Every Handsome Prince has a tragic flaw, and mine is no exception. In a word: CAMPING.
In the snow, in the wind, in the rain, with the scouts, with the witch. He has a need to camp that is NEVER saturated.
He has a problem, and won't even take the first step towards recovery. I'm hoping that this post will be a wake-up call of sorts, that maybe the intervention that I keep trying to stage will be unnecessary.
Sadly, his propensity for unreasonable camping is genetically dominant, and every single one of my offspring have inherited it.
No matter that I carried each one of them close to my heart for nine excruciating months, suckled them at my cracked, engorged breasts and sacrificed my comforts for their well-being. Any flimsy maternal loyalty each might feel is weaker than the enticing pull of nature.
When Daddy says "Let's go camping!" No one hears, "Let's do an extra 10 loads of laundry, pack and unpack for hours, and then leave our comforts and safety to get disgustingly dirty, miserable and exhausted!"
|My best moment all week.|
It began in May, when he took the scouts to Goblin Valley and decided that our family could not go ONE MORE week without experiencing it.
Unfortunately, all of the camping spots were reserved; but NO PROBLEMO, we'll just find our own spot!
Thus began the story I'll call,
"If You Give A Wacko a Luggable-Loo."
When I quietly pointed out that camping with NO FACILITIES and SEVERAL girls was insanity, he proceeded to buy a luggable loo and it's corresponding outhouse-tent, which we promptly set up in the Living Room and danced maniacally around. He then filled a bunch of five-gallon water tanks to solve the potable water problem.
Then it rained all weekend, and our trip was postponed.
We couldn't deny the deep-seated need to go, as it were, so we rescheduled. BUT, even though we could now camp in an organized place, we chose not to, because we had the Loo, and wanted to use it. To make it even more entertaining, we invited our neighbor (one of my besties) and her three little girls to come with us.
|That's right, there were 3 males and 10 females.|
For some reason, the men wanted to sleep in their own tent. Hmm...
Turns out the Loo is only fun in theory.____
In between the cancelled trip and the actual trip, the Prince decided to take everyone fishing...while I had a migraine.
Why am I the only one who saw this as a problem?
We planned our family vacation: a week-long cabin rental near Bear Lake; hiking, caving (Minnetonka), swimming (North Beach), exploring the fossil museum, playing with friends and cousins, eating raspberry shakes and dutch oven, doing crafts, taking in a show at Pickleville Playhouse. Exciting. Marvelous. Perfect. (The cabin even had a deluxe washer-dryer situation!)
|This was a spontaneous "Forced Hike" through thick mosquitoes and I was not pleasant. |
Broomstick not shown.
But before we could go on the Family Vacation, we needed a, you guessed it, PRE-VACATION CAMPOUT!
Because packing for a week-long vacation for nine people is not enough. I would love love love to pack a pre-vacation campout at the same time. Kill two birds with one stone, if you will (or just one Mother).
As an added bonus, three of us would choose to have the "monthly visitor" at the camp-out. We live on the edge.
(The good thing about the campout, though, was that Liz could join us at Grandma's for the weekend, as she wasn't able to go on the Family Vacation--she was still in school. Also, we got to see Grandma, Becky, the cousins, some friends, the famous Hyrum 4th of July parade, and fireworks.)
When the Handsome prince awoke and announced a glorious hike that could replace the parade and family luncheon at his Mom's house, something inside me snapped. I quietly insisted that we could maybe hike later. (Like NEVER.)
After the scorching parade and family fun, we decided to go fishing with Grandpa. By then I may have been a little psychotic. Did I mention the lunar cycle I was experiencing? Also, I forgot to pack my nightly mouth-guard, and thus my jaw was stuck shut. It was a REALLY WARM day.
So the logical answer of course was to cram a bunch of little kids, some hooks and worms into a blender and plug that sucker in.
Some people refer to it as the *^&* hitting the fan. Whatever. We didn't fish long, though Little K did catch something again--herself.
We gaily skipped to the car, and headed for a cookout at the campground. Grandpa was right behind us until he wasn't anymore. (In his defense, Handsome didn't know that Grandpa was coming, too.) WE LOST GRANDPA IN THE CANYON! There was no cell reception, and Grandpa had no idea where we were camping. I could've cried.
We roasted hotdogs and marshmallows. Then I put the two little girls to bed while everyone else went on the long-anticipated hike with Mr. Enthusiasm.
Sounds simple, right? I just put those two little girls to bed. No problem.
Have you ever checked out the deluxe facilities in a western campground? The are full of mosquitoes, moths, spiders, and in this edition, DADDY LONG LEGS! The horror.
Nope. Little A chose to respectfully decline the outhouse.
Not only that, but she insisted that I write, "I hate Daddy Long Legs!" on a sticky note and attach it to her shirt. Then she made me add, "And I really don't like them!"
(She's a writer! My 4 year-old is a writer! Shazam!)
Luckily we found some leftover pull-ups, and Problem Solved!
If there were insects in the bathroom, then there could be BUGS IN THE TENT!!!
It was a really, really, very long night.
Later I saw a spider eating her mate, and finally felt at one with nature.
*In 1902 Willis Carrier invented modern air conditioning.
*Companies such a Serta, Temper-pedic and even NASA have worked diligently to perfect my nocturnal comfort system.
*Millions of ancestors struggled, developed and sacrificed that I could enjoy the conveniences that I am blessed with today.
How DARE we throw all of their hard work in their faces?
I am barely functional in my own home, with all of my blessings and comforts surrounding me.
Hangin' by a thread most of the time.
Why would I want to spend hours gathering up our belongings, only to then hear whining about what I neglected to bring, eat dirt, spend a few days as bug food, scoot around on rocks next to a couple of hysterical little people all night, walk endlessly through the woods and then return and wash and replace everything a few days later?
I need a support group. And a nap.
Later this summer, The Prince will be taking the oldest kids on an overnight backpacking trip. Whatever.
He has also planned at least one more camping trip for the entire family. I can't even talk about it--it's like gleefully exclaiming, "Let's have another one!" as your wife is having her episiotomy stitched.
Even Princes aren't perfect.