He’s not my little baby anymore….He’s my dude!

1 Aug

Back in March I wrote about how fast the time has gone with Cameron. The little baby who I held just yesterday is about to embark on a new journey in life…Kindergarten.

But before we make it to school buses, lunch lines, and full school days we’ve got summer camp. A few months back we decided that Cameron should go to a couple of weeks of day camp. We thought it would be a good way to get him used to a full day (something completely new to him) and to gage how he would be after that full day of activity. Remember, up until this point he’s only gone to school for two and three hour starches and he STILL takes an afternoon nap on occasion.

Today was the first day of camp. I was both nervous and excited for him. Nervous because I worry about him making friends and listening to his counselors, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in worrying about my child fitting in socially. I was excited for him to have a whole day out of the house (away from mean mom) doing fun things like tennis, golf, swimming, crafts and games.

As it turns out, the little guy was excited too. Up at 6:30 this morning, you would have thought he was headed to Disney World or something. Of course being the sappy mother I am, as soon as I saw just how excited he was, I started to cry. It really feels like just yesterday he was this tiny little baby who depended on me for everything, and today he left me to have some fun at camp. As fast as the past five years have gone, he’ll be leaving me for college in the blink of an eye ((sigh)).

When we got there, he jumped right out of the car and talked excitedly all the way in to check in. As we waited in line he chatted with one of the counselors while holding his little bag of camp stuff. When it was our turn and he got his super cool camp shirt he was ready for me to go. I went to put his bag down for him and when I turned to give him a hug goodbye, he was gone. As I scanned the room, I saw him sitting with a group of kids playing with the counselor, so I quietly left. Of course I proceeded to get in the car and cry…Again! I stopped by at my parent’s house and burst into tears a third time telling them how excited he was and how well he did going in.

Talk about a long day. Sure, I’ve spent days away from the kids before, but knowing I needed to pick him up from camp, the day dragged on. I missed him and wondered what he was doing, and hoped he was having fun.

FINALLY it was time to pick him up. I was so excited to hear how his day went and a little nervous that he would be miserable because he would be so tired.

This is where the teenage/adult Cameron is going to hate me for writing this…

I walked into the pickup room and he wasn’t there. I went up to one of the counselors to ask where he was and she said he was up in the bathroom with the other counselor. OK, now the red flags are kind of shooting off thanks to the child sexual abuse training I had to take for my new job at the YMCA. I was uncomfortable, but figure this guy is probably pretty well screened so I didn’t go flying up the stairs after them. A few seconds later the counselor comes down the stairs, with Cameron behind him, he has a trash bag in his hand and Cameron is wearing his swimsuit…Highly unexpected and very odd.

He proceeds to tell me that Cameron had a little accident and his clothes are in the bag. At first I think, “This kid hasn’t wet his pants in ages, why would he do it now?” But oh, it was MUCH worse than that. Poor Cameron had an unexpected bout of diarrhea which ended up ALL OVER everything he was wearing, including his shoes. I was so stunned I don’t think I properly apologized (which I plan to do first thing tomorrow).

Cameron saw me and got embarrassed, so he ran back up the stairs. Of course I went after him and found him near tears sitting at the top of the steps. The poor kid was mortified, and if I’m being honest, probably terrified he was going to get in trouble with me. By the time I convinced him to get down the stairs, the counselor was gone.

I was mortified! Mortified for Cameron’s sake and mortified that my kid is now that kid. Cameron is such a cool dude, and I don’t want pooping in his pants to ruin his camp cred.

The ride home, while trying not to vomit from the stench of his clothes, I tried to find out what happened and why he would poop in his pants. It wasn’t until we got home that he told his father he didn’t realize he had to go, that it just came out. The poor kid sharted. When we did get home, Bill had the shower already going for him and I ran down to the basement to cry again. This time I wasn’t crying because I didn’t want my baby to grow up, I cried because now I worry that if this EVER happens again he’ll be made fun of and won’t have friends. Let’s face it, kids are mean.

He seemed to get over it, and is looking forward to more fun at camp…Thank God!!! But he did tell me at bedtime that he was the only kid in the group who didn’t pass the swim test to go down the slide and when he took the test the lifeguard had to go in and get him. He continued to tell me not to worry, the lifeguard was just doing his job. He wasn’t at all concerned about any of it, but I’m mom, so now I worry. I’m not worried that he’ll drown, there are lifeguards for that. I’m worried that he might get picked on for not being able to swim well enough to go down the slide.

I now feel like the world’s worst mother, I’m sending my child out into the world without the tools he needs. My worry has become shear terror that he’ll be labeled as an outcast and will miss out on some of the fun stuff in life because of my shortcomings as a mother.  Cameron is such an amazing little guy; he’s smart, funny, caring, friendly, he has an amazing heart and he’s pretty cute (if I don’t saw so myself). He deserves to have everything life has to offer and I don’t want to see him suffer because of things I did or didn’t do.

Great, now I’m crying again…This parenting thing really sucks sometimes.

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4 comments
Amber
Amber

I'm with you 100% on the growing up too quickly thing. Teddy starts Kindergarten in 9 days and I'm alternately excited and depressed. Sometimes, I think it's as big a step for us moms as it is for the kids! Great idea on getting him started at Summer Camp, though. I didn't worry too much with Teddy because he'd been in a PDO program 2 days a week that went for 6 hours a day. I now feel like the world’s worst mother, I’m sending my child out into the world without the tools he needs. My worry has become shear terror that he’ll be labeled as an outcast and will miss out on some of the fun stuff in life because of my shortcomings as a mother. Cameron is such an amazing little guy; he’s smart, funny, caring, friendly, he has an amazing heart and he’s pretty cute (if I don’t saw so myself). He deserves to have everything life has to offer and I don’t want to see him suffer because of things I did or didn’t do. You know, I think every parent has this fear. I know that I do. I was an outsider for much of my school career, as was my husband. And we know how much it hurts. Teddy is overweight, smart and has worn glasses for the last two years. I worry that he'll be picked on. I don't want him to go through what I did. But I've also learned something, watching Teddy interact with kids at the playground, our library's story time and PDO. He can make friends everywhere. And so do the other kids. It won't always be that way, I know. The older kids get, the crueler they become. But I'm hoping that before that happens, he'll have a few good friends that will stick by him, no matter what. You're doing a great job as Mommy. He has more tools than you think at the moment. He'll be fine, and so will you. *hug*

Mychal B.
Mychal B.

Thank you so much! I've been totally blindsided by all these new things to worry about. Sending him out into the world and not being there to protect him has me near panic and it was something I didn't even think about until now. Ahh, the joys of motherhood.

Optimistic Mom
Optimistic Mom

I am so sorry that Cameron had this happen. {hugs} I have to tell you I had something like this happen to me as a child......smh It was long ago but I remember it. I also remember my mom so upset. For years I remember my mom telling teachers, I had a little problem and that I needed frequent trips to the bathroom. Looking back, I am pretty sure this was her way of ensuring I had an out to go to the bathroom frequently. The things moms do. I don't know what magic mom worked, but it all worked out and I am sure it will for you and Cameron. :)

Mychal B.
Mychal B.

Thank you so much! He seems to have bounced back pretty well and was excited going in to camp this morning. I spoke to the counselor and he told me what a cool kid Cameron is. He totally made me feel better about everything.