It’s finally here—the summer that your youngest child is old enough to go to sleepaway camp for a week. Imagine the possibilities! Just you and your husband in the house by yourselves for an entire week. No, not those possibilities. I was talking about sleeping for 12 hours a night and doing zero laundry. But let’s not forget, your youngest child is the bottleneck in this master plan.
Here are some sneaky ways to sweeten the deal, so she flies out of the nest for that blessed week in July:
1. “There are so many fun activities.”
Said to the kid who would rather watch YouTube on her iPad than go swimming. Or go to dance class. Or eat.
2. “You get to sleep in a cabin!”
Without your special white noise machine or your stuffed animals laid out in a row. Small details.
3. “They have yummy food!”
All healthy options, according to the brochure. But you can paint a picture of candy for dinner, if you’re careful not to make any concrete promises.
4. “Your brother will be there too!”
And the likelihood of him playing with you there is about as slim as the likelihood of him playing with you at home. Which is to say, zero.
5. “You’ll make loads of friends!”
If you take that sour, martyred expression off your face and attempt to participate in games. And if not…
6. “The camp counselors are really cool!”
Especially the one you’ll have an unrequited crush on for the rest of your life. And look up on Facebook when you’re 40. What, that’s not normal?
7. “You’ll have so much to talk about when you go back to school in the Fall!”
Except nobody cares. They’re kids. They don’t even ask how your summer was. Fine, you win.
8. “Mommy and Daddy will come on visitor’s day!”
And Mommy will try to weasel her way out of dodgeball the same way she did when she went to camp 30 years ago.
9. “It’s a rite of passage!”
Google it. It’s a good phrase to know. I know you’re 8. Never too young to sound pretentious.
10. “Mommy will really miss you!”
Wait, I forgot which direction I was going with this one. Well, it’s just a week. I know that’s seven whole days. And you don’t really even know how to put on your own sunblock yet. OK, fine. You win. But you’re not just watching YouTube on your iPad for the whole summer. Unless I’m sleeping.