Friday, 8 July 2011

Summer days, drifting away....

I know everyone in the UK is just breaking up from school, but here in the US we're well into summer already and are adjusting to a new routine here in the Nappy Valley household.

Post Fourth of July, all the summer camps have started - so the yellow school buses no longer ply the school routes, but pick up the kids at their doors and take them back and forth. (This has not been welcomed by The Doctor, who is used to their normal routes and has been complaining that they now stop in unexpected places as he drives to work.)

Littleboy 1 went excitedly off to a new Big Boy camp for the first time this week, clutching a baseball mitt he had no idea how to use and several swimsuits. He's away all day, from 8.30 till 4.30, and comes back happy, dirty and exhausted, sporting badges saying stuff like "I'm a winner". (When I asked him what this was for, he shrugged - I suspect they all got that one, but hey, that's the American way).

We went for a very typical All-American old-style summer camp this year, aware that he won't get this opportunity back in the UK. It's set in several acres of wooded wilderness, and the kids keep their stuff in cabins that look like they were built in the 30s, go swimming twice a day and play baseball, softball, basketball, tennis and soccer. He already refers to his friends as his 'camp buddies' (although this could be because he doesn't actually know their names - typical boy) and I am turning a blind eye to the tales of popsicles, Fruit Loops and ice cream handed out at snacks (well, at least he's exercising).

Littleboy 2, meanwhile, starts his morning day camp next week and has been champing at the bit as I've tried to fit in my work around him this week. Screaming that his tongue hurt as I was on the phone to a PR was a low point - luckily, I knew her well enough to explain. As soon as my work day is finished at 3pm, I whip him into his swimming trunks and we're off to the town pool - which has been redone to look like some kind of Caribbean resort, all undulating edges and an island with plants and a waterfall in the middle of the pool. Really, all it needs is a swim-up bar and it could be Club Med. (But, being New York, of course all alcohol is strictly forbidden. Because that would be too much like fun.)

Littleboy 2 can now swim, but he's still too little to leave on his own in the pool, so we spend our hour and a half of time playing 'swim to Mummy' and I watch him jump off the side several million times before it's back home to wait for Littleboy 1 to arrive on his bus.

Then there's just about time for a cup of tea before I'm starting to cook supper and prepare clothes and bags for the next day. If The Doctor gets home early, one or other of us might have time to go off for an evening swim by oursevles - the serenest hour of the day. But by the time the boys are in bed, I'm ready for bed myself. And thus I suspect it will continue, until we head off on our Canadian roadtrip in late August.

Whoever said the summer holidays were relaxing?

12 comments:

MsCaroline said...

Always such an eye-opener to read about 'everyday' things from a different perspective..my boys both attended those 'typical' summer camps...never thought of them being particularly American, but of course they would be, especially those cabins...at my boys' camp, each cabin is named after a different Native American tribe...also a very typical 'summer camp' thing. In fact, DS14's only real reservation about moving to Korea was that he would miss going to camp in the summer, which he has attended for years with the same group of kids.
Long days of sunshine and swimming and fun at camp...sounds idyllic, especially as we're all dealing with the Korean Monsoon, which means that more days are rainy than otherwise...looking forward to hearing all about the Canadian trip...my mom's Canadian, so of course I have a special fondness for the country. Can't wait to 'see' it through your eyes!

Mud said...

But what wonderful memories for the whole family! Summer camp may be an alien concept for us Brits, but playing sport in the countryside with a load of mates - well, what's not to like?

geekymummy said...

It sounds rather lovely! I bet the kids will have really fond memories of these camps. Enjoy your summer!

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

I still remember the fun I had at various summer camp programmes...I usually did shorter stint ones when little but I absolutely loved them. Once LB 2 is off next week hope you get some work time and down time in peace :)

Knackered Mother said...

Two weeks until mine break up, then the nightmare of working during school holidays starts! Really looking forward to giving the school run a rest for a while, though. This summer we will mostly be camping. In our garden. Hurrah!

angelsandurchinsblog said...

I dunno, they all seem to get 'I'm a Winner' stickers for anything; my lot are always coming home emblazoned with them. Summer Camp sounds great, especially, gulp, from the vantage point of nearly two months stretching ahead with nothing organised to fill it!

Cloth Nappies said...

What a great lifestyle and a superb way to bring up the children. Certainly different from life back in the UK. Only one week left to the school holidays and still wondering what to do!

Muddling Along said...

That sounds totally exhausting - when do you get a proper holiday?

Mwa said...

We've been on holiday for a little while now as well, and I fall over exhausted by five o'clock. ... and then I get up and start cooking.

nappy valley girl said...

Ms Caroline - believe me there is nothing like this in England! And yes, they always have names - this year LB1 is a Bobcat and LB2 is a Coyote.

Mud - I know, and I would love to have done it myself as a child.

geekymummy - it is lovely. I wish we had similar back home....

Tanya - he started today - just 3 hours a day, but what peace!

KM - camping in the garden sounds fun. The boys would love to do it but I fear they'd be eaten alive by mosquitoes....

angels&urchins - and our holiday is almost 3 months long! So you can see why they have to do such things....

Cloth Nappies - yes, I can't imagine how I will cope back in England.....

Muddling - roll on the end of August!

Mwa - knackering, isn't it?

Home Office Mum said...

I've always wanted to go to an American summer camp. They look so cool. Perhaps that can be one of my many jobs I try out

About Last Weekend said...

Yes I was just thinking that as i spent four hours driving today, but the best thing was pick up at others' houses - at least there are other exhausted parents with a cocktail waiting!