I love James …. BUT … having to watch him almost constantly while he is in the house and I am trying to get things done? Oh my. We having yelling, frustration, and sky-high blood pressure. Not all the time, mind you, but he has the uncanny knack of unspooling cassette tapes, stuffing toilet paper in the toilet, and teasing his sister into fits of yelling when I need to finish an email, phone call, or a thought.
Right now he also has a DVD fixation, and will push chairs into position so he can climb high to get to all the DVDs and their boxes. Then he’ll carry them to the sofa and take everything out, mess them up, and spin the DVDs on his finger or in their cases. Then he’ll go get his blankets. Arrange everything Just So. Then dump them all on the floor so he can go get his Ring Toss Game. Lather, rinse, repeat. We have a fine mess at the end. Which he cleans up, but I have to be Right There, guiding him through every step. Over, and over, and over ….. AUGH!
We have a six-week gap between the end of summer school and the beginning of (choke) Kindergarten. In the past, we’ve been able to use some Regional Center-funded respite hours at the speech therapist’s, or for physical therapy sessions. Win, win, win, win, IMO. But, funding cuts and crises … it’s a big no-can-do currently. Add to this more anxiety on my behalf that James needs an extra boost before starting Kindergarten this fall in a mainstream class and you get a very angst-y Mom under pressure. Cooking.
Enter Summer Camp for preschoolers. It’s run by the city’s Parks & Rec department, so it’s local and we’re not spending time on the under construction roads, burning gas and fraying tempers. The costs are eminently reasonable, so we can actually afford to pay for the sessions (while supporting local jobs). This is the third year that James has attended the summer camps for preschoolers, so everyone is pretty familiar with each other.
Three mornings a week, with James occupied indoors and out with toys, games, crafts, and activities with his peers and caring adults. I get to spend some quality time with my daughter. We both get some peace and quiet time. I can actually string more than half a thought together and Get Things Done. Priceless.
Bonus: once again, his language skills are taking a huge jump forward. Even though he is not happy about having to go to Summer Camp (this is the first time he’s told me he doesn’t want to go), once there he runs into the midst of things and, I am told, has a great morning, participating in all activities.
He has taken up an interest in dinosaurs and plays dinosaur pretend games now. He’s painted. He’s been listening to stories. He has had a chance to run around and play with other kids. The interest in DVDs is starting to slack off a tad. I now hear him say things like “I already did that” and “Mommy, can I ha’ some ‘ater?” He’s getting into writing and drawing more.
Thank you, Summer Camp!