Last year we sent SS7 to day camp during the summer. It is not cheap, $235/week, but any childcare where we live is expensive and he LOVES going, so we're fine with the cost. Plus, it gets him out of the house, away from electronics, and keeps him social. Last year we stupidly asked BM to pay part of the cost. Big mistake. HUGE. It really set her off and created more drama than I care to get into.
Back then, we had SS7 the majority of the time. BM had him every Thursday overnight and every other weekend (Thurs-Sun.) She didn't like having to take him to camp on Fridays (she doesn't have a car and has to pay a private taxi service to drive her places), so she didn't. She was very bent out of shape that we dared to ask her help share the cost of camp. She "works from home" (doing what, other than spreading her legs, I'm not sure) so she doesn't have to worry about childcare. SO and I, on the other hand, do have to worry about childcare and this camp is a great option. Regardless of the need for childcare, I think having SS7 in a social setting during the day, NOT just alone with a babysitter, is the best possible thing for him.
The visitation arrangement changed about 6 months ago and now the schedule is 50/50 (2-2-5-5). SO wants to approach BM with the idea of camp again (I support this 100%). This time he will offer to pay the entire amount and ask BM to pick up and take SS during her parenting time. We can't pay for only half-weeks at the camp, so either SS7 goes during her time or we eat the cost. SO tries to communicate as much as possible via email, so here's the start of an email he wants to send:
I would like to give SS7 the opportunity to attend Camp again this summer. He really enjoyed it last year and has already asked if he can go again. I will take care of the full cost of camp. Will you agree to take him and pick him up during your parenting time?"
What do you all think? My main concern, and after reading this site for the past few months I think some of you will bring this up, is that SO can't tell BM what to do during her time. Just like she can't tell SO what to do during his time. However, I KNOW that if BM signed SS up for something (a sport, let's say) that SO would find a way to make it work. Do you think he should ask, but if she says no, not push the subject? I want him to at least approach her with the idea. Any thoughts on wording things better? I'm open to any/all ideas and opinions. Thanks!!