This weekend we went "camping" with our friends VoD and MoD.
By "camping" I mean Mr. Peevie and MoD and the five kids "slept" in a tent big enough to have its own zip code on the hard ground in MoD's backyard. And by "slept" I mean talked, giggled, changed places, told ghost stories, cried because of the ghost stories, shushed, fidgeted, whimpered, checked watches, watched skunk shadows skulk past the tent, and asked for blankets between about midnight and 6 a.m. We estimate actual cumulative sleep time at approximately 27 minutes per unit.
Meanwhile, VoD and I slept in comfortable beds in comfortable, kid-free rooms in the house. The next morning the kids woke up at the sound of dawn cracking, and VoD and I changed places with Mr. Peevie and MoD. The dads went upstairs to nap, VoD made breakfast for the gang, and I buttered the toast. I try to be useful.
Before the actual sleeping-in-the-tent part of the camping experience, we had the fire-pit and s'mores part. This is the part of camping during which the goal is to not set clothing, deck chairs, or body parts on fire with flaming marshmallows. We were mostly successful, but there were some close calls.
The kids love s'mores, of course, but they love setting marshmallows aflame and waving burning sticks around even more. And if it weren't for the fire aspect of s'mores, they'd be just as happy eating the Hershey bars straight up.
I'm all in favor of camping, and I think it's a great outdoor experience for the kids--but the sleeping-on-the-hard-ground part of camping is for the birds (and the children). What a good sport Mr. Peevie is. The next time we camp, for real, I will be in the tent, too, but only if I can sleep on a nice, cushiony air mattress.
My favorite part of "camping" was watching Gladiator with MoD after the kids finally went to sleep. We watched studly Russell Crowe and the creepily evil Joaquin Phoenix battle to the death until 2 a.m., and then MoD crawled back into the tent and I sacrificed fun on the comfort-quilted, continous support inner-spring altar of clean sheets and extra pillows.
I love camping.