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    It wasn’t my idea to take a 1 year old and a 3 year old camping

    July 13, 2008

    On Friday, The Husband decided we were going camping this weekend. On Friday, specifically. Like 4 hours before he got home from work.

    I am not a fan of camping. Heck, I’m not a fan of the great outdoors. You’ll probably never actually see me with makeup, but girlfriend understands the importance of bathing. Even with these crazy kids, I find the 90 seconds needed to scrape the scum off my body every day.

    So spending the night in a muggy tent with three smelly men and a dog and no hope of a shower beyond a bird bath in the sink of the less than sparkly clean bathroom with the rice cooker plugged in under the vanity? Not. So. Much. But my husband? He comes by his persistence honestly. If he says we are going camping, there is nothing left to do than to pack the bug spray, the 600 thread count sheets for the sleeping pads and pray to God they’ll be enough light when you show up so you can at least read up to the swim suit fashion page in the latest US Weekly that arrived 10 minutes before you left because God knew your children didn’t want to be fatherless.

    His desire to go camping? Because it was the first weekend without rain in nearly a month and a half. Bless his heart for not saying the first “nice” weekend in a month and a half because 94 degrees does not represent “nice” weather in my book. The park? Perpetually full. The man had no worries. Nothing says having faith in your decision like driving 130 miles one way to take a shot that there will be a spot at the campground available.

    Oh, Baby, there were THREE spots left. Two on 40 degree slopes and one in between a family of 7 and 2 tents which never seemed occupied the entire time we were there.

    The ride was relatively quiet. Quiet because The Boys decided to sleep the entire trip. I can’t think of better preparation for a camping adventure than having your 3 year old who gave up naps altogether about 8 months ago sleep for 2 1/2 hours (from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) on the way. The Baby was sporting a fever and cried until I set up his crate in the tent. I know. Who brings a pack-n-play on a camping trip? Um, people who tried to leave it home the last time and had a baby screeching like a banshee for 9 hours.

    It was about 9 o’clock when The Boy started to really wake up. It was right about the time my husband handed me a stick to use to roast marshmallows. A stick that I spent the next 30 minutes envisioning as the recipient of numerous bathroom breaks by all manner of dogs and boys.

    TB: MomMomMomMomMOM!!! CAN I HAVE A S’MORE?

    Have you met my child? His inside voice? Doesn’t exist. I would like to apologize to anyone who went camping the other night within 2 miles of us whose purpose was to commune with nature. The Boy? He scared nature away.

    Two hours of flashlight play, nearly falling into the fire 4 times, giving the dog lots of water, flashing the light in his brother’s face two times, breaking the lantern, eating a half a box of graham crackers, repeatedly asking to pee outside and being “shushed” 9 trillion times, he finally went to sleep.

    And then we were UP WITH THE SUN. A mere 12 hours after arriving, I was forced to put The Boys into the truck because they were being so damn loud. I could hear them yelling in the truck. I peeked in the window to find them eating the last of the Altoids, slamming back my leftover Dr. Pepper and chewing gum. I hurriedly took the tent down as The Husband loaded up the 9 camping chairs he had positioned around the fire. 6:59 a.m.

    The horn blew.

    Again and again and again. I broke into a dead run and flung myself into the truck, yanking a feisty 3 year old off the horn.

    TB: Mom. You didn’t say we couldn’t blow the horn.

    No. No, I didn’t.

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    1. Drinking for Two says:

      Isn’t nature wonderful? Hey, at least you got the tent set up while it was light. Deichman family campouts always entail a “thread-the-folding-poles-through-the-too-small-eyelets-by-the-light-of-the-SUV” effort to ensure we have shelter. (One time we skipped the rain fly. Once, and never again.)

      When we had a “Severe Thunderstorm Advisory” during a campout at Lake Itasca two summers ago, we learned we could pack up and break camp in under ten minutes.

      July 13th, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    2. the mama bird diaries says:

      Girl, I am with you. Hate camping too.

      July 13th, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    3. Brenda says:

      Can I just say that you and I had about the exact same weekend, except that my three year old decided to throw my brand new IPOD touch into the river? Um, yeah, didn’t know that my little thief had that in his pocket. Oh and I also had my one year old in a pack-n-play in a tent. She hated it.

      July 13th, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    4. Trena says:

      In my book camping is staying in a nice cabin with all the amenities on the edge of a forest–thankfully this is the one area where the husband is as high maintenance as I am which means we haven’t been camping once since we’ve been married.

      Glad you survived!

      July 13th, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    5. workout mommy says:

      camping? yikes. I don’t like it for myself, much less with kids!

      glad you survived and that it is over!

      July 13th, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    6. Susie Sunshine says:

      Anything below a Marriott, I consider roughing it.

      July 14th, 2008 at 9:04 am

    7. Anna says:

      If god wanted us to go camping he wouldn’t have created motels.

      July 14th, 2008 at 9:28 am

    8. Meg says:

      Now that right there is why I have yet to take my three boys camping. But it’s all the same to them – my own aunt & uncle, who do not yet have grandchildren, take my boys once a year, and everyone seems to love it. Especially me, because when they go camping, it’s quiet at home!

      Fortunately, my husband can’t be bothered, either. Roughing it = a hotel without Wifi or a bar on the premises.

      July 14th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    9. The Hunter's Wife says:

      As much as my husband loves the outdoors, that is one thing we haven’t done. Camping. Cute story and I love the “you didn’t say we couldn’t blow the horn”.

      July 14th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    10. Bellamomma says:

      Damn. I think I got a little suicidal just reading about the weekend. That’s some love for the hubs girl!!

      I don’t leave my house to downgrade on the sleeping accomodations … if it doesn’t come with its own 600 thread count sheets ~ I don’t travel to sleep there ykwim?!

      (I TOTALLY would have forgotten about the horn. And the headlights. And the radio. And the “DON’T lock your father & I out of the car” totally would have forgotten those.)

      July 14th, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    11. bejewell says:

      Camping is a terrible activity. And anyone who enjoys it is evil. There, I said it.

      July 15th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    12. Manic Mommy says:

      We rented a house on Nantucket Sound with 2 1/2 baths and central A/C. That’s how we rough it around here.

      Actually both boys are begging to go camping and RC has taken to peeing on the back deck (which I consider progress from the livingroom).

      July 24th, 2008 at 5:59 am

    13. Canadian Camping Dad says:

      I love this blog. OK now I know you don’t want any retroactive advice, but the camping moms we have learned the most from are the ones who have camping cocktail recipes. And a thermos full. I honestly don’t know what our kids got up to after dark last time we went camping “en famille,” but I do remember us grownups being shushed by another family, who admitted to being momentarily entertained by our drunken storytelling, but at the same time wanted to go to sleep so could we shut the f*** up. Made me feel 20 years younger.

      July 3rd, 2010 at 4:54 pm

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