Summer time can be very challenging for the sahm (stay-at-home mom). Why you ask? Because there is very little time for the sahm. It's all about trips to the pool, play dates, Six Flags, White Water, lake, etc. etc. Which is all great and most of the time, I sincerely enjoy this quality time I get to spend with my girls. But some days, I just need a break. For real. So imagine my delight when Doug told me he was taking the girls camping this week. Most of you know my feelings about camping so I feel I don't need to reiterate about all that. Though if I had to use one sentence to best describe those feelings it would sound something like this: I can think of better ways to spend my day without dealing with the heat, bugs, snakes, dirt, wretchedness that camping represents to me. There. I know Doug keeps hoping I may change my mind but it ain't happening. My nickname while I visit the fam on the campground has been dubbed "Yankee wuss." See, that just sets the tone right there.
So Doug tells me he's going to take both girls camping, leaving Tuesday afternoon and returning home Friday afternoon. They are not going far away and I am welcome to visit any time. So I get all giddy with the anticipation of having a little time to myself. I'm mentally making lists of things I have to do and things I need to do and even things it would be nice to do. Tuesday afternoon comes and I follow Doug up to the campground to help set up and offer support. I stay for a few hours and leave prior to dinner. I go home and bask in the quiet, leisurely making some dinner all for myself and in between cooking I read some bits of my latest Kathleen Woodiwiss book. Life is good. I am able to let out my breath and relax. Two hours later I receive a text from Doug.
D: I am bringing H home.
Then the phone rings.
D: Hadley got dirt in her eye and has been crying for 2 hours. She's ruining our camping trip.
Me: Fine. (I am pretty sure I was in such a huff that I didn't even say good-bye. It freaking figures that I allowed myself to make plans and this is the universe laughing it's ass off and flinging my plans back at me.)
About 30 minutes later Doug shows up with Hadley in her nightgown, howling at the top of her "My eye huuuurts!"
I get the eye drops and Doug tries to hold her down as she's doing crazy ninja moves on him. She's writhing in pain and I feel bad for her. It appears that she scratched her eye once the dirt got in and by this time, her eye is causing her considerable pain. I know that if I can get her to sleep the eye will begin to heal itself and she will probably wake up feeling a lot better. So I wet a washcloth and gently sponge her eye. I give her a dose of Tylenol & then decide a dose of Benadryl probably wouldn't hurt either. I take her into her room and lay with her for a little bit hoping she'll roll over and go to sleep. No such luck. She cries for about an hour. I'm beginning to remember life with a newborn and envision myself kicking Doug in the balls the next time I see him. Who does he think he is dropping off this poor crying mess and leaving me to reap the benefits? Payback is a bitch. Finally I get her to sleep only to have her awaken less than an hour later sobbing in her pillow about her eye. Out of ideas and pretty tired myself, I scoop her up and plant her beside me in my bed. She falls asleep instantly and does not cry again for the rest of the night.
Wednesday dawns a new day as Hadley seems to be recovering from her scratched eye and in good spirits. I pack us up and head over to see how the other two campers are faring. I spot them both bobbing in the water swimming waving madly to us. Hadley is happy to be back at the camp site and anxiously awaits the time Doug will take her fishing. We spend the day lounging around, fishing, bug hunting and then decide to head over to the beach area for a swim. We've been in the water for less than an hour when storm clouds approach and thunder can be heard in the distance. The first sight of lightening sends us all scrambling back to shore to pack up and head back to the camp site where we spend the next 20 minutes securing anything we don't want soaked or blown away. A freaking monsoon-like storm hits and Delaney, who has become absolutely terrified of thunder, is shrieking and insisting that she go sit in the car. I shuffle both girls to the car and decide that since there is no other obvious place to sit out the storm, I may as well wait with them. An hour later we are still sitting in the car having an Angry Bird marathon. Doug, refusing to be a Yankee wuss, is sitting under the canopy at the picnic table sending texts to us in the car, complaining of the flooding problem he's having due to the onslaught of rain. When it nears 4 o'clock, I throw in the towel and pack the girls up to head for home. It's still storming and I know that neither kid will sleep in a tent with thunder to be heard. Doug refuses to leave and insists that he'll be fine. Delaney is reluctant to leave him alone but he assures her he'll be just fine.
Thursday is the day I tell myself. Delaney is bouncing off the walls with her need to be at the camp site. She has given Hadley a pep talk and now Hadley is excited and looking forward to spending the night as well. We get there and have lunch. The skies are blue and no one has scratched their eye so do I dare think I may have a kid-free afternoon/night to myself? You bet I did. Even though Hadley gave me an extra chore when I got home (I got to take apart the car seat and wash the cover as well as soak up the gallon of pee she managed to coat over the back seat), it was still a blissful afternoon/evening of doing whatever the hell I want. I read my book, watched one of my top 5 guys in The Other Boleyn Girl, and treated myself to a fat ass glass of wine. What can I say, I'm good to myself. I tried to sleep in but at 7:45 my neighbor's lawn service jarred me out of a sound sleep with their obnoxiously loud mowers. Who cares? 7:45 is like 12 in mom world so it's all good. Being away from the girls, even if only briefly, always leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to plunge in feet first again. Solitude is a gift and though it's one I don't get very often, it makes it all the more precious for me and I savor every little morsel of it.
P.S. A result of the awesome camp out left one kid with poison ivy. Some persons thought me to be overreacting when I noticed a little bump on her face but several days later it is very evident what Delaney found while playing in the woods.
P.P.S. Delaney admitted to me that there was one day that she didn't even brush her teeth. Ugh! Doug told me they were "roughing it" and it's all part of the camping experience. Add one more thing to my list of reason I dislike camping.