Saturday, 22 September 2012

When Quitting Is The Right Decision

I'm back early from Beaver camp.

In my previous post, I talked about how important it was to suck it up and bear it so that my boys could have a good time.  But what about when they're not having a good time.

Alex is loving it.  He likes the outdoors and we don't make him spend a lot of time on the Beaver schedule.  So he's still at camp with Avi.

Nathan hated it.  He was starting to get upset about the idea of being away from home on Friday.  He was wavering back and forth in the car on the way there.  And once we reached our cabin and began setting up, he was sure: he wanted to go home.

I did the best I could think of.  I hoped that having some sleep and a good breakfast might improve his mood.  I hoped being part of a group would help and inspire feelings of fun.  There were periods of lukewarm involvement but a lot more yelling, screaming and tantruming.

At 11 am, I gave in.  I packed the car with our things and drove him home.  As soon as we were headed in the right direction, he was good as gold.  I'll go back tomorrow to get Alex and Avi.

Looking back over my travel history with Nathan, I'm realizing he's never travelled particularly well.  We had to make regular trips to Toronto when he was young since we were part of a research study.  He wouldn't sleep well, regardless of whether we were staying at my sister's apartment or at a hotel.  And not sleeping well, he was cranky and irritable.  The only time he did well was when I day-tripped the visit, which did not go well for me.

He wasn't happy about being in Drumheller either.  Again, there were periods where he would enjoy himself but it didn't take much of a bump to bring on the tears and pleas to go home.

Maybe my boy is just a home-body.  Certainly his father prefers staying in his home to travelling anywhere, no matter how luxurious or interesting.  If that's the case, then I need to accept and work with that. 

Part of me is having a really hard time with this decision.  I feel like I gave in to the tantrums, setting a bad precedent.  I feel like I should have been able to figure out a way to make it fun for him, even though no suggestions are springing to mind.  I feel guilty and wonder if I subconsciously sabotaged him because I wasn't happy about the idea of camp.  I feel like I failed him and he lost an opportunity for a good childhood experience.

But I can't let ideals replace reality.  If he wasn't happy, then I needed to listen to him.

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