Friday, August 24, 2012

Family Camping Cancelled

After coming home from a wonderful week of camping just the two of us, it was time to take the kids for their vacation.  According to their Babcia, they were very excited to go, telling everyone they met that the whole family would be going camping even Worf! The day before we left we made last minute preparations. Adam bought the kids new sleeping bags and I bought some food for campfire dinners, as well as the ingredients for S'mores.

On Wednesday we packed up the car and drove three hours through farm country. At a restaurant bathroom en route, they kids were loudly yelling "poopy!" despite repeated requests to stop. They giggled when I got annoyed and continued to egg each other on (3 and 5 are exactly the wrong ages for impulse control).  Finally I said that there would be no stories.  This usually gets William to stop.  He loves his bedtime stories (Jadzia doesn't care).  In this case, they both kept going.

We arrived at the Pinery in the afternoon, a provincial park that for me is the setting for many happy childhood memories. After setting up the campsite we went to the beach. We had a pleasant time in the water, then built a sand castle together with each child adding their own creative touches.  I made thrones and a table for the king and queen and Jadzia put small handfuls of dirt on them saying they were the people.  

William was hungry and it was nearly dinner time so we washed the sand off our bodies and prepared to leave.  At this point William had a massive freak out. Not because we were leaving the beach, oh no, because I asked him to hold my hand and not crawl in the sand.  William told me I was the stupidest person in the world and that he didn't like me. Finally I told him that we wouldn't be fishing after dinner like we'd planned.

After eating fire-roasted fish, Adam drove into town to get some things we'd forgotten and to avoid being tempted by S'mores. I sat the kids a safe distance from the fire and put marshmallows on very long sticks for them. Neither of them actually like roasted marshmallows (they prefer raw) but they delight in the roasting process.  Especially Jadzia who got seven marshmallows to catch on fire and let them them drip into the flame. I made us some S'mores with my new S'more maker while re-mallowing sticks and frantically trying to avoid a third degree burn scenario.  I told the kids the "stop, drop, and roll" rule but they just laughed and turned away.  The only burn suffered was my own.  I now have the imprint of my S'more maker on my inner forearm.

Far from salvaging the camping experience, the sugar got the kids riled up and I finally had to institute a walk to the washroom in order to keep from killing them.  To avoid malicious pee accidents, we recently instituted a one-pair-of-underwear-a-day rule for Jadzia.  She wets her underwear, she gets a diaper.  Jadzia responded to this by pooing in her diaper, something she hasn't done for months.  Well, when we got to the comfort station I discovered a poop in her diaper.  The kids giggled and exclaimed "poopy!" "poopy!" as I wiped the excrement from my daughter's butt.  I told them to stop, but I felt less like an authority figure and more like the victim of schoolyard bullies, whining "stop it!" as they taunted me.

Finally they brought me to tears, not that that's hard to do when I'm stressed.  Anyway, witnessing their mother have a nervous breakdown in the campground washroom was a wake-up call for them and they finally stopped.  Ha!  So not!  Jadzia had to walk back to the campsite bare-bummed because I hadn't brought an extra diaper with me (because she's a big girl, not an infant for Spock's sake!)  William pointed and squealed "vagina!" and "naked!" the whole way back.

Adam got back at that point and he "put the kids" to bed.  Without stories, there wasn't much to do besides put them in the tent, give them a lecture about treating Mommy better, and tell them to go to sleep.  Surprise, they didn't.  They screamed and giggled.  Actually, it was more Jadzia screaming while William, in a low voice, told her what to yell.  I really regretted not bringing any alcohol with me.  We threatened to cancel the whole trip.  They yelled "Stupid Mommy!" "Stupid Daddy!"  Our plan had been to wait until the next morning to see if their behaviour had improved, but at that point the idea of getting in the tent with them was so repugnant to me that we packed up the campsite.

I went for a last washroom break as Adam put the tent on the roof.  Looking in the mirror I thought "boy do I ever look tired, even my hair looks tired."  I could hear the kids wailing all the way from the comfort station.  I hoped this was because they were upset about the trip being cancelled (up until that point they hadn't seemed to care).  Nope.  They had got hold of the dog food (measured out for four days) and emptied it inside the car.

We drove three hours home and thankfully the kids fell asleep in the car, seemingly unaware of the gravity of the situation. The next morning, they were back to demanding snacks and screen time as normal.  We limited the snacks (no matter how annoying they are we do have to feed them) and instituted a ban on screen time.  At first it looked like they were going to have another stellar day, but by the afternoon William was being a little angel, building whimsically-engineered tanks and segways out of Lego. By dinner time, even Jadzia was behaving.  So we decided to take them fishing.

We went to Burns Consevation Area, which has a sad-looking pond whose water-level looks about five-feet lower then it should be.  But there are fish!  Both Jadzia and William are better fishers than I am.  William caught one fish all by himself, and Jadzia caught 4 or 5.  We fished until past bedtime.  I finally caught one sunfish and declared it time to go. Despite getting more mosquito bites on my ankles than I did an entire week of camping, it was a perfect evening.  The kids protested leaving only minimally and, at William's prompting, Adam told us all stories of his childhood on the way home.


Adam Filipowicz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam Filipowicz said...

I am not sure why the kids were being so mean, I know they are young and our expectations shouldn't be too high. but they intentionally try to hurt and be a pain. At the beach, when we were leaving William was struggling and kicking sand.. Jadzia would not stay standing and I had to wash her off 4 times as she kept kneeling in the sand. I couldnt pick her up as I was carrying stuff and handling worf. When we put them in the car around 10pm they grabbed the bag of dog food and threw it all around the car. there was so much dog food everywhere!. I dont think we will go the Pinery again. last year it was a much better trip except for the Tornado Alert!. perhaps Sandbanks next year or Algonquin.

Adam Filipowicz said...

why cant I edit comments.. how silly

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