Saturday, November 22, 2014

Coming into their own- Evan

The first weekend of the holidays had the twins going off separately to do their own thing. As twins, they started off doing everything together and being clones of one another. As they got older and because they were first in different classes and then different schools, they began to do different things and go their separate ways. We see this as a good thing. Especially when the things they choose to do are so different.

Evan chose, very excitedly, to go to camp with Packrat. His school organised a Father-Son Camp and Evan wanted badly to sleep in a tent and be at a camp fire. Packrat's response was luke warm, filled with bad memories of NS field camps. But the enthusiasm of his son was something that he couldn't say no to.

So they spent the weekend out in Sembawang where occasionally mobile phones get the "Welcome to Celcom" message.

When he came back, I asked him to write down words and thoughts about the camp. From all that, this is what we surmised.
The things he enjoyed about camp:

1. Playing catch with his friends.
Any time he had while waiting for the next activity to begin, he would do what other 7 year olds did- he played catching with his friends. And they did a lot of that, complete with monkey photos.

2. Skipping.
A first for him where we realised that the kid had remarkable air time. Just like his dad. With such utter glee at that. 

3. Hop Scotch
Both father and son came home raving about Sembawang Park. I guess that's going to be on our holiday 'to-do' list.

4. Eating.
Food is of greatest priority to Evan. He embodies the saying "A hungry man (boy) is a grumpy man (boy)". So as long as he is well fed and his tummy is filled, he's a happy camper.

5. Playing with Papa.
This was what the camp was meant to do. Dad- son bonding and on this alone, they fulfilled the objective, by the buckets. Now more than ever, Evan is Packrat's little shadow, always wanting to hang out with him, do stuff with him and asking for him when he isn't around.

What he didn't like about the camp (much shorter but much more loudly articulated):

1. The toilets
While they weren't spoilt, they weren't clean and there was a smell. So in his words, they were 'disgusting'. He refused to use the toilet if it wasn't necessary and he figured out very quickly when it wasn't necessary.

2. The showers
Open showers with cold water and muddy floors. He declared a moratorium on baths on the second day because he knew I was picking them up late at night. But that meant, the car had an unholy smell to it and the clothes had to go straight into the wash. Leaving it till the next morning would have caused our home to require a HAZMAT team come in to decontaminate it.

Looking dirty and scruffy because of the moratorium on showers
3. Sleeping in tents

While he was all excited to go camping because he could sleep in a tent, he really didn't like sleeping in the tent. It was uncomfortable and he was lying on the ground; despite the yoga mat that I had sent with them and the sleeping bag. When he came home, he rolled around on his bed and relished it, declaring how he missed it.

All in, I'd say the camp was a good thing for him. 
He got to experience 'ponding' first hand when the rains threatened to literally wash the camp away and he was, in a sense, gently pushed beyond his comfort zone; Evan's body shuts down at 8.30pm but at camp they kept going and going and he really didn't have much of a choice so he kept going till he literally crashed.

We tell him how NS would be much more uncomfortable, how Papa won't be there and how he'll be playing catching of another sort with his friends. His response is to pray that there will be no war. He also swears that he isn't going back again, ever. But in spite of that, he wears a huge smile when he looks at the pictures of the camp and he does this repeatedly. He also talks about the camp at every chance he gets.

So, no matter how vociferous his complaints have been about camp, I'm proud of him because no matter how miserable he was when it rained out or uncomfortable it was, he had fun in the things that he did and he never once asked to go home. That to me, is achievement unlocked for Evan.

Perhaps by the time Muffin is his age, he and Packrat (more importantly) will be ready to go again. But then, who am I to say since I wasn't the one out there with him?


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