Brainchild: wouldn’t it be fun to go camping as a family for Father’s Day? The whole weekend together, roughing it and showcasing my husband’s manly skills to his children! With the weekend looming, I began to stage for the trip, pressing into service various offspring to fetch and carry tents, Coleman stove, food stuffs, bugspray, etc. The mound in the living room grew quite large and seemed grander than when we packed for 10 day drive to Florida. A spirit of adventure filled us and excitement was in the air. Friday morning we made final preparations and packed our faithful minivan to the gills. Our 15 minute journey to the state park passed in a flash and we were knee deep in unpacking, determining the landscape of our site and setting up tents. Within an hour we were done and kicked back in our zero gravity chairs with cocktails in hand.
That is when the no-seeums descended. Although, when we felt little biting sensations all over our arms and legs, we could indeed see-um. Tiny little flies of some sort were eating us alive. No amount of bug spray seemed to deter them. Added to the distraction of trying to smack multiple bugs at a time, while reading and drinking, was the distraction of our 14 year old. To be fair, our Aspie had never been camping before and from a sensory perspective, a lot of discomforts and novel experiences were occurring. What this means, though, is that a constant soundtrack had commenced: can I go home, when can I go home, can I go home, when can I go home, I never said I wanted to do this, why do I have to be here, I can walk home from here, etc. One of his special powers is the ability to laser focus his dislikes into a verbal litany and repeat it like a broken record. But I digress. In addition to making sure you bring a person who is an Olympic Gold Medalist in tent set up, below are some tips you may benefit from if this manner of brainchild should descend upon you:
A campfire will not only leave you smelling like smoked sausage and drive away all biting insects, it will also entertain a 14 year old for hours. Between being allowed to light an endless volume of matches and being allowed to urinate onto the fire to extinguish it, the needle was lifted from his take me home recording. The approval to piss on the fire meant getting out of his tent every 30 minutes all night to have another go at it, and this was the boy’s favorite part of camping.
It may seem important to bring one large inflatable mattress for you and your lover to sleep upon — sleeping on two separate mattresses seems so unromantic, right? Well, if you opt for one, the lighter of you will spend the night adhered to the flank of the larger spouse in the valley his/her weight creates or scrabbling on the edge of the mattress to keep from sliding into the mattress valley. And forget about sleeping the night if either of you needs to get up to water the bushes (or piss on the fire yourself for good measure) as the air mattress will toss and roll like the sea under stormy skies waking up even the deepest sleeper.
If you are a Type A personality (and who are the rest of you aliens?) be prepared to be bored out of your flipping mind. After directing camp set up activity, reading for what seems like forever, napping, reading some more, walking to camp store and back, more reading, and doing your best to ignore the broken record complaint of those who want to go home, you must face boredom. The best thing for overcoming boredom is a hostile game of Canasta followed by an argument over whether or not the camp fire has been appropriately started or is being smothered to the point of extinguishment. Enjoy.
Your Unsolicited Life Coach