Thursday, May 05, 2005


Am I crazy?

Am I crazy? Whoa, before you trip all over yourself in your hurry to say yes, let me put this in context.

Next weekend, we are going camping. With the kids. Beloved and I, my brother and sister-in-law, and three boys ages 6 months, 15 months and 38 months. Hell, never mind answering the question, even I think I'm crazy.

I'm not much of a camping person. I love it in theory. Appeals to the rugged Canadian buried in my psyche. Deep in my psyche. Under the diva and the princess and the wimp. But I've got issues with bugs. And dirt. And bugs. Since it will be mid-May in Ontario, I may also have issues with frostbite. Or heatstroke. I love our weather.

The way I got talked into this is, it's free. As I mentioned before, I'm half Scottish and half Dutch and you just don't get any cheaper than that. So when things are free, even when they aren't such a good idea, I get sucked in by the free part.

Another big selling factor was that I get to spend time with my absolutely adorable 6 month old nephew Noah and his chaperones, my brother Sean and sister-in-law Nat. They live a couple of hours drive away, and I miss them terribly in between visits. Like any sibling, when we're together, my brother mostly irritates me, but then I miss him when he's gone. Except when I'm whipping his ass at euchre. Then I really enjoy his company. And my sister-in-law rocks. I must say I love her as a friend and sister, and my brother has impeccable taste. And I'm not just kissing up because I'm hoping she's reading this and will do all the cooking next weekend. Well, okay, maybe just a little bit.

The whole camping thing was Nat and Sean's idea. They heard about this free camping day at KOA campgrounds, and made reservations for all of us. Actually, the accomodations sound pretty cool. It's not even tent camping, it's a little one-room cabin with bunk beds and a double bed in each cabin, plus it has a swing on the porch. The (hopefully leak and bear proof) roof over my head was another big selling point, but the porch swing was the clincher. I don't think they have bears in Brighton, just off the 401 somewhere between Toronto and Kingston, but you can never be too careful when bear-proofing. See, I know that because of the rugged Canadian buried deep, deep in my psyche.

I'm not sure what to expect from the boys on this camping adventure. I'm hoping the fresh air and running around like maniacs just tires them out so much they are asleep by 6 pm. The idea of them on the loose near an open fire has my stomach clenched already, but since we are four adults to three kids, one of whom is as yet non-ambulatory, I am trying not to worry about it.

Any tips on camping with preschoolers?