Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Fine and Pleasant Misery

Last week, I had the strange urge to take the kids camping.  I have no idea why...perhaps it was to ensure that my kids enjoyed the same fine and pleasant misery I once enjoyed as a child.  To add to the fun, the only time it would have worked for the next three weeks was a weekday, which meant that I was on my own.  Curtis, fortunately for him, had to stay home and work to pay for all our fun. "Fun" in this case being relative.

It started out fine.  We went to a beautiful wooded area in the mountains near the scenic town of Idyllwild. After we scouted out our spot, we set up the two tents we had brought, one for Maile and the little neighbor gal we had brought along, and one for Arden.  Ever since we bought our van with the cool fold-into-the-floor seats, oh, about three years ago, I have wanted to try sleeping in the van, so that was the plan for Leila and myself.  I decided to be lazy and only fold the front seats down, thinking that if I slept diagonally, I would have sufficient space to stretch out comfortably.  Plus, we had tons of stuff in the back I didn't want to shuffle around.

The evening was off to a great start.  Once we got our accomodations prepared it was time to get ready for dinner.  After the kids used up half a (250 count) box of matches attempting to start a fire, I decided to get out of my comfortable camping chair and teach them how to make a proper fire.  Dad always taught me as a kid that in order to be a scout worth his salt, one must be able to start a fire with less then three matches.  I am happy to report that I did not disappoint.

We roasted our perfunctory marshmallows, then attempted to use the buddy burners we had previously made to boil water for the freeze dried soup we were going to sample for dinner.  We had used the buddy burners once before, and they had boasted a roaring flame, which I thought would have worked splendidly for our cooking purposes.  Apparently they are a one-use deal, because after being lit, they fizzled out after about five minutes.  So, it was back to primitive cooking over the fire.  With my one good pot. Grrr...  Two hours later, our soup was finally done.  (I had neglected to bring the lid to my pot, hence, the longer-then-anticipated cooking time.)  Dinner was delicious.  (Of course, anything is delicious when you wait 'til two hours after dinnertime to eat it!)  Anyhow, I am definitely a fan of freeze dried, pre made meals, I've decided.

After dinner and a scavenger hunt for the kids, it was off to bed.  That was when the fun began.  Leila began the night by clambering all over me and the van, getting stuck numerous times between seats and van walls as she attempted to go from the front of the van to the trunk.  I finally got annoyed enough that I stuffed her into her sleeping bag, where she wiggled, screeched, and cried unhappily.  Then Arden decided he wanted to sleep in the van, too.  There went my sleeping diagonally plan.  Kay, sleeping curled up in a ball instead.  The girls had kaifed the two sleeping pads I had brought for myself, so the floor was pretty hard to boot.  Screeching and crying from Leila continued.  I had previously envisioned snuggling with Leila and singing her to sleep.  She did not want to be snuggled, or sung to.  She would not stop wiggling.  I was  getting desperate, especially knowing that with the windows I had cracked to let in fresh air, the entire camp could hear her.  In my frustration, I am ashamed to say that I gave Leila a small "love tap." (Did I think that would help her be quiet?!)  Rigghhhhhttttt....

After enduring another two hours of fine and pleasant misery with the kid, she finally drifted off to sleep.  Then began my vigil of waking up approximately every 10 minutes throughout the night to tuck Leila back into her sleeping bag so she wouldn't freeze.

Finally, at about half past five, we all got up, snarfed down some granola (no fire!) and were on our way back to civilization...and a good, long, nap.

I think I will wait until the baby is about 23 before I attempt camping again.

1 comment:

Charity Z said...

Amen sister. It's day trips for us for a while.