What I found out tonight (but really already knew) is that a playdate on a camp night is one of the stupidest ideas ever. Although much of the evening went fine, once our friends left, The Who had an epic meltdown because he wasn’t allowed to sleep with the stretchy beanbag dragon that he just couldn’t seem to keep out of his mouth. He wanted to put it away himself after m* had snatched it from him and put it away (because he hadn’t done it after being told multiple times.) Then, he wanted a do-over. Then something else and something else and by the time we were full throttle into it, he was almost vomiting, kicking his legs with the frustration of not being able to stop crying, and trying his hardest to listen to me tell the store of when my labor nurse yelled at me for screaming when I should have been focusing all my energy on pushing. (Don’t ask. It seemed like an appropriate story at the time. And, whatever. It worked.)
Camp exhaustion is unlike any other exhaustion — for the both of us. He is at the very end of his rope by the time I collect him at 3:45pm and I am not far from the end of mine. Unfortunately for us, we have an hour-long drive ahead of us at that point — plus dinner and a bath. Ideally, he’d be in bed, asleep by 5:30pm. He needs 12 hours of sleep on a regular day. He wakes up at 5:30am. The math is not difficult to do. But it’s unrealistic, given that we don’t stumble through the door until 5. The temptation to feed
him us both drive-thru crap is almost too much to resist many days. The only thing stopping me from doing it more often than I do is that the route home with the drive-thru is way more trafficky.
This summer has been brutal, weather-wise, and I’d like to take this opportunity to call bullshit on the days and days and days in a row of temps in the upper 80s, delivered with a 71° dew point (described as “very humid, quite uncomfortable.”) And us with our outdoor days. (In the interest of full disclosure: Yes, a part of my day is spent indoors in air conditioning. A part. But at least two hours of every 7, and often more, is spent standing in the blazing sunlight with no shade and nowhere to take a load off.) And The Who’s day includes even more outdoor time than mine. He swims, he sits at the outdoor amphitheater for a daily meeting, he stands in a line outside to receive sunscreen, he plays soccer on the sports field, he sits for a full half hour in the morning and the afternoon while other kids are picked up and dropped off.
The fact that I thought he might be able to handle an evening playdate (even with the half hour snooze I got him to take on the drive home tonight) is laughable. I missed our friends. I was longing to spend some time with them and this was the only night. But at a shitty cost. We’re all going to bed tonight completely spent, a little sad, and a little regretful (at least I am.)
Despite my whining and my inability to keep my eyes open past 11pm, I am having a decent summer. I’d do it again next year with more accurate expectations. But I am really looking forward to August. Sweet August, which begins with a week of a beach vacation, a final celebratory week at camp, and then sleeping in. Lots and lots of lying around in pajamas in the air conditioning. And then, finally, back to the school year. The blissful, peaceful, predictable, cooler, drier school year.