Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vacationing...because that's what we do.

So we went camping with the babies.

And I wonder, in retrospect, what caused the insane delusion I had earlier in the summer when I wistfully described to Kyle how wonderful it would be to camp as a family on the ocean. How we'd set up on the beach every day and he and I would take turns playing in the surf while the babies peacefully played under their sun shade. How we'd enjoy a few cold beers around our campfire at night and then turn in to bed while the waves lulled us all to sleep. Ha.


First there was the issue of Bill. As in Hurricane Bill. Included in his little bag of tricks were eighteen foot waves, a high tide that swept nine feet beyond the shoreline, and one night of torrential downpours. The only things frolicking in the sea were several tree-sized pieces of driftwood and three drunken guys on boogie boards who prompted me to make Kyle promise, PROMISE! that he would not dive in to rescue them should they begin to drown. I kept envisioning the headline: Dashingly handsome husband and father drowns while rescuing local drunken idiots. Drunken idiots alive and well; offer heartbroken wife conciliatory six pack. And then, several weeks later, the follow-up: Heartbroken wife attacks local drunken idiots; removes eyeballs and penises.

But I have truly digressed here.

Aside from Bill, we found that camping with two babies is just plain old hard. There were the mosquitoes, and the guy at the site adjacent to ours who one night made the loud announcement, "who let the fire go out? Shit! Somebody get me a lighter and the bug spray." Surely, I thought to myself, the lighter and the bug spray are in no way connected to his plan to restart the fire. Two minutes later there was a pop and a flash, and then the peculiar chemical odor of burning DEET.

And before babies, we would have been all, "...and we were totally high off the burning DEET, which was hilarious, even though it's a bummer that now we will probably get cancer and die." But somehow, with our babies' little lungs in mind, flaming insecticide is less funny. I considered running over to his site and screaming like a maniac: "Do you know how HARD we worked for these babies? And you're burning DEET!" but then decided a better punishment would be to quietly wile away the hours until bedtime when our babies would show our environmentally responsible neighbor a thing or two about neighborly-ness.

We had planned to stay for three nights, which in retrospect seems foolishly aggressive. As the evening of night two settled in around us, I sat in the tent desperately attempting to entertain our increasingly stir-crazy babies, while Kyle worked outside in the rain to keep our fire alive (sans explosive chemicals) so that he could cook some dinner. I found myself cursing our three-night ambition and wondering if my back could survive another two nights nursing two babies while laying on the bumpy hard ground and swatting away mosquitoes. I wanted to go home but couldn't say so, lest I should appear to be wimping out on our "vacation."

Kyle walked up to the tent and looked in at me. "I think we should consider leaving tomorrow."

Hallelujah. And thank god for husbandly ESP.

We got up at 6am, wiped the slugs off our gear, and beat it out of there.

We're learning.


Jilliane said...

This is so perfectly described. I feel like I was there. It was a good idea but I guess I will add this to my list of "what not to do" when I am a parent. We are all learning together..thanks! Glad you were first....hehe!

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

Sometimes ya just gotta experience it to know. And sometimes what works for you won't work for me. We're still learning, too.