December 5, 2011

Camping

Last weekend, my family went camping. It was one of those amazing experiences that I'll never forget and never want to repeat in my entire life.

We hadn't been at the campsite for more than an hour when Cortlen fell into a nearby stream, thus soaking his only pair of shoes.

"My feet are wet!" he reminded us every five minutes for the rest of our trip.

"All I want in life to is ride a horse," announced my daughter an equal number of times. Somehow she got it into her head that we were going to a dude ranch. You can imagine her disappointment when we pulled into a largely deserted state park instead.

While I was trying to talk my kids off the ledge, my husband set up the tent.

Which was considerably smaller than I remembered.

Before turning in the for the night, I suggested that we sing some campfire songs.

The only ones that my kids were interested in singing had to do with beans and farts.

"Fantastic," my husband grumbled.

The only successful part of the trip was dinner, which I purchased at Subway before leaving.

"The only thing that would make this more awesome is a thunderstorm," I whispered to my husband at around midnight. All six of us were smushed together like sardines.

We didn't get that, but we did get a three year-old who coughed in his sleep the whole night.

Around 3am, I officially started to hate myself.

"That was soooooo much fun!" squealed my kids on the drive home.

I snapped my head around the headrest. "Are you serious?"

Insanely enough, they were. They liked camping so much, they insisted, that they want to do it again next weekend.

The odds of that happening are exactly 0%, but my kids' response to the trip from Hades is another reminder that sometimes our view of the world is very different--and often a whole lot worse--than that of our offspring.

17 comments

Just Plain Tired said...

This post brought back some memories. I also remember buying a pop up camper following the 1st year of tent camping with the kids.

Anonymous said...

Making memories -- that's what it's all about.

Cindy said...

Russ and Jared got to hike in to a campout at the Eno this weekend. Russ said at 2 in the morning he was worried that they were going to get eaten by coyotes. Turns out the animals were barred owls, but apparently the sounds they make are pretty frightening!

The Porter Family said...

I am learning a lot from you. If I didn't have your experiences to learn from, I'm 100% sure I would end up in exactly the same situations (and hating myself, too). :) The one and only time we took our kids camping was when our oldest was 11 months old and I was 7 months pregnant with #2. #1 was finally teething and was getting FOUR teeth that weekend. It was every bit as joyful as you can imagine. My oldest is now 4 and we've never gone camping since! :D

Mal said...

So true, so true. I think I'm living proof of that. My daughter's too young to have many memories (or vocalize them efficiently for that matter) but I distinctly remember loving winter--caroling in -0 weather, coming in after playing for what seemed like hours in the snow and watching the ice melt off my jacket onto the heater, eating warm food all the time. My parents remember things very differently. It's like we just focus on the best when we're little, even if we don't mention it at the time.

Anonymous said...

My kids like to set up the tent in the living room and camp out there. Dad usually sleeps in the tent with them while I sleep in my own bed.;) We also sleep in our back yard a couple times in the summer and wake up to the sound of hot air balloons overhead. Maybe your living room or back yard would be an option. But then if you camped outside you might wake up to the sound of a snake or the HOA.:)
~Melisa

Tracie said...

Kinda sounds like our first solo vacation with our kids to bear lake. We laugh now but at the time it was the most miserable 3 days of my life.

Mum on the Run said...

Go with their version!
:-)

mom24orsinis said...

oh my...so funny! You really are awesome...I have 4 kids too...not as close together as yours, and I'm still not sure I could survive a tent-camping-weekend, but I am SURE they would love it...
...you encourage me and keep me laughing :)

TORI said...

My ex-husband (yes ex) took our three children (oldest was 5) camping for a weekend, well, it was supposed to be a weekend, exactly 20 hours after arriving I said "unless you have a firm plan in place on how to keep these kids entertained for the next 9 hours until bedtime I think we should pack up and go home. And by firm I mean real things thought of to do, not us sitting at the campsite while you take a nap" We went back to the campsite and loaded up the car and left. Ironically, the kids had a great time and can't wait to go again. I would rather cut my left thumb off. I am not outdoorsy.

eliana23 said...

Camping nights are the longest nights in the whole world, not in a good way. Once is enough for that special life experience...at least for this year.

Kristina said...

Just pitch the tent in the back yard! That's what we do and the kids think it's great (and so do I - I make the husband sleep out there with them).

Julie said...

Haha! When I was a kid we had an RV. I remember telling my husband about all the awesome RV trips we took as a family when I was a kid. Such wonderful memories. One day my husband said "Every time your Dad retells RV stories he swears and says that was one of the worst purchases he ever made!" I was shocked! Where was Dad when we were having all that fun? : )

Lindsay said...

Our first camping experience was limited to the backyard. We got an insta tent off Amazon and set it up. It was a cold 40 degrees but fortunately all 4 kids slept like logs...I didn't because I was constantly checking to make sure they were covered all night.

Andrea H said...

When my son was 10, he had his first ever asthma attack at camp. We spent 3 hours in the dr. office, then had to go to the ER by ambulance. They got him stabilized and sent us home, and we stopped for dinner on the way home. His perspective: "I got to see the inside of an ambulance, AND I got to eat fish! This was a good day!" A lesson in optimism!

Momzathome said...

Reading this made me have flashbacks. Every year my husband's family do a camping trip that I dread going to.

http://2momsworkingfromhome.blogspot.com/

tulipdjc said...

lol! We've had that experience! many times! We took the kids to Martin's Cove (AWESOME!) but they whined the whole way. We even took a handcart around and thought they would love it! They did- they sat in it, let us pull it and drank all our water! But as we were leaving the parking lot they said it was the best trip ever!!! *sigh*