Monday, July 07, 2008

I think this technically counts as a missions trip...

Since this weekend was a holiday, Darren somehow extracted the promise from me that we would all sleep in the tent one night. We got up Friday morning and went out to my parents who live in the country. Darren set up the tent and the air mattress while my mom and dad snickered (at me).

Then we left and went to a church picnic. I hadn't had much sleep the night before, so I was really tired by the time we got back to my parents'. So were the girls. Lucy was sort of whimpering, and I washed her face and brushed her teeth for her, put her in her pajamas, and she went out and flopped in her bed in the tent where she slept until morning like the awesome little trooper that she is. Elaine? Not so much. She was in full Princess Puff mode. (Princess Puff was my grandma's toy poodle, one of the snippiest little dogs ever to roam the earth. She's in dog heaven now, rest assured on some pink silk pillow.) Elaine wanted to be rocked. "Daddy, wock me!" she wailed. She wanted to sleep in her regular bed. She wanted more pillows and toys and stuffed animals. This girl takes after her mother.

Darren finally got her settled down. I sat inside, reading a mystery about an abusive husband who was killed by his wife because he made her sleep in a tent. Well, all except for that last part. By 9:30 I was done and didn't want the girls out there by themselves anyway, so I went out and got settled.

The next part was the longest night of my life. Possibly Fourth of July is not the night to sleep out in the open. Firecrackers and M-80s went off all around us. Dogs barked. Big dogs, little dogs, dogs on skates and dogs on skis. Go dogs go. Plus all around were people drag racing or something. Who knew so much went on in the middle of the night in Pump Handle, Midwest? Then the arthritis in my hip was killing me. Please don't laugh. It's true. And it was freezing. Freezing, I tell you. It was like lying on a mattress filled with dry ice. And everything was clammy. And oh, the crickets. They were deafening. It was like the Chinese water torture in chirp form. Another huge firecracker boom, and Elaine started to cry. Basically, my life passed before my eyes at that point. I was like, "I am so out of here. It has to be at least 4 o'clock in the morning by now. I have fulfilled my commitment of sleeping in the tent."

I carefully unzipped the opening so as not to wake the girls, but the cover over the tent was so firmly in place that I had to try and squeeze through until I just fell out onto the ground, losing one of my flip-flops in the process so I had to hunt around for that in the pitch black. I made my way back to the house where my dad had thoughtfully left the door unlocked. (He knows me well.)

I looked at the clock to confirm that it was indeed 4:00 a.m., and lo and behold it was 12:30. I'd made it three hours in the tent. I went upstairs, fell into a real (warm, blissfully quiet) bed and slept until 8:00 the next morning.

That was my tent experience. Darren claims it's not all bad and that he's bringing the tent to family camp in August. We'll see exactly who ends up sleeping in it.

Here was the best thing about this weekend though...


ARF said...

Was it bad manners as a reader for me to actually snort out loud during the 4th paragraph?

Just wondering.

Ann-Marie said...

I hear you, girl and was amen-ing you all the way through the post! The flip-flop thing was least you didn't have to resort to murder!

The photo looks like something at the start of the Narnia Chronicles...I mean, of course everyone goes to heaven, why wouldn't they?

Alice said...

Snorting is definitely OK here, Ann.

Ann-Marie, I think we should start some sort of Indoor Women Support Group. And yes of course, everyone goes to heaven, EXCEPT SUSAN! :-)

Juliet said...

I'm with you when it comes to camping...of course being old now, I did put in my time when I was younger and didn't have Ann-Marie. She is an indoor girl thru and thru. If tents came with running water and air conditioning she might think about going camping.

The girls look so cute in their red, white and blue outfits!

Melanie said...

That's hysterical! I can totally see you searching for that flip-flop! Did you let out loud sighs as you tossed and turned? I would've but you're better-mannered so you likely kept that to yourself. :)

Love, luv the pic of the girls!

Jill said...

My sympathies on the tent experience. I am also not a big "tent-camper" and Bill gives me grief about it all the time. We have compromised by setting up the tent with an air mattress in the basement...that is the furthest I will go with "roughing" it. :)

I wanted to tell you in regards to your tooth fairy comment -- it gets easier as they get older. This is only the 2nd out of 8 teeth that Mary has lost that she has been able to get out on her own. They do grow out of the "fear" of losing their teeth -- now it's more of a competition with her friends :) I wish you good luck and hope that she can make a visit to your home soon!

Alysa said...

oh my goodness - i just woke up jackson because I was laughing so hard. Bummer on waking him up but the laugh was well worth it!