There are some children who could spend every waking hour on a play date, or who look to birthday parties with eager anticipation. There are some children for whom summer camp is a treat, an adventure, a giant exclamation mark at the end of a year of school.
Not all children.
My seven year old likes to leave the house as little as possible.
In her mind, if she can get it together and make it to school five days a week, and to do so successfully, she should not be expected to do much else.
“Much else” includes after school activities, playdates (with friends she really, really likes), birthday parties (same), and most certainly summer camp.
This summer she told me that the only summer camp she’d agree to is “poetry camp.” This is not a pathetic attempt at humble bragging. I suspect she came up with this because she well knows that finding (and then coordinating) POETRY camp for an eight year old will be nigh impossible. (What DOES one do all day at poetry camp anyway?)
This same child recently came into possession of a rather large and imposing makeup kit. Not only did it make her the subject of ridiculous amounts of envy from her sisters AND brothers (who can resist sparkle eyeshadow, really?)… it has also resulted in me having to lay down one simple rule: While you may tart yourself up in the comfort of your own room, YOU MAY NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE IN ANY MAKEUP.
A few days ago, she woke up and dolled up herself and her sisters. Wearing what amounted to fifteen pounds of eyeshadow and blush, they looked like French ladies of the night… extras from the Les Mis “Lovely Ladies” scene. After a late breakfast I told her that she had to come with me on some errand or other, and then possibly to the park where we’d spend another failed hour trying to get her off those effing training wheels… to which she replied: No can do, Mother dear. No makeup outside of the house. Remember?
Game, set, match.