Molly "helping" set up camp.
About five or six years ago we went camping with a group of friends and two of them decided that because they were in "nature" they weren't going to use utensils all weekend and ate all of their food out of their hands or off of a Frisbee. There is nothing quite like the image of a grown man and woman eating steak like it's finger food. Something about camping with the babies reminded me of KS & E and their ban on tableware, except this time we weren't amused bystanders, we were very involved in tearing up their little pieces of steak, field tomatoes, sausages, buns, granola bars and grapes CONSTANTLY until Chris finally calculated that they had consumed more than him at supper on Sunday night.
It seems we'd forgotten that the minions, while fairly good with travel, go into Hansel and Gretel mode every time we take them somewhere new overnight. Suddenly they are eating like they suspect that we are about to drop them deep in the forest so they can fight their way out. Perhaps they understand the oddly creepy Fairy Tail book that Chris has been reading to them nightly a little better than we had originally suspected.**
When we first set up camp, a couple with a baby passed by and asked us if our children had trouble sleeping when the trains went by because their daughter kept waking up. We explained that it was our first night, but smugly laughed that we'd have no problem because we live in The Junction, really close to trains. We were wrong. Our trains don't pass by two to three times an hour and honk their horns six (yeah six!) times whenever they pass.
This, in combination with a seven year old named Dylan from the camp site behind us made sleep challenging. Dylan was constantly disciplined by his parents, loudly and late into the night. In case you're wondering, yelling at Dylan can be heard over the roar of thunder. We debated starting a drinking game where we'd drink each time Dylan was in trouble, but decided that it was ill advised because we didn't have enough beer and things would get messy fast.*** Perhaps Dylan would be better behaved if he went to bed before 1AM.
To top it off, the Beer Store in town was closed when we got there on Sunday. "This place sucks, what is it the 1980s here?" I asked Chris. He walked around the store to survey and came back to the car laughing. "Just because we've been up for almost six hours doesn't mean it's noon yet." We decided to go out to lunch before we returned to the Beer Store for much needed Dylan numbing supplies.
To summarize, the trip was a success and we may even go camping again later this summer. We hiked, the babies swam, we cooked, we conquered. Also, I'm never going to challenge Chris to a Tetris competition...the amount of stuff he fit into our tiny car was unreal****, even if the infant sunscreen exploded everywhere...That has to be Dylan's fault somehow.
Minions playing while we tear down camp. We can still do it in under an hour!
*One of the only ways to stop him in his tracks is to yell, "Keep the Jurassic pressure down!" or "Don't let the raptors out!", which stops him from doing whatever hernia unfriendly thing he was doing, but also makes him laugh which I suspect must rile up the raptors just a little bit. Thankfully we were able to keep the raptors at bay.
**My grandmother bought my sister and I each a copy of this book when we were little, and although it has some classics like, The Emperor's New Clothes, it also has some horrifying stories. Last week Chris read, The Red Shoes, about a vain girl and her pair of red shoes that become possessed and have to be cut off her feet by the Town's executioner. Thanks for the sweet dreams Grandma M.
***Like when my cousin decided that it would be a good idea to play a drinking game to the 1980's movie The Labyrinth. You had to drink every time you saw David Bowie's cod piece and every time a puppet did something that made you feel uncomfortable. They had to turn off the movie after 40 minutes.
****1 extra large tent, 1 kitchen tent, 2 camping chairs, 1 couples sleeping bag, 1 large cooler, 2 folding playpens, 2 large bags of groceries, 2 therma sleep mats, 2 yoga mats, cooking supplies, 2 life jackets, 1 hockey bag full of adult clothes, 1 backpack full of baby clothes, 2 pillows, 1 large washing basin, 1 camp blanket, 1 game of Yatzee, 1 cribbage board and cards, 2 jumbo jugs of water, 3 flashlights, 3 lanterns, 50 diapers, a giant bag of toiletries and 4 people.