Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Camping Fail.

Oh honey! You bet I’d love to watch football ALL day with you while I wait on you hand and foot. Oh! And lets rent a movie. The kind with lots of blood, guns, bombs, and naked women.

Ahh, the things we do for our spouses in the early years of marriage. It isn’t until about the 2nd year that all that crap goes out the window and the dialogue goes a little like this:
If I have to listen to one more minute of football I’m going to poke my eyes out with forks. I wouldn’t want to poke yours out because you wouldn’t get to stare at the boobs of that chick with the half-missing tank top holding the M16 covered in sweat and mud.

You get the picture. My husband likes camping. The nuts and berries/water out of a stream, dig a hole to poop, kind of camping. Now, pooping in the toilet can be challenging enough, that I knew early on that I would never partake in the kind of camping that includes digging a hole and mastering the concept of dangle and drop. My idea of camping included an RV with hot running water, toilets, carpet, and lights. 

We compromised with a tent, air mattress, and the fact I can bring my down comforter. I know what you’re thinking, but shush; it’s the closest thing to a Hilton Inn, so I’ll take it.

Our first attempt at camping with our small kids didn’t go so great. We both decided for our own sanities we’d wait until they were a bit older. This past spring when we bought our boat, we decided it would be the perfect opportunity to start camping again .. or attempt it at least. After all, we were really enjoying our boat – mainly because I can get out aggression on my husband and kids in a non-violent but oh-so-fulfilling manner by putting them on a giant piece of rubber and driving the boat so fast I put the fear of God in them by swinging them side to side. Not to mention I get great satisfaction out of watching them fly off, screaming like little girls the whole way down to a fiery splash. It’s the simple things in life, really.

See, due to a little disorder I like to call Obviously Clean Disorder (not, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder like the over-educated doctors call it), camping for me can get a bit complicated. For example, I shower twice a day. Every day. I like my kids clean, warm, and lotion’d up before bedtime. I enjoy clean, cozy, and crisp linens. I don’t like to be too hot .. or too cold. I can sit in front of a campfire like everyone else, but if the shower and etcetera’s don’t follow soon after, I will appear one-half devil to anyone within a 5 mile radius.

So, when some very good friends of ours invited us to camp one night with them at a lake only 10mi away (lets be real: a short drive back home in case of small panic attacks), we were up for the challenge. The previous weekend we let the boys have a camp-out in the backyard to let the tent air out. This was the pimpest bachelor pad for boys under 7 ever made!  At times that tent was swinging from side to side with wild-animal noises coming from inside and guess who didn’t care: me. I waited for blood splatter or bone cracks. It never came, so the swinging kept on.

Fast forward to last weekend. We showed up at the Glenn’s campsite ready to go. I had pumped myself up in my head with random sayings like “Leslie, you got this. This will be fun! All the luxuries of home, the kids are going to have a blast. THIS IS AWESOME!”

 I was ready for mother nature to BRING IT! Our enthusiasm was met by silence. There was no one at camp. We weren't sure where to start setting up, where to park. The kids jumped out of vehicles like they'd been freed from a prison sentence. Mase went one way, Griff went another, and Bay-the-Bassett went in her own direction. Octopus-arms mom that I am jumped into action and scooped them all up and hog tied them with socks to the picnic bench.

We just picked a spot that looked semi-level and got the tent ready. After one roll out of the tent, I heard the words I don't like to hear.

"Ohhhhhh God. What is all that?!"

I turned around to find that somehow, chocolate milk had been left in the bachelor pad. It had been rolled up in the tent and stored in the dead heat for 7 days. Nate convinced me to go ahead and put the tent up and we'd let it air-out and we'd clean up what we could. I hesitantly waited outside the tent with bucket of soapy water in hand, not sure what to expect when I opened the flap of Chocolate Curdled Milk Tent. All I can say is I threw up in my mouth just a little bit. Yep. Sure did. 

Nate, bless his heart, did scrub the best he could to get as much of it out as possible.

Just breathe through your mouith, not your nose. Clever concept, you might think, except instead of smelling it now I could taste it. And we won't go there. Who will be the lucky duck to get to lay on that quarter of the tent? Well, Bailey rolls in dead things for fun. She should appreciate this wall of deliciousness. I also assumed that my Snore-Eliminator Mondo box fan that I brought from home would help to dry it out some, too. Nate snores so bad that I either need major drugs or a really loud jet engine fan to drown him out just so I can sleep. As Nate got out the extension cord to get the magic fan plugged in, we heard it:

"Uhhhhh, these sites aren't electriccc, soooooooooo..."

What!? No electric? No Snore-Eliminator Fan? No Sleepy-Sleep for Leslie?

Deep breathing and counting to 2938, I got over the no-electricity concept and moved on. Maybe a good boat ride would help, surely. Docked in reeds 59 feet high (oh yeah, we just slam our hummer of a boat into the weeds like a make shift anchor) we made our way to the boat. No flip flops could hold up to the demands of thick mud, rocks, and weeds. Battered, bruised, and almost defeated, we made it to our boat. I twisted my knee, Mase was terrified of the "mysteries"that lived in the weeds, and Griffin cut his foot. I felt like the soldiers in 'Nam wading waste-deep in water up to my waste. The only thing missing was my rifle held above my head - oh, and the cigarette pack in my t-shirt sleeve.
At sundown, the smaller kids were playing random games in a flat field near the site. As if a clown were chasing them, they all came a'running, screaming, and grabbing various body parts. Turns out, there was a nice little yellow-jacket nest in the ground had been disturbed and any child around was a victim. Most of the victims were dainty pre-teen girls who sounded as though they were birthing babies rather than surviving a bee sting.  

When dinner was over, the men decided they needed a guy's knee boarding trip so they headed out. I decided it was a good time to drag my boys down to the showers with me (will refer you back up to paragraph 3 about my illness). We show up and at first I wasn't sure there were showers, because the doors were the same size as regular toilet stalls. Yep folks, we're talking our shower was 3'x4'. Let's count the occupancy to this hummer: 2 rowdy boys under the age of 7 and one large woman with big parts.

By now the boys have learned that this place echoes. Of course that means we have to test the limits of this metal box of headache. Eventually bellowing through the tin shack was:


Giggles would ensue and then Griffin would seek revenge.


OK! BOTH OF YOU STOP THIS NOW .... stttooop thssssss nooooowwww"

The new game after the echo competition was to see who could climb from under the stall opening to the stall next door the quickest. Maysen soon discovered if his body was covered in soap, he could slide faster than a seal covered in baby oil and be next door in 5 seconds. Now, I'm hot as hell from wrestling these boys around. The water was one of those that you had to push every 10 seconds so just as I'd get one soaped up the water would turn off.


Then Griffin had to pee so he just lets her rip ... all over my leg. I finally had it, and I swear that public shower house sounded like I was performing an exorcism up in that joint.

I decided I'd better calm down. We finished the shower, double socks and all (double so that the dirt germs didn't get through the first layer ... I told you. I have an issue), and I was so worn out by the time I got back to camp I wasn't sure if I had just ran a marathon, or really in fact, just did showers. I was looking forward to hitting the bed.

Ahh, sleep. If it would have only been that simple. We hit the sack around midnight. Nate had coincidentally tweaked his back bending over to get something out of a bag (yeah, I know, right?). As we laid down on our air mattress the first thing we notice is about 25% of our air has oozed out. Yipee. Remember, no fan, so it was dead quiet, something none of us is used to. Nate could barely roll over or he'd be really hurting. When I'd go to roll over my knee would scream at me I'd about hit the roof (which consisted of nothing but a screen because Nate forgot the tarp for the top ... I was for sure a bird would fly over and poop all over my face. I kept waiting for it.)

Within minutes, I heard the dreadful sound. Not a bear. Not a bird pooping on my face. It was much worse. It was Nate's dreadful snoring. It's like a foghorn in the middle of the night, in a tunnel, right in my ear. Remember the fizzling air from the leak in the mattress? This has provided a trench, a gully, for him to fall right up against the side of me.


4:07am: You've got to get the hell out of here so I can get some sleep.

By now, karma had paid my husband back for me and acid reflux was knocking on his esophageal door. He decided he'd better just go sit up in the chairs by the fire. Poor man looked homeless, curled up in a chair by the community fire in a dirty sweat shirt.


Apparently at 6:32am the crows of the campground have a caw-fight. They were so loud. I decided I'd better check on the homeless man at the fire. Afterall, aside from the CAWWW's, it had been unusually quiet and when Nate's around sleeping, everyone knows about it. In fact, he would likely have scared the crows off. I peeked my head outside our tent.

There was the firering. There were the chairs. No Nate.

Crap, has he been abducted? 

Then I saw it. Our Tahoe had magically appeared behind the Glenn's trailer. What's weird, is that we had left it 3 miles down the road at the boat launch the day before. How did it get here? Inside, I found the homeless man behind the wheel passed out, drool dribbles and all. I could hear the small vibrations of his snoring as I stood at the door.

*knock knock*
How'd the Tahoe get here?

I went and got it.

Yeah, but. How? It's 3 miles down the road.
I walked.

... Yeah, bu-

I walked. Through the woods. In the dark. It was scary. I followed the trail and it took me to some random person's campsite. I waited to be mauled by a dog. Shot by a camper. Assaulted by a group of camping feminists. I didn't care. I needed shelter and a heated seat. So I walked. Now shut the door so I can go back to sleep or I'm tearing down the tent with everyone inside.

I've never seen anyone disassemble a tent/campsite so fast in my life.

When we finally got on the road, all was well in the Scovil vehicle. Nate dozing behind the wheel, bugs crawling out of my hair, and screams of joy and excitement radiating from the backseat.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

My girly boys

Mom? What are you doing? I LIKE RED TOO! Can you paint mine? I want my toes to look like yours!

Sure. But your dad is going to kill me. And so will you in 10 years.

I don’t look forward to the day that my boys will break my heart; but I know it’s coming. No longer will they ask for me to lay in bed with them to talk about “funny stories”. No longer will they run to me for safety from one another, as they will learn to fight their own battles. No longer will I have to blow on their oatmeal so that it won’t burn their tongues.

And it will break my heart. But I also look forward to this day as well.
Maysen has started to have more interest in daddy and “daddy’s things”, which I knew (and warned Nate about) would happen. It warms my heart to watch Nate start to instill the male slant on things in their life, as I know one day they will reflect back to it when, perhaps, one day they have their own children. They’re boys and I know this is very important.

But I will still miss the days where they wanted toes like mommy. I will miss the days where Mase would fall asleep in bed with either a blanket or Leo the Lion on his head because it made him “have hair like mommy’s”. I know that these photos are great for blackmail when they’re 18, but that’s not why I have them. It’s to remind me of the days where, if even for a moment, they were my little ones who wanted to be like their mommy.

So, no longer will they aspire to have toes just like mom because “they like red”. But. That’s OK with me. Sort of.