Pessimistic Optimism

Life as I see it… sort of.

Camping: Two kids, a wife and a whole lot of bullfrogs

My family went camping… sort of, we pitched a tent by a pond on someone’s property whom we know.  It seemed like a fun thing to do.  Wear the kiddies out at the birthday party all day, on same said property, and let the kids crash while Mommy and Daddy(me) hang out by the camp fire and relax.  Did I mention the rain?  The monsoon in the evening?  Yes, it poured during the gift opening ceremony (thank god!).  This has to be the most boring ritual (except for when it’s for my kids, of course).  “Look another stuffed animal.  Ooh, a pair of socks.  What do you think the next one will be?”  SHOOT ME!!!  Be prepared for tangents, I’m new at this blogging thing.

Back to the campfire… were we even there yet?  My son drooled his way to sleep on a lap at the fire.  He’s fifteen.  Fifteen months, that is.  My daughter overindulged on s’mores and giggles and reluctantly stayed laying down in the tent on the second try.  Mommy and Daddy(me) sauntered back to the fire with the hopes and dreams of a comfortable night in nature.  That is when the rain decided to make an encore appearance.  Calling it rain doesn’t do it justice.  Torrential downpour fits nicely.  Throw in some lightning for fun and we had a hell of a party going on.

Our daughter screamed out as I struggled with three chairs and two beers.  I’m sorry to say and am quite embarrassed to reveal that the beers didn’t make it.  For you chair lovers out there, you’ll be happy to know they made it to the tent mostly dry.  Aaah!  Safe and sound in the tent.  Dry, too.  For now.  Drip!  Drip!  Drip!  The spot in the three room tent where our little girl was had a leak.  Oops, we never water-proofed the tent.

My daughter ended up between her mommy and daddy(me) in the middle of the tent. My space was limited so I could only lay on my side with my daughter’s knees digging into my ribs and I kept slipping downward toward one of the puddles created because we forgot to waterproof the tent.  To put it mildly, I was a little uncomfortable.  My son stayed asleep in the playpen on the other side of the one remaining partition… that was until we draped it over said playpen to prevent the most recent drips from soaking him.
After what seemed like three hours of nature’s fury raining down on us it stopped.  I think I slept a total of three minutes at that point.  That is when bullfrog mating season began.  I thought I was in a Budweiser commercial.  You know, the one with the girls wrestling.  Never mind!

Those #%&^ing frogs wouldn’t shut up.  Did I mention that we didn’t bring pillows and that we forgot the pump for the air mattress?  At this point I needed something to comfort me so I grabbed the nearest thing and tucked it under my head as a pillow.  It was a burlap bag full of things we thought we needed and didn’t.  I still have pockmarks in my face from the hour I used it that would make James Woods jealous.

While enjoying Kermit and friends’ greatest hits I had an epiphany.  For anyone that needs to look that up, go to  There was toilet paper in the sack.  Aaugh!  Now that was a pillow.  It gave me just enough neck support to help take me to the sandman.

The fifteen minutes I caught were like heaven.  If heaven’s mattresses are made up of rocks, sticks and toddler’s elbows and knees.

The frogs finally stopped and I could rest peacefully… I thought.  I never slept in a tent with small children before.  When the sun comes up, they want to get up.  In July in Western New York the sun comes up just after 5am.

My wife and I never felt better… er worse.  It sucked!!!  But the kids had fun and that is all that matters. 


August 16, 2006 - Posted by | Humor, parenthood

1 Comment »

  1. […] and ice cream.  I mentioned in a previous post how I abhor children’s gift openings (see Camping: Two kids, a wife and a whole lot of bullfrogs) unless they’re my own kids, so I rudely took it upon myself to buzz through this ritual […]

    Pingback by A Whole Lot o' Presents « Pessimistic Optimism | April 19, 2007 | Reply

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