Top 10 Things I Hate About Sleep Away Camp With My Kids
This isn't camping. It's just camp. I'm not sleeping in a tent or anything crazy like that. (Can you imagine me in a tent??) I'm staying at something that would like to bill itself as more of a “retreat center” than a KOA. Ha. If this is a retreat center then I guess I could never stay anywhere really camp-like. Here's something for the suggestion box: If you're going to call yourself a retreat center you better have kickass WiFi everywhere. Also, you should have some place for me to sit when I check my email on your kickass WiFi - not my bunkbed.
Already I'm having withdrawal symptoms and last night when I figured out that the lodge I'm staying in has no WiFi, I about had a panic attack and threatened to pack up the car and go home. I took a deep breath and asked around. I soon figured out that I just need to go to a different lodge to get online, so I calmed down and spent the night.
I tucked my children into bed and they dreamily said to me, "I'm so happy we're here. I love it, Mama."
"Mmm...hmmm," I replied and then I settled down in my impossibly uncomfortable bed and tossed and turned thinking about how much I don't love it here and how un-happy I was. So, of course, I got up and made a list:
Top 10 Things I Hate About Sleep Away Camp With My Kids
1. The beds. Bunkbeds really lose their appeal after about age 10. I'm sleeping on the bottom bunk, so I feel claustrophobic and it's so narrow I'm sure I'm going to roll out. The top bunks are so high that I'm not letting my kids sleep in them. Remember, this is the place where Gomer hit his head so hard last year that I had to take him to the ER and Adolpha has just come out of a cast, so I'm not taking any chances. They're sleeping on mattresses on the floor and they're not very thrilled. They're smart not to whine though, they know what I'll make good on my threats to pack up.
2. The food. True, I don't have to make any meals this week. Instead, I just have to guess what I'm eating. I think that might be eggs, but I've never seen eggs with that consistency. Fuck it, I didn't have to cook. Thank goodness there is always a salad bar to graze if dinner isn't appealing. Besides the mystery meat, I always have to keep an eye out for errant bugs. Last year the cook left granola out for breakfast and when I put a bowl of it in front of Gomer, he took a bite and said, "Hmm...that's weird, my granola is moving." Yeah, there were bugs in it. Protein!
3. The noise. The first year I came Adolpha was 2 and I was the lady with the screaming baby at night. This year I realized I have little or no patience for that anymore. That is horrible of me to say because people were very kind to me (at least they were to my face) when Adolpha would keep the entire lodge up with her ear splitting refusals to go to bed. I should be kinder, but last night I was at my wit's end. Lucky for me, my mother is here and she offered to put my kids to bed and she sent me on a quiet walk. (She really doesn't want me to pack up and leave.)
4. The lack of privacy. I am sharing a room with both of my children, my mother, my grandmother and my aunt. Privacy isn't even a word in this room. Poor Gomer has been getting an eyeful of old, wrinkled flesh even though we keep sending him out of the room while the women get dressed. He leaves, but he neglects to close the door behind him so our door wide open for the world to see our old, wrinkled flesh. You're welcome, teenage boys living across the hall. I know that sight made your list of top 10 things you hate about camp too.
5. The showers. This morning I waited 15 minutes and still never got any hot water. I finally jumped in and did my business as quickly as I could. If this keeps up, I'm going to have to count swimming as bathing. After a second cold shower, my mother, who is the brains of the group, realized that our shower was plumbed backwards. So that means, COLD is hot and HOT is cold.
6. The bugs. I mentioned the bugs in the granola, right? Bugs are everywhere here. Just writing this made my skin crawl like something was trying to get me. I'm convinced that bugs are everywhere at camp. I'm also convinced they are bigger than normal and much more fierce. I think this is genetic, because last night both kids told me they were being “followed by hornets.”
|This is the kind of hornet I imagine!|
7. The lack of storage. You need clothes (at least two outfits a day since it's so dirty), bedding, towels for showers, towels for the pool, toiletries, food (I mentioned the mystery meat, right?), lovies, drying racks, rugs (we don't like to touch the floor with our bare tootsies), toys and books, but where do you put it all in a 10x10 room with 6 people?
8. Rain. One word: mud.
9. When the pool gets closed down. There was a blow out. The swim diaper kind. On the first day. Whoops. It happens. The pool is contaminated and today it was closed. It actually wasn't bad, because my kids went boating and they barely missed the pool. If it's still closed tomorrow, it could be a problem.
10. The first night. Even though this is my fourth year attending this camp, I still have a hard time that first night. The reality of what I'm about to do really sets in and I get very grumpy. I'm arrive caffeinated, plugged in, and doped up on television and Target. It's like detox. I don't sleep well the first night; I can't get comfortable and I can't relax (I'm sure there are bugs I my bed, the noise is driving me crazy, and I feel the top bunk creeping closer to me).
UPDATE: Even though I wrote this on the first night, I couldn't get a decent enough WiFi signal to actually post the mofo. I'm now finishing day 2 and getting ready for day 3 all the toxins are out of my body and I'm so exhausted from all the fun we're having I won't have trouble sleeping tonight. We had fun today boating and eating ice cream. Tonight was my favorite night: Talent Show night. My kids sang a song. I decided that next year I'm going to write a Top 10 List for Gomer to deliver. The kid loves making a crowd laugh and between the two of us I think we could kill 'em.