There are some things I am trying to encourage with my kids in their camping experience.
They have a fairly safe existence with their mother, and yes, I do keep them pretty close when they’re with me in our normal routine, but when camping I give them a much longer leash.
After last year, my son told me that he loved how I let them pretty much do whatever they wanted, on their own terms, in their own time.
Today, Miss 8 said that one of her goals this week was to make a new friend. This is challenging for her as she is a bit shy. She had a definite strategy though. A cluster of local Taupo girls arrived to have a birthday party and make use of the pool. My daughters idea was that she’d do underwater handstands until she was noticed. The handstands went swimmingly well, but the other girls were also a bit shy. One of the other girls, however, started doing handstands also. After 15 minutes and seeing a look of frustration arrive on Miss 8’s face at the lack of contact, I did ’embarrassing Dad’ and introduced the two. From that point on, sorted. A new friend, hours in the pool, and a play date for tomorrow (the Mum will swing by and collect my daughter for a Taupo day). I’m a bit proud.
Master 12 has also found boys to play with. Of course the dance of introduction is quite different. Bonding to the lyrics of ‘Spiderpig’ is somewhat less sophisticated.
As we needed to head out for supplies, I decided to risk it all and play minigolf. There is history here: Master 12 (who despite being smart, seems to have a complete lack of understanding of rudimentary physics) has a few issues with dealing with performing poorly on the course. He was prepared, warned and made ready, so in theory any chance of a tantrum was lessened. He really was on his best behaviour. Then I did something that, in hindsight, I should not have done. He’d placed his green golf ball, then went to see where the course went. I of course picked up his ball and hid it in my pocket. For fun of course. The outcome wasn’t what I expected. When he couldn’t find his ball, he saw a moving green golf ball at the hole we’d just completed, and grabbed it. Yes, it was someone else’s ball and the resulting embarrassment caused was a little too much to bear.
You’d think I’d know not to do such things, but… ya know??
I managed to talk him down from the precipice of despair, and we got through the game. It ended up being fun! Although I had to bribe them with Bakers Delight goodies.