So my crazy sister-out-law was all, "I have a good idea! How about we take a four-year-old camping!" and so my husband, who will jump on just about any bandwagon bound for It-seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time, was all, "Super! Let me grab my three-year-old and I'll join you!"
I had misgivings.
I mean, camping? With a three-year-old? He's pretty reliant on routine, isn't really comfortable with new situations, god only knows about access to toilet facilities AND he would have to take care of a three-year-old?
But despite my reservations, my sister, Kim, and her Kristi packed up their four-year-old and a bunch of other stuff and my husband packed up Sam and half a blanket and some underpants and they headed off to the wilderness. And I'm glad he did. It seems like the kind of thing children should do and I am sure as heck not going to volunteer.
I did, however, take Owen out to have dinner with them Saturday night. When we arrived they were on a hike (so that's just, like, walking? in a circle? for no reason?), so we hung out and waited for them and it went kind of like this:
Owen! Stay AWAY from the campfire. HOT. HOT. BAD.
No! No, stop touching those plants! It could be poison ivy or something that drips acid! I think I read about a deadly, acid-dripping, plant once!
Jesus Pete how many mosquitoes are OUT here???
Why is it so HOT??
What are we supposed to DO???
NO. FIRE BAD. But not the plants either! And stop wandering! You could get eaten by a bear or run over by car or stolen by hill folk to increase their gene pool! Stay close! But not that close. Good lord you radiate heat. Why do we even need to turn the heat on in the winter when we have you and you could clearly be used in lieu of a fireplace? In fact, lets bury the campfire and roast marshmallows over you and solve a bunch of problems at once. But seriously, get off of me.
Eventually we just went and sat in the car.
So it was nice when everybody got back from their hike (all sweaty and not seeming to care??). It was more fun with other people, and the talking and the eating of food that somebody else had provided. Chris talked about taking the boys swimming and how gross the lake had been and how even he couldn't handle how nasty it was but it was so cute because the boys started to play a game where they jumped over the "goo." Ah-ha-ha.
Why are you letting the baby swim in pollution?
Overall, though, I think they had a good time. And there were no disasters, and Sam did way better than I thought he would at tackling this new experience.
This is one reason it is nice for kids to have two parents. Left on our own, I don't think Kim or I would do a lot of camping, but because we've partnered up, our children get to do these things that generations of crazy relatives have called "character-building" and "fun."