So yesterday myself and mini-me's dad shared the driving on a 10hr round trip to Wales... The 2nd time in 3 days. Why? Because our baby was at Summer Camp and wanted to come home. We had a phone call on Tuesday, 2 days after dropping her to Camp. She said she wasn't having fun and was cold and wet and wanted to come home. I believed that she was cold and wet, I didn't believe that she wasn't having fun. I was prepared to leave her for another day (until Wednesday) and assess the situation after another phone call... But she had cried and so her Dad wanted to leave immediately and drive to Wales....
I talked him off the ledge, convinced him that driving to Wales at 8pm on Tuesday night wasn't in anybody's best interest and that there was a 90% chance that she was ok and had maybe exaggerated a little. After much backing and forthing he eventually agreed that we would leave on Wednesday morning, he wasn't prepared to wait for a lunchtime phone call, so I relented and was woken by him at 6.15 asking if I was ready... *side-eye*
By 8am we were en route, a nap a coffee and a packet of biscuits later I was awake, the fact that he kept shouting "we're coming baby!!" probably aided my alertness o_O
Let me fill in the blanks of how we got to this point...
A conversation with a friend about Summer Camp sparked my interest, it sounded like so much fun! I spoke to mini-me and her Dad and they both agreed it sounded like the best time ever and she was excited about going. Until we got there on Sunday afternoon... As we unloaded her bags she said "I think I've changed my mind". I told her that it would be fine and once she settle in she would have fun, however if she hated it, it wasn't intended as a punishment so she didn't have to stay.
I walked to the car with tears in my eyes making sure not to look back at her (cos I obviously would've Fireman lifted her over my shoulder and ran home) thinking "OMG! What have I done? I didn't think this through... I'm going to traumatise my only child."
I've changed my mind...
When you only have one child the mistakes can't be made up elsewhere... lol
Through my tears I began the drive back to London. Every time we hit traffic I turned to her Dad who at this point was saying "she'll be fine, she'll love it" and said "it's a sign, we should go back and get her, we can't leave her here, we should go back, she's only 9, why would you let me do this?!"
What have i done..?!
His response was "Are you ok to drive, do you want me to take over?"
Fast forward a few days, one phone call, a role reversal and me going "I'm sure she's fine, it's cos she's a bit cold, I bet you she's having a great time".
While he's planning a covert break, enter and extraction from Summer camp in the middle of the night.
When we got there, her face and hands were dry, (despite the family size tub of cocoa butter I packed) she was smiling, chatting to her friends and was in one piece.
Her Dad was oblivious to everything; she'd told him that she wanted to come home and since she'd uttered those words at 19:35hrs on Tuesday 2nd August his one mission in life was to get her home.
She spent the journey home telling us about all the people she'd met and all the activities she'd taken part in, some that were scary but she'd done anyway, others that were hard but she'd managed to complete, some that were just fun from beginning to end. She did mention being able to feel the springs in her mattress (Princess and the Pea comes to mind!), the lack of food (my child will eat all day if you let her) and being wet (rain literally makes her cry, however if you throw water in her face from an Evian bottle it is the most fun EVER!) but all in all I think the good outweighed the bad. Maybe she was too young? Maybe she was too wet? Maybe she was too hungry? Who knows... Would I send her again? Absolutely. Would I participate in another emergency extraction? Absolutely.