Thursday, July 8, 2010

Camping 101 - Stay In The House

My husband Jay's three grandchildren, ages 5, 8 and 10 spent last weekend with us.  Normally, Stephen, the 10-year-old, lives with his father and we don't see him that often.  However, when we do, the combination of all three of them is exasperating.  Stephen, a fine lad all by himself, inspires bad behavior in his siblings, especially in 5-year-old Ben.  The two boys together gang up on on sister Amanda, requiring constant policing, patience, threats, time-out, etc. 

When I heard that we had all three for the weekend, I came up with an idea, practically genius in retrospect.  I suggested that Jay and the kids set up our 8-person tent and camp in our yard.  I opted out, stating a need for indoor plumbing. 

The kids loved the tent and Ben threw himself on top of everyone in excitement after it was finally set up.  He'd never slept in a tent before and couldn't contain himself.  Ben and Chardonnay are alike in many ways, including the need to jump on others when they are excited.  As I was saying goodnight, the kids were screaming and wrestling, jumping on Jay and basically behaving like wild animals.  Jay looked at me and actually asked if I was sure I didn't want to stay with them.  I had never been more certain that sleeping in my own bed was a great idea. 

Apparently Jay got the kids to sleep by pretending to be asleep himself.  They eventually gave up on trying to rouse him and conked out.  Chardonnay, however, was out of her element.  She often sits on our back deck at night, listening to the sounds in the woods surrounding our house.  She seems so serene when she's doing this.  After 9 pm, Chardonnay is normally down for the night, snoring and oblivious to the rest of the household that stays up later.  With her people camping outside she was a different dog.  Chardonnay felt like she had to protect them all night.  This meant that any sound in the woods required her to chase it into the woods, barking loudly.  This chasing, barking behavior occurred numerous times throughout the night, but at least the evil forest creatures stayed away.  Bringing Chardonnay in the house didn't help as she just clawed at the door to go back out.  Chardonnay's guard dog persona kept her and Jay awake most of the night while the children slept.  Poor Jay.  Lucky, brilliant me.

1 comment:

  1. With apologies to John Denver:

    It'd hold three kids 'n' one hound dog and a chicken we stole from the pen
    Didn't get much sleep but we had a lot of fun in Jay's grandkids' tent