William and George Go To Camp

I came across a drop-off summer camp at one of the preschools in our neighborhood a few months back and decided to sign the boys up while there were still a few weeks open. For those who hadn't been in drop-off care before, like G&W, they require that you do two back-to-back weeks. So for the past two weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the boys have gone to school from 8:30-12:30pm.

A week or two before school started, we started talking about it a lot. How the boys would bring their backpacks and their lunchboxes, how they should tell the teachers if they have to go potty, etc., etc. They were SO excited.  They wore their backpacks around each morning and I even started packing their lunch in their new lunchbots bento boxes so they could get used to it.

On their first day, William woke up early at 6am (usually wakes up close to 7am), asking to go to school. Clearly they couldn't wait. Jessica had warned me that I may get a bit sad when I dropped them off, but I wasn't expecting to. I also wasn't expecting them to have any problem with being dropped off and left. It's one of those schools that you just pull up and get the kids out of the car and a teacher walks them into the play yard. And that's that, you don't even go in. Well, on the first day I walked them into the play yard, but they quickly headed off in different directions and didn't look back. I have to admit, I was the tiniest bit sad. Not that they didn't say good-bye, but it was just a weird feeling to have 4 hours of 'free time' and not time that my mom had them out, or Jessica was with them. Just a bit strange. But no complaints on my end.

I was excited to see how they did and was impressed when I saw they ate just about all of their lunches and had zero accidents. Though they're totally potty trained at this point, a new situation with people they don't know can definitely affect things so I wasn't totally sure how they'd do. The teachers said they did great and G was just getting a bit tired at the end (probably due to the early wake up).

The remnants of their lunch on Day 1
They're at a point where they're remembering more about their days and telling us more stories, but I was surprised with how little they told us about the days. By the end of camp, here's what they had shared:
  • Play dough 
  • Another William was at camp (which the teacher confirmed there was actually a William in the book they read)
  • They picked apples off of a tree 
  • Pretended to cut a banana 
  • Used scissors  
  • Water table 
  • Sing songs 
  • Make cakes and sing happy birthday 
  • Paint

I followed up with the teachers and asked a few more questions and learned:
  • As far as potty, they initiated going to the potty themselves and went when prompted
  • They played in separate rooms but also together
  • "They really let their own interests drive them.  William enjoyed the light room a lot, while George frequently played with the trucks and trains.  If they were in separate rooms (these items are typically in separate rooms), after a bit of playing, usually William would ask for George and we would go find him.  George definitely engaged with William, but was not as worried about where he was." -->this was surprising as I thought it would be the the other way around.
  • "They both played with others and loved being at the playdough table."
  • "We did support them in some of their gross motor movements, as we found that they really enjoy wrestling each other.  During these times we would help them find materials and safe spaces to move their bodies in the way they were seeking, but without being physical on one another's bodies.  Laying in the pillows with stuffed animals as well as squishing playdough were helpful alternatives." --> this is so funny, I don't think of them as that physical but I guess I'm just used to boys now!
The school also sent out a weekly journal with photos so it was fun to 'see' them in action, as due to the drop-off situation, I didn't even know what the indoor space looked like.

During the two weeks when they had camp, they talked about it all the time. Now that we're into their first week without camp, I'm surprised that I haven't heard anything about going back to school. They really seemed to love their experience and I was a little bummed that they won't be doing some sort of drop-off program next year, but I realize that 2 is still very young for school and we'll have plenty to do next year. I'm not ready for them to be gone much anyway, though the daytime break was quite nice :)

So what did I do with my free time? I wanted to be productive, outside of errands or working out, so I planned to tackle a big project that's been on my list for months (years?) -- their photo baby books. I'm thrilled to say that I'm putting the finishing touches on William's, and am hoping that George's will only take a couple hours. They'll be very similar, but obviously each will feature stories about them and more photos of them, though of course there are tons of photos of them both together. It was hard to get started, but once I did, I was surprised by how much fun I was having. I can't wait to see them in person (and have it crossed off my list!). I just did a book for their first year, so I'll still need to do Year Two, but I figure once you've figured out the system and all the features, making a second one will be a piece of case.

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