March 28, 2008

To Camp Or Not to Camp...

That is the question.

It seemed like it was never going to happen, but with the mild days we've been having lately it appears that summer just may come this year after all. And with that means, for the first time, that I have to decide whether to sign Chatterbox and Giggles up for some sort of summer camp or activity. I was discussing the issue with J. Ny and our friend A. when we were out last weekend for our Girls Day Out and we all agreed that growing up, summertime was simply a time to hang out at home and enjoy the lazy, hazy days of the season. So why do I feel compelled to register the girls for some type of activity? A lot of it is because I have a serious fear of them being bored. I really do. As if them being bored means that I'm being a bad parent or something. It's precisely for this reason that I have endless stashes of board games, books, craft ideas and the like in the closests at home in case I ever see them looking desperate for something to do. And I know that "they" say that it's good for kids to be bored sometimes. Besides every child needing downtime, they learn to be creative and entertain themselves. So lately I've been telling them to "go play" and that's been fine. Chatterbox's new favorite pastime is "teaching" a class (of her teddybears). She'll line them up, give them names, paper, pencils and (MANY) instructions about what to do. It's fun to watch.

But summertime is the time to be OUTSIDE. Shouldn't they be out swimming? Playing soccer? Sliding? Learning about insects? And since I work, I feel pressure to enroll them in a structured program where I know they'll be outside and active on a daily basis. Our nanny is fabulous, but I'm thinking that she can only do so much. (Though this week, for Chatterbox's spring break, she took the girls to a playzone, the park where they had a picnic and went on a train ride, a children's program at a museum, and today the library). So maybe I'm worrying for nothing and they'll be fine with no scheduled events.

After all, they've got the rest of their lives for that.


Heather said...

I went into activity overload when I registered my then 8 year old son for every activity known to mankind. I had him in day camp, soccer camp, basketball camp. He had NO downtime, and he hated it. Being honest, I think I had him enrolled in so many activities because I knew I wasn't going to be home. Somehow, it eased my mind to know that he wasn't going to be either. I took him out of almost everything last summer, and he was much happier.

Heather said...
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