Sunday, May 20, 2012

On Camping

My husband and daughter tried camping in the backyard last night in a tent. A number of her school chums have campers, so camping was on my kid's wish list since last summer. We did try to  pitch the tent one day last year, and the tent pole broke in the process, aborting that attempt. New year, new tent, my husband was intent on keeping his promise this year.

The Kid was practically levitating with excitement. She'd planned which stuffies were coming camping, which blanket she was bringing, which pyjamas she was going to wear...she was dancing all over the deck, unable to sit still as we tried to put up a tent.

We have both camped before. My husband went camping with  his close friends a few years ago, and his friends were a bit concerned when they saw the amount of stuff Mr. Overpack was bringing. I think they were afraid I'd actually thrown him out and the camping trip was a front. I haven't camped since I was a young teenager and spent a couple of nights in my aunt and uncle's camper. I haven't camped in a tent since "Rock me Gently" and "Rock the Boat" were at the top of the charts. (oh, go and google, I'll wait.) A week at Girl Guide camp finished my tent camping days for good. Not sure if it was the cow that looked in through the flap someone forgot to secure or the chipmunk that ran across my face in the early morning, but I was done with the tent camping thing after that experience.

I'm just not an outdoors person. I'm not a gardener. It's a necessity, not an enjoyment.  I spent 6 months in physiotherapy after an afternoon of weeding. I'm not making this up. I screwed my shoulder so badly it took 6 months of physio to fix it. I'm a container gardener. Were it not for the worms, toads, wasps, bees, hornets, mosquitoes and dirt, I'd probably quite enjoy actual gardening.

When the idea of camping first came up, I was clear in my opinion. Have fun, you two. Mommy doesn't do camp, and mommy certainly doesn't do tent. The Kid is trying to figure out the boundaries for mommy to camp, and so far she has received a confirmation that I would, in fact, camp in a Winnebago.(Since we currently do not own stock in oil companies, and couldn't afford the gas for that sucker, it's a safe assertion on my part.)  I would consider a camper, but only if it has indoor plumbing.  My personal purgatory will see me stuck in a plain where I have to walk in the dark with a flashlight to use the bathroom at night. It will no doubt also include a shower I could only access a couple of times a week. I need my daily shower. It has to have a real bed. Air mattress and sleeping bag?

The tent went up, the air mattresses went in, and the Kid then spent 30 minutes arranging everything to her satisfaction. OCD means even in a tent things must be in a certain place.  She had snacks (dunkaroos, juice box and granola bars) She had her slippers. She had her blanket. She had her bears. Time for bed. She and hubby crawled into the tent and I went in the house and locked the doors. I could hear her talking a blue streak, and the fact that there were fireworks in the neighbourhood last night didn't help the process of sleep. I was just getting ready to call it a night when a stream of curses caused me to look out the window. The tent was down. Experienced outdoor people that my husband and I are, we hadn't tightened something or fastened something, and the pop-up tent...didn't.

After a few minutes of debate and a few tears (from the Kid and blinked back from me since my night to myself was gone) they abandoned the project and came back inside. It took until 1am for the Kid to unwind and fall asleep.

Still, the promise was at least partially kept. The Kid spent a few hours in the tent (although the magic was wearing thin because there's not much to DO in a tent. I think her friends have been blowing smoke up her butt about the glamours of camping. That, or they never had to sit in the rain and NOT touch the sides of the tent.) and my husband kept his word. Best of all, I had the house and the remote to myself. Wins all around.

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