In which she accidentally registers her boys for dance camp

by DaniGirl on September 10, 2011 · 13 comments

in Ah, me boys, Mothering without a licence

I‘m thinking maybe I need a new category for the blog: “Notes for future therapy sessions.” That way, the boys’ future therapists will have an instant body of research from which to draw.

You can’t really blame me, though. I mean, I had a COUPON!

Like so many of the misadventures in my life, it started with the best of intentions. I needed child care for the last week of August for the big boys. Late in the spring, I received one of those group buy e-mails offering half-price day camp. I checked the location and it was literally around the corner from where I worked. I checked the ages and they qualified. I checked the description and it said there was a circus theme with juggling and acrobatics. Circus camp? PERFECT! Clickety click, and they’re registered. Oh how I love the Interwebs.

Life is funny, yanno? You register your kids for a summer camp right around the corner from your work, and then six weeks later when the camp week comes up, you’re not working there anymore. You’re actually working way downtown, and what was right around the corner is suddenly a 20-minute detour out of your daily routine. Oops. If only that were the worst of it.

Beloved usually handles the morning routine, and so he was doing drop-off duty the first day of camp. He called me in mid-morning to check in, and reported that there was some apprehension when he pulled up the driveway and the boys noticed the sign for a dance school. A what now? Oh well, they’re probably renting out the space during the summer for extra income. That makes sense.

I should interject here with a little anecdote. Three years ago, one of the boy’s teacher called me to let me know that she had put him in the equivalent of a time-out during gym class. They were doing some sort of dance, and he had dug in his heels and abjectly refused to dance with a girl partner. It was one of the few times I got a call from the school that year, and I was more entertained than concerned. He doesn’t like to dance with girls? Meh, that will change.

Ahem. It took until the end of day two for the reality of our camp crisis to become apparent. It was not Circus Camp at all – it was Dance Camp. *dun dun DUNNNNN* Not only was it dance camp, but the ratio of girls to boys was about 15:1, which will be great odds later in life, but for your average 9 year old is one of Dante’s circles of hell. Even one whose best friend happens to be a girl.

And, true to his earlier self, it seemed my boy was rather, shall we say, resistant to the idea of dancing. I spent most of the drive home that day reassuring him that if it was truly that bad, he only had to tough it out two more days – I was scheduled for a day off that Friday anyway, and he could stay home with me. But he did have to suck it up for two more days, so we talked a bit about the value of trying new things, maintaining a positive attitude and making the best of a bad situation. And the whole way home, I was kicking myself. Dance camp? Really? How did you miss THAT one? Ugh.

(For the record, the other boy was all over the dance camp idea. I’m being vague on purpose here, because they’re getting to the age where their stories are their own and I am making some efforts to protect their privacy while still milking these stories for all they’re worth. If you know my boys IRL, you’ll have little trouble guessing which was which.)

Then a funny thing happened. On day 3, the boys were cheerful and full of stories of the adventure of their day. The boy who wanted to quit the day before said maybe it was not so bad, and he’d tough it out for the week. And oh, by the way Mom? There’s a show on Friday, can you come and watch us? And the day after that, there was question as to whether they could register for another week of camp next summer — or maybe even for the whole summer?

Huh. Turns out when you stop sulking and actually participate, you end up having a much better time of it. Who woulda thunk it?

Which bring us to the Friday show. Lucas and I both attended, and all four of us were surprised when Beloved managed to scootch out early and make it to the show, too. It wasn’t exactly Broadway, but we were well entertained nonetheless.

252:365 Circus camp show

So that’s the story of how I accidentally registered the boys for dance camp, and how they overcame the adversity and managed to have a good time after all. And now I can take full credit for my actions and say with a certain smugness that I knew it would work out fine, and broadening their horizons was my goal all along. I totally intended this as a life lesson on keeping an open mind and trying new things.

At least, that’s what I’ll tell their future therapists…

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous September 10, 2011 at 7:36 am

lmaoooooo. that is hilarious, dani. love that the boys grew to like it, they sound awesome πŸ™‚

2 Janet September 10, 2011 at 8:12 am

I just about peed my pants reading this post!

3 Danielle September 10, 2011 at 8:28 am

This is awesome. You know what’s funny – I think my son was in the SAME camp, but the East end location! LOL! We, too, had a daily-deal coupon for it and thought ‘What the heck’. Fortunately for us, he loved it. And he was especially proud for the Friday performances, so it worked out perfectly. And really, no matter what the outcome had been I’m glad we did it. I think its SO important that kids are exposed to as wide a variety things as possible. Builds character. πŸ˜‰

4 Sally September 10, 2011 at 8:29 am

I’m so glad they had fun! My 7-year-old boy loves dance, and it kind of took us a long time to take him seriously. I keep waiting for him to care that he’s the only boy, but he just doesn’t care. He quit swim team so he could take 2 dance classes this year. Now that we’ve relized how serious he is I’ve become a Huge Mama Bear about it. “Yes, Tommy does dance, you wanna make something of it!?!?”

5 DaniGirl September 10, 2011 at 8:33 am

Danielle, no way! See?! It was totally NOT CLEAR that it was dance camp! Ha! And yes, “builds character” was exactly my intention all around, ranked way above “half price” and “convenient location” in importance. Ahem.

Sally, my colleague’s son just signed on for competitive dance at age 8 — I now know more boys enrolled in dance than girls! πŸ˜‰

6 Peady September 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm

A leftover story from the end of summer: In which she accidentally registers her boys for dance camp #parenting #oops

7 Amy September 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm

My friend’s son, who is 5, has been taking dance for a year and LOVES it. This post is priceless, good material for future wedding toasts. Sounds like it all worked out.

8 Paula September 10, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed this read and happy that the boys did stick it out.

9 Jennifer F. September 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm

awesome story!

10 Heather Ann September 11, 2011 at 12:54 am

I accidentally signed my very unilingually English 7 y old son up for swimming lessons in French last fall. Nine weeks of him guessing what the instructor was saying. I will never hear the end of that one.

11 Hilary September 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm

The top right photo of the boys in their shiny vests is killing me!! Good for them for sticking with it – looks like it was probably a lot of fun!

12 SociallyTweet September 17, 2011 at 10:42 am

A leftover story from the end of summer: In which she accidentally registers her boys for dance camp #parenting #oops

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