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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Saturday was the "Great American Camp-Out." If you watch any of the Nickelodeon channels, the event was difficult to ignore. Thanks to some clever advertising directed towards kids, Robby was determined to participate and has had the date circled on our calendar for the past six weeks. The excitement about the Great American Camp-Out reached a fever pitch by the end of the week, and I knew that I was destined to spend my Saturday night in a tent.

We had a busy day on Saturday. Between going to a Pirate festival in DC in the morning, swimming in the afternoon and hockey in the evening, I was hoping that Robby would be too tired to camp-out, providing me a reprieve. My plan was flawed because I forgot one important fact: Robby does not tire. By the time the sun was setting, I was ready to head to bed and Robby was gathering our blankets and supplies for the camp-out.

Accepting my fate of another inadequate night's sleep, I decided to embrace the experience with Robby. Scott made a fire in the firepit while Robby and I gathered the rest of our supplies.  He certainly has a strong, albeit slightly misguided perception of what was considered an essential. I added a bottle of water to the supply pile and Robby quickly removed it, suggested instead that I fill his Spongebob canteen, just like in the "olden days."

Once the mountain of supplies was assembled, we began carrying it all to the tent. It took us no fewer than 8 trips to carrying everything outside! It looked like we were going on a week long wilderness trek by all of the "necessities" that we were schlepping outside. I had to giggle when I saw Robby's numerous contributions to our supply pile. In addition to Black Bear and his pillows, he brought his bow and a few arrows, his fishing pole, markers and a tablet, walkie talkies and his Pirate gun (to scare off camping pirates should they invade in the middle of the night.) I was also fairly confident that we were not going to need our umbrellas, and I suspected that the 6 flashlights were probably overkill, but I decided to relax and just go with it. Robby was adamant that it was better to be prepared, and I was too tired to employ logic. So we spent 30 minutes schlepping seemingly everything out to the tent.

I did insist that we carry out the mattress from our pull-out sofa (I'm too old to sleep on the ground). Robby begrudgingly agreed but only after Mr. Bill confirmed that he slept on a mattress when he was growing up. (Apparently Mr. Bill is the yardstick for "olden days.") By the time our stockpile was relocated to the tent, there was barely enough room for us to sleep!

Robby and I spent the evening by the fire pit roasting hot dogs and marshmallows while telling stories. We caught lightening bugs, played with glow sticks and he gleefully peed on several trees. He toiled in the tent, getting everything organized and ready.  In short, I managed to recreate the camping experience mere feet from the comfort of our front door.

By the time we crawled into the tent and zipped into the sleeping bags, Robby was blissfully exhausted. After talking for a few minutes about the epic nature of our camp-out, he finally settled down and fell asleep. Surprisingly, he slept through the night without stirring. I know this because I was awake for most of the night. Our yard becomes surprisingly noisy once the sun goes down!

Despite my enduring another night of inadequate sleep, the camp-out was a rousing success. Robby woke up early (5 am) and wanted to know if we were going to make scrambled eggs and bacon over the fire pit for breakfast. Somehow I managed to convince him that most campers just go to IHOP. We were met with a torrential downpour as soon as we unzipped the tent. I guess we did need those umbrellas after all.

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