Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Tent

It's a little over a month into the throes of summer vacation and despite the fact that we have taken our kids on 3 fun-filled camping trips, they are already complaining of the dulldrums. In fact, my oldest has even mentioned that he can't wait for school to start up again! I know, I was as shocked as anyone upon hearing that one and immediately took his temperature to see if he might be ill.

How we beat the summertime blues:

Enter your garage, you know, where you park the car (hopefully), the bikes, the Christmas decorations, your gardening supplies and the four strollers your husband said you didn't need. Now look up high, yes high up on those nifty shelves your husband built with his own two hands (a man must always make his garage his domain, customizing it to his exact specifications), okay, are you looking up high enough? There, waaaaaay up there on the top shelf towards the front of the side of the garage you do not park in are several bundles, each a different color. Grab the blue one. Inside you will find a tent.

Remember this tent? You and your husband spent many a moon inside this very tent eons ago, snuggling in your sleeping bags and gazing at the stars, digesting about 20 s'mores apiece along with a few bottles of red wine . . . focus! You have put many miles on that blue tent, miles accomplished on foot, rather than on four wheels, blood, sweat and tears miles - miles you had to tredge through masses of biting insects and hot temperatures to reach your final destination before setting up the tent in which you would finally get some rest miles! Hello?

The tent, oh yes, that tent.

Grab the nearest kid, in my case it was a 10-year-old boy. Now, get him to help you set the tent up in the backyard. He'll act like he's done this a thousand times, be patient. After connecting all 2 of the tent poles into their respective lengths, thread them through the top of the tent, remember? You've done this a few times, it's just like riding a bicycle.

After the tent is all set up and you've thoroughly doused it with a thick coating of Febreeze (and it still smells like a 17-year-old tent), invite the children to bring out their sleeping bags and pillows and "get it ready" for the nighttime. Whether they actually sleep in the tent all night is really of no importance. What you hear in the meantime, is.

Never in my life have I heard the words butt, poo, fart, booger, dude, pee, bum, stink, whiz, smelly, slimey, did I mention butt?, dog breath, nerd, arm pit, bugs, lame and weiner so many times. I think I've met my lifetime quota of locker room talk, and they're only half-grown!

What is it about being inside a tent, especially with the window and door zipped closed, that makes one think that the entire outside world does not exist?

I have had more than my share and I think it's time for a little sabbatical from the boy talk. I think it's time to clear my head of all the nonsense I overheard and hang with the girls for a little while so I offer to read them Thumbelina before I tuck them into bed.

But Thumbelina, at least the version I own, does not hold their attention for long and before I know it, both girls are jumping on the bed behind me singing "mama had a baby and her head popped off" and then collapsing in fits of giggles just like I did when I was a little girl (except there was usually a beheaded dandelion involved). So much for looking to the girls to rescue me from the grossness and ickiness that I'd heard coming from the tent.

C'est la vie.


Becky said...

awww super cute pic. he actually said he wanted to go back to school?! whoa!

Rock the Cradle said...

There is just something about a tent that invites lawlessness. Like Huck Finn still lives on in the 21st century, even if it's just through verbal gross-outs.

Looks like they had a great time.

jen said...

what a great idea. and what great memories fill the inside of that tent. good thing tents can't talk to the children...or maybe it's a shame.

Grim Reality Girl said...

SUCH A cute pic! We were thinking about getting a tent for the kids... now it feels like a must have! Thanks for inspiring me! We needed something to break up the summer doldrums.

Pendullum said...

Tents hold the magic of the stars...
or they can tents can alsocontain butt, poo, fart, booger, dude, pee, bum, stink, whiz, smelly, slimey, dog breath, nerd, arm pit, bugs,... it's all in the eye of the beholder....

Christina_the_wench said...

Our neighbors suck so we can't do this often. Apparently giggling teens cause just as much unnerving as gross-me-out boys.