The older boys got back from camp yesterday. I wrote last week about how excited I was to clean their room… it’s still halfway decent. Of course when I found the completely molded banana at the bottom of their trash can, that helped considerably. (Stinkers. They’re not supposed to have food in their bedroom.)
Anyways. Yesterday and today we’re dealing with what a friend of my affectionately calls “re-entry”. The Mercenary was pretty surly by dinnertime, and Hubby and I weren’t all that sympathetic to his plight. I believe I spent the day calling him “O Large and Slightly Grumpy One” and Hubby just laughed at the growls emanating from our child.
I insisted he look at me as I explained that what he was feeling is totally normal, that there’s always a post-camp letdown, and on top of that, he was tired. We love him and really do care about how he feels, but due to mitigating factors we weren’t really going to take him seriously.
He insisted that he wasn’t tired. We laughed some more.
He was particularly upset because I served chicken for dinner. (Oh, the horrors!!). His reason was that “I had chicken every day this week at camp for lunch and dinner”. When I questioned the claim and asked whether there were other options available, suddenly the answers got a little confusing. Eventually he settled on saying that chicken had been served all those times, but no he may not have actually eaten it every meal.
“Great!!” we said. “Eat your chicken.”
Hubby had to insist that he eat. When he finally did, he cleared the plate (and by ‘plate’ I mean seven bites of chicken, two slices of tomato, and a mini-croissant) and disappeared. I found him a few minutes later, completely zonked out on his bed. He slept for a few hours before going to bed for good later on last night.
But he wasn’t tired. Noooooooo.
I wish I’d been able to have this perspective and level of calm several years ago. It used to be the case that the boys would go spend several days with grandparents, and re-entry was so difficult that I usually ended up in tears on the phone to Hubby. Now it’s easier to understand that this is just a phase, it’s temporary, and I can laugh it out or send them to bed. Either (or both) will help things get back to normal.
I wish I could have now the wisdom I will possess when they’re grown and moving on.
Photo graciously provided by Tambako the Jaguar, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved