I loved going away to summer camp. The only reason I stopped is that I got too old. You know what I mean, I either had to become a head counselor or find something else to do for the summer.

So when I had kids, I assumed they would love going away as much as I had. What a mistake.

The first summer I tried day camp for Paul; he was three years old. I was pregnant and about to deliver my second son. I thought he would enjoy playing with other kids, enjoy swimming and enjoy crafts. Every day Gus from the camp would come in his car to pick up Paul. My son stood there crying and Gus would  pick him up and put him in the car.  Paul screamed like he was being accosted. (Apparently, once he got to camp he was fine, but leaving the house was a trial by fire.)

One morning I was feeling so guilty, that I was about to terminate this “great day camp experience” when my son came up to me before Gus arrived. “Mom,” he said. “When Gus comes and I cry, I don’t want Gus to pick me up.”

“Okay,” I said. And that ended our trial by fire mornings.

Who’s to say that three-year-olds don’t know how to press our buttons?

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