Sep 2, 2008
A Camping Birthday Party
Saturday, August 30th was Joel's birthday, and he thought it would be fun to take the kids camping. We packed up all the camping gear, chairs, wood for the campfire, back packs, food, bug spray, sunblock, warm clothes, blankets, 7 pillows, 7 sleeping bags, 2 air mattresses, (that was the only way he talked me into it) a chef and 2 servants, (ok, kidding, but you're getting the idea that I'm not much of a camper) paper goods, 9 gallons of water, 6 fishing poles, 3 tackle boxes, bait, 4 flashlights, lanterns, stuffed animals and coloring books. (It was nice to NOT have to pack diapers, wipes, burp clothes, 1,000 onesies, pacifiers, a pack-n-play, bouncy seat and bottles.) We shoved all the stuff and kids in the car and off we went!
When we arrived at our camping site, we were a bit disappointed to find that it wasn't in the best area. We were on the main road to the bath house and were circled by one too many other camp sites that were filling up fast. We did have a bubbly, happy, little creek running behind our site, which was nice. Emma found it within the first five minutes...which was not nice.
Joel set up the tent, I sprayed 6 people with bug spray, and the party was on!
(Emma was gagging because she can't take the smell. Mikey didn't have too much sympathy for her.)
After the last one was sprayed with bug spray, the tent was up, the campfire crackling, and the kids off playing, I cozied down into one of the chairs. I was ready to relax! -"clicky, clicky, clicky."- "What's that?" I asked my husband. "I don't know," he said. About 10 seconds later, we heard it again. -"clicky, clicky, clicky." We figured it must have been people setting up their campers. -"Clicky, clicky clicky." And again, "clicky, clicky, clicky." It was strange that everyone seemed to be setting up their campers 10 seconds apart from each other. Then we heard it again..."clicky, clicky, clicky." It was loud and extremely annoying. We were tossing ideas off of each other wondering what this noise was. We heard it again and again, AGAIN and AGAIN!!!! After over an hour of listening to this rythmatic clicking, estimating 10 seconds apart, I was going absolutely NUTS! Mary and I set out to solve the mystery of this annoying clicky sound. Just beyond one bush from our camp site, Mary said, "It's her, Mommy." I looked up to see a lady and her husband in their tent playing YAHTZEE!!! Oh yeah folks, you read that right...Yahtzee!!! You know, the game where you shake the plastic cup filled with dice. It was echoing all through the woods. At times, it felt as if she was shaking it right in my ear!!!!!! As we walked back to our site, my husband said, "What is it?" I threw my hands up in the air and yelled, "We've got a Yahtzee player over here." I sat down in my chair next to the camp fire... "clicky, clicky, clicky...." I looked at Joel and said, "Oh my word! someone give that lady a set of UNO cards!" -clicky, clicky, clicky- "Phase ten!" -clicky, clicky, clicky- "OLD STINKING MAID!... ANYTHING!!!!!!!" While I was holding my spinning head,trying to think of the best way to confiscate this crazy game, Annie came running up to me and quickly crossed her legs, "I need go potty!" When that happens, I've got 52 seconds to get her to the toilet! Thankfully, the bathroom was about 100 yards away. I told all the girls to get into the car. If one had to go, I'm sure they all did. I drove up to the bath house. Mary got out and said, "Mommy, why is that man looking over here?" I saw the park ranger had pulled up next to us. "Hey Mom," he yelled, then he grabbed his seatbelt and pulled it out in front of himself, "Next time, try one of these." I stood there, dumbfounded. Was he really serious? He went on, "I saw your kid in the front seat. She didn't have one on." Since I was running extremely short on patience at this point, I looked at him wide eyed and said, "Ohhhhhh-kay...I've just come from right there, so I didn't think it was necessary." By now, my Annie is about to wet herself. Not backing down, he said, "Still a good idea, ya know." I took my girls hands, and walked away. "What's the matter with him, Mommy?" my sweet, innocent girl asked. "OH WELL, I'LL TELL YA WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HIM....SOMEONE FAILED STATE TROOPER SCHOOL AND IS TAKING 'KIDDY COP OF THE PARK' QUITE SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT'S WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HIM!!!!!!"
- I blew it. A moment where I could have shown our child how to "let patience have her perfect work," and I threw all patience out the window. Quite frankly, I would have loved to throw Mr. "Kiddy Cop of the Park", and "The Yahtzee Nazi" out the window as well! I had to apologize and tell her I was wrong. Sometimes I forget it's in these minutes, I am teaching the most. Through my example, I just gave a lesson on "How to react in a pressure filled situation." I don't want them growing up and acting as I just did, so I had to fix it. Rather than using myself as a good example, I had to use myself as the bad one to teach her.
After I set apart my rotten attitude, things got...well, worse. You thought I was going to say, "things were great" right? They didn't. It was about 8:00 pm when the dogs and babies started showing up at the sites surrounding us. We continued listening to the Yahtzee throughout the night, and now all the barking and crying babies were added to the list. Did I mention the train that went by several times that seemed 18 miles long? Finally, it was time for Joel and I to head to bed. I couldn't wait to lay down, and put my head to rest. We climbed in the tent, and literally had to jump over five sleeping kids to get to our beds. Then....the rain came....hard pouring rain....all night long. My poison ivy flared up and I was itching like a dog with fleas. Annie woke up and started crying, "Someone turn the lights on, turn the lights on, turn the lights on!!!!!!" I pulled her close and snuggled her, "We can't, baby, we're in the woods." Mary turned on a flashlight which seemed to help. Once Annie fell back asleep, we turned it off. Then, an hour later, she woke up crying, "SOMEONE TURN THE LIGHTS ON!!!" The rain didn't let up, neither did my poison ivy and Annie. Then some of us had to "use the facilities"....in the rain. At one point, Joel and I just laid there, laughing hysterically. Really? could one more thing go wrong? I once heard someone say, "Don't ever ask for patience, unless you're ready for a heap of trouble." :o)
The next morning, was Joel's birthday.
(Well, we're certainly glad you're all well rested there, Annie.)
We were ready for a party after our rough night. So out in the middle of nowhere, we decorated the trees, and had ourselves a birthday party.
(Joel was trying to convince Emma to tell him what was inside. Although she looks pretty confident, she had no clue what his gift was.)
We took the kids fishing for the rest of the afternoon. We didn't catch a single thing, but the view sure was pretty. It was nice to just sit back, and watch the kids. They didn't have to be catching fish to be having fun. The fun was just in being together.
After fishing, we went back to camp, packed up and headed to our friends, Seth and Liz's house. She had called me earlier and said, "Hey, do you want to come to our house after you guys are done camping?" I said, "Well, we'll see how it turns out and whether we want to spend the extra night at our camp site or not." Thank the Lord they were 15 minutes away!!! When we left camp, I called her and said, "We're on our way, and we smell." She very graciously took us in, gave us soap, water, towels, detergent, delicious home cooked food and comfortable beds. Now, why didn't we just go straight there in the first place? I can see the fun in camping. We'll just have to do our homework next time and:
-find a good campsite WITH happy park rangers and no trains
- check the weather
-and make sure that dogs, babies and Yahtzee are NOT allowed.