Camping Craziness

Last weekend we went camping up by my Dad’s place in Wisconsin. He has a whole bunch of land up there where we (my family and my sisters families) are fortunate enough to be able to go spend some time. It is a win-win. I get to see my Dad, who I wish I could see more, and my kids get a chance to spend some time with their Grandpa doing “boy stuff.” Which really just means peeing on things outside and getting dirty.

He has quite the setup up there equipped with his camping trailer, which includes a shower, flushing toilet, kitchen and satellite TV. This is how my Dad does camping. Not too shabby. For the visitors that venture up, he also has a pop-up camper. This is where my family stays (while utilizing his bathroom & kitchen facilities.) It is by no means “roughing” it. The camper had better air conditioning than parts of my house, but it is really as much like camping as I am interested in getting with a 4 & 2 year old.

My Dad also has several ATV’s, including one small one perfect for a kid Jack’s size to ride, and a pontoon boat that made our hot Saturday more enjoyable being on the lake. All in all it wasn’t a bad way to spend the weekend.

Here are a few highlights:

On our way up north, I was using a public restroom (aka hovering while peeing) and I decided to pitch my gum in the toilet. Fast forward 10 minutes later when I am standing in line at Subway ordering Jason a sandwich and I am confused as to what is sticking to the crotch region of my pants. It takes me a few seconds and then I realize. My gum is stuck to the inside of my leg / crotch and jeans. Fantastic. Keep in mind I am in a public oasis that is packed with travelers and there is no way I can just stick my hand down the front of my pants to investigate. This resulted in me having to drop my pants in the front seat of the car and proceed to have to rip the gum off my leg/crotch region. Only someone with my luck can get their own gum stuck to their own crotch.

Me to Jack: I just saw 10 deer on my 4-wheeler ride. Want to go see if they are still there?
Jack: You mean like Bambi but without the hunter guys trying to kill them?
Me: Umm. Yeah, just like that.
Moral: Disney movies are not always a good idea. Damn Bambi killers!

Dad: [Noon-is on Sunday] Wow, I can’t believe none of the boys have hit anything on that 4-wheeler yet. I thought for sure someone would’ve hit something.
[Less than 5 minutes later]
Jack: [loud bang and crying]
Jason: What happened?
Jack: I hit the tree.
Moral: If you say it out loud it will happen!

While taking the kids for a 4-wheeler ride through my Dad’s “forest” (think fairly skinny trail lined with tree’s and branches and me operating a not-so-skinny ATV) I pulled up to Jason who was cutting some tree branches. Joey was riding up in front of me and while Jason and I were talking he takes hold of the handlebars and hammers down the throttle. I have never seen my husband move so quickly in his life (thank God) and I ended up grabbing the brake and stopping us a few inches from a large tree. Perhaps this is why the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend letting 2 year olds ride on ATV’s. THEY MIGHT KILL THEIR PARENTS.

The car ride home through WI took entirely too long. The kids were as whiny as they could be, we listened to the movie Up for what felt like forever and Joey kicked my seat 4 of the 5 hours we were in the car while continually yelling “Mommy. Mom. Momma. Mommmeeeee!” Until I finally threatened to drop him at the fire station if he didn’t SIT QUIETLY IN HIS SEAT! The boys spilled their drinks, their fries and dropped every toy I gave them.  To make this car ride even more memorable Jason decided to give the boys a lesson on driving.

Jason to Boys: Boys, this is how you merge when you drive in IL. You start down the ramp towards the highway going no less than 10 mph over the posted speed limit. You keep moving never looking to the left to see what is coming. You don’t want to be like these Wisconsin drivers with their heads turned around backwards to see what’s coming. You just keep driving and move right in. That is how you merge on to the highway.

The boys never even acknowledged he was talking. My fear is that they missed this life lesson and will not know how to properly merge on the highway.

Besides all that (oh yeah and my sister’s camper starting on fire on the drive home) it was exactly as a family camping weekend should be.

Thanks to my Dad for the generous hospitality. xoxo


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