOTHERING me!" et cetera et cetera ad infinitum tunc nauseam) (incidentally the online English-to-Latin translator I chose is so slow I suspect that it is an unpaid intern in a cubicle, looking up the word in her Cassel's Latin dictionary). I was hoping that it would make it easier to cook dinner, what with no longer having to admire and comment on every single voluntary muscle movement of my daughter, but it really just changed the issue from one of having to provide continual fawning attention to having to provide continual mediation when one party requests fawning attention and the other party brutally declines to provide said service.

This is why having siblings is good for the character. Or this is what I tell myself as I rush down to the basement to break up another sobbing screaming fight. Over whether or not a certain Lego person is allowed to wear hair.

It does make dinner preparation more difficult.

By the time he got to me, Si had been asked how he liked camp so many times that he just kind of shrugged, but overall I suspect he had an awesome time and that he may have even found his medium, so to speak. His metier? Whatever it is when you find the place you're supposed to be. An abundance of scheduled, organized activities in which you can subtly show off without being the center of attention or having to really exude effort: that's my boy.

While his first day home he was noticeably more cheerful and polite, as though, I may have audibly hoped, he was actually well-mannered and behaved at camp and got into the habit of being so, by Monday it had worn off and he was argumentative and bossy as before. "What time are YOU going to bed, Mom? Isn't that pretty late? You know you need your sleep, and ten-thirty is pretty late."

This is less charming in person than it sounds on the screen and given that it is generally in reponse to a mild reminder to turn off his light soon comes across as a version of you're not the boss of me, mom. Two can play this "it's your bedtime" game, you know.

Summer continues apace. I am trying to ensure that we engage in iconic summer activities, such as popsicle making, that we did not manage to do last summer due to the kitchen's imminent demise. Right now it's really a race between iconic summer and weed growth, though, as every time I settle in to help with an activity I glance up and notice that the weeds in the backyard are closer to the door and are they supposed to be snarling like that? and have to rush out and yank some up lest they think they can just take over with no struggle at all.

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