Camp

Barrett, my oldest, started camp this week. It’s a day camp. I’m not sure I can handle more at this time. He was up very late the night before unable to sleep. He was more excited then the first day of school! If school instructed with BB guns, bow and arrows, horse rides and all the other camp activities he’d be a full time, life time student.

As we drove to the camp yesterday morning I found my mind reeling with scenarios to warn him about and random pieces of advice. In the end I kept my mouth shut and warned him of the usual; manners, listening, following rules… He annoyed me to a point of murder while we registered him and got his paper work in order. “Can I just go? Are we done yet? Hurry up mom!” He’s lucky there were witnesses once again. His behavior did make it easier to push him off to camp. He might have done it on purpose. I met his camp counselor Gummy Bear (I don’t understand it but it makes perfect sense to Barrett so I just go with it) and Barrett ran off and found a hula hoop to show off his mad hooping skills. The counselor was authentically impressed. Well played Barrett!

IMG_5962

At that moment I realized he was his own person. No longer connected to me full time. He is making his own decisions and boss of himself when I or Scott are not around. He makes his own friends not just the kids I place in front of him. He’s…A BIG BOY! That feeling is a slight relief of pressure but brings about a whole new fear. All these “what if’s” start playing themselves out in my head. I know that in the future my fears will change as he ages and enters different stages of development. That doesn’t make me feel better. I left him amongst fellow campers and pulled a whiny 4 year old “I’ll miss Barrett” and a back arching toddler who wanted to walk through the parking lot back to the car. Quickly I dropped Barrett from my concerns and focused on keeping the other two alive.

When Barrett’s first day concluded I was there with bells and whistles to pick him up. I was excited to hear about his first day at camp. The next scene played out like an old western film.

“The sheriff traveled to the town over to collect her convict. She knew he frequented the area and knew she’d find him amongst his own kind. A simple flash of her badge and the town elders backed out of her way. They knew of her reputation and knew she was there to collect what was hers. As the elders dispersed wanting nothing to do with what was going to happen next the sheriff locked eyes with her soon to be prisoner. His eyes shown brightly through his blue rimmed glasses that were shaded by his camo hat. Dirt smudges covered his face, arms and legs. He might be needing a dip in the ‘ole whiskey barrel before slop time. Through the shade of a large pine tree she could see the gleam of excitement riddled with something she rarely saw. Defiance. Or was is an air of confidence? It reminded her of a man preparing himself for battle. With a can in hand he slowly approached the sheriff. Backpack slung over one shoulder he stopped two feet from the sheriff. The Good The Bad and The Ugly whistled though the yard as the boy planted both feet firmly into place.

“What’s that in your hand?” the sheriff asked nodding slightly to the object in his right hand.
“It’s a soda and I get to have as many as I want. And for snack guess what I had?”
“What”
“SKITTLES! BLAHAHHAAHHAHAH” the parolee laughed diabolically. Knowing the sheriff couldn’t take what he had already consumed. He was escorted to the sheriff’s vehicle and transported back to prison.

Rebel

(Aunt Vicki, I was not driving)

This morning he discussed his plans of Gatorade and Starbursts. I guilt tripped him into pretzels instead. I doubt he’ll follow through. LORD help me! Going to camp is better then going to a grandparents house if he gets sodas and candy for his two snacks a day! So to make it clear to all my kids I’ve given up, Merrick got to have 3 sips and Kierran even got one. Addicts they all are. Sugar ADDICTS I SAY! On a positive note he’s proven to me that he is still in need of me. He is not ready to make his own decisions about proper snacks so I have a bit more educating to do. Not ready to sever the umbilical cord completely I smile and drive him home.

Merrick Had A Dream…

I went school shopping with my boys the other day at Freds. It was a normal threaten their lives a few times type of trip and of course we ran into people we knew. Lucky for them there were witnesses that would put me there with the kids so nothing serious happened. We made it to the shoe department and both boys were trying on shoes but having a hard time because despite my instructions…they weren’t wearing socks. So I found the box of footie pantyhose and handed them each two socks. WOW! They thought those things were amazing. Their shoes slipped on with no trouble and they felt soft and cuddly. Merrick wore his for a while today.

I’ve felt like a nag lately with instructing the boys to clean up after themselves. I’m getting annoyed at my own voice so I can only imagine their frustrations. While I barked at them to get in the car for the 3rd time Merrick turns to me and says “I have like this dream where I don’t like you. It’s like a dream or something in my head that says I don’t like you right now.” He shakes his head in attempt to hush the voice (I’m guessing here). Oh, it took restraint to not tell him the thoughts that traveled through my mind at times with him. I took the higher road and said “You better get this figured out because I’m your mom and I’m not going anywhere and you have to like me.” Which isn’t true but damn, who gets told by a 4 year old that the voice in his head says he doesn’t like you. I’m locking my door tonight.

Speaking of the word damn…two days ago Merr was sitting on the floor with Kierran making the most annoying noise.

“Merrick, stop.”
“ERRR SQUEEEEKKKKKK EEEEEEE”
“Merrick, STOP! It’s annoying”
“Damn”
“What did you just say?”
“Damn.”
“That’s a bad word.”
“No, it’s where beavers live.”
“No, not the way you used it. You said it like a bad word. Don’t say it again okay?”
“Okay.”

I repeated the story to Scott and before I got to the part where I corrected Merrick Scott is pointing his finger at me. WHAT?! “Yeah, that’s all you.” “Damn.”