Friday, May 31, 2013

Do They Make Thundershirts for Kids?

I made it almost a month since blogging. Terrible. Seriously, I don't know how the everyday bloggers do it. I just can't find the time.

I won't waste too much of your time on what I've been up to. Just a quick summary - Davis cut a chunk of his hair, preschool got out, Davis went to the ER after his end-of-year party for a possible head injury (he's fine), Ava has been throwing tantrums like a madwoman, we hit the beach for Memorial Day, and am now waiting for June 10 when Ava finally gets out of school.

Speaking of Ava, let's talk about her anxiety for a few minutes. Specifically, her storm/weather anxiety. She's always feared many things, often irrationally. Very irrationally. A prime example would be that she is terrified that her lovie's head is going to fall off. It's one of these:

His name, not surprisingly, is Froggie. I swear I'm not exaggerating when I say that not a week goes by that Ava doesn't ask me, "Is Froggie's head going to fall off?" Naturally, I say no. But it's clear that she doesn't believe me. She freaks out on the months weeks that I change her sheets because I might touch Froggie and rip his head from his blanket body.

Because, you know, that's just how I am. Murderer of children's comfort items.

So, thunderstorms. She's not a fan. Neither is my dog. But he has a Thundershirt.

We got caught in a really bad storm earlier in the spring, so I can kind of get that she's nervous. But what I'm talking about isn't a nervous kid. It's obsessive. It's ridiculous. And it's daily.

It doesn't matter if the skies are Carolina blue and totally cloudless. She is worrying to death that there's going to be a storm. It's like this:

"Is that a cloud?"
"Is it going to storm?"
"I need to check the weather."
"We shouldn't go to the pool. I see a storm cloud." (because storm clouds are often camoflauged by sunny skies)
"I don't think it's a good day to play outside. It could storm."

My responses generally go like this:

"It's okay, honey. It's a nice day."
"It's not going to storm. It's sunny."
"I watched the weather already. You need to relax."
"Seriously. This is getting ridiculous. Trust me."

I'm starting to think we need professional help. In all seriousness, the fear is getting in the way of a normal existence for her. I'm thinking a pro could at least give her some tools to work through her fears?

Or maybe just a strong Xanax prescription. If not for her, then for me.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Happy Campers

Ava and her daddy just headed out for a Y-Princesses weekend at Camp Seafarer. I'm kind of jealous. I love camp. And that's kind of weird, considering that I am not the least bit outdoorsy (maybe I'll tell you about the monthlong NOLS trip I took in college. Summary: I lasted one night.)

I had a harder time saying goodbye than I thought I would. But I'll be happy for the sibling banter to take a rest for a couple of days. There's a high level of it these days. 

Back to camp. A ton of Ava's close friends are already coming up on their second year of going to summer camp overnight. The first time I went, it was the summer after fourth grade. I was nine, and turned ten later that summer. I went for three weeks, but knew tons of girls who were there. The camp I went to was a little on the rustic side. For instance, there was a pool, but it was filled with lake water. Ewww. And there were snakes. There was also a lake, and there was a brook that ran behind our cabin. You could hear it running at night. That's probably why our cabin was called "Brookside." I think we ate food that was all raised/grown on the camp's farm. Pretty cool. They were totally rocking the farm-to-table movement before it was even in our lexicon. 

The mountain camp was nice, but maybe a little on the earthy side for my taste. It was green before it was cool to go green. Nothing wrong with that, but just not really my cup of tea. For the next three years, it was on to Camp Thunderbird, located on Lake Wylie. That was more like it. Skiing, sailing, swimming.....and not too rustic. I still have the best memories of it, and would just love for my kids to have similar camp memories.

So, back to Ava. As I said, a good portion of her buddies go to camp. Many went for a week last year, and are moving on to two weeks this year. I guess I should count my dollars blessings that Ava doesn't want to go, because I'm sure the day will come - all too soon - when she is happier to be with her friends than with her daddy and me. But at the same time, I think it would be a huge confidence boost for her to be kind of independent for a few days. 

Then again, one week of overnight camp would pretty much eat up my entire summer activity budget. 

Oh, and that earthy camp I went to? I heard they have chlorinated water in the pool now. Welcome to the 2000s, folks.