Tag Archives: mommy tricks

Weekend Warriors: Pitching a Tent Instead of Pitching a Fit

It was 8 p.m. Friday and our family was headed to the sticks of Wisconsin. A hectic week meant we had to pack everything after work that day. My Jeep was so full it looked like we were moving to Afghanistan instead of camping in Wisconsin.

Logan was ecstatic about his camping trip.

After a two-hour drive, we rolled into the lakeside campsite. Hubby began the not-so-easy task of pitching his first tent in decades with only the Jeep’s headlights to help. But he assured me, he could do it. Thirty minutes later, the only progress made was the tarp had been laid and we’d attracted a Biblical-sized swarm of creepy crawlies.  

I decided to stop looking after Logan, who was over-the-moon happy, and help Hubby with the tent operation. He explained to me what he was doing, but I was lost, it didn’t make sense. I’ve never pitched a tent. Ever. However it quickly became clear why it was so slow going. Hubby kept stopping to spritz himself with bug spray and he was steadily dancing around.  

“What’s wrong with you? You gotta pee or something?” He stopped girating: “No.” I then had an “A Ha Moment.” Hubby was so freaked out by the plague of insects he couldn’t focus. I don’t like bugs either, but that’s in my house. When I’m in their hood, I try to roll with the punches.  

I took over the tent operation, eventually asking him to step aside because it was just easier to fly solo with a backup dancer. Once I got all the poles in the right place, I called him in for the hoisting and the tent was pitched. We settled in for the night, only to be awakened at 3:30 a.m. by industrial strength fireworks from a house across the lake. At least Logan was thrilled.  

The next day was great. We got to explore the area, I read a book under a shade tree, Logan fed some chickens and ducks at a nearby chicken coop, we went for a hike in the pine woods, drank amazing water out of a glacier well, the boys played in a rowboat, real Huck Finn type stuff.  

That night though, around 2 a.m. Logan woke crying, complaining of a headache and demanding medicine. He seemed fine, and this is something usually fixed by the “medicine” of milk and honey or Vitamin D drops. (Hey, that placebo effect thing works wonders.) I scoured my sleepy brain to think of what “medicine” I could concoct. (Feel free to judge me now.) I mixed ketchup, apple jelly and ginger ale in a cup and told him to take a small sip because it was camping medicine so it worked great but tasted bad. Hubby and I watched with bug eyes as he sipped. I took the cup back. Logan asked for more. Gross, but I hesitantly agreed to one more swallow, then we’d have to go to bed. He drank, we slept.  

On Sunday we went to Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark, a huge complex of water slides, obstacle courses and fountains attached to a hotel. Hubby had rented a suite for the day so we could have a place to drop our stuff. I’d never been there and was expecting a glorified cabana, but when he said suite, he meant it. There was a full kitchen, a dining area, two-seater Jacuzzi bath, balcony… I walked in stunned and then groaned thinking of how we’d have to leave in a few hours to go back to our mosquitoes and four-man tent. Instead of dwelling, I seized the moment, took the world’s longest shower and we had a blast at the waterpark.  

When it was almost time to leave, hubby informed me that he didn’t have the heart to yank us out of the lap of luxury and wanted to give Logan another day at the park. We were staying the night. I jumped for joy and ordered room service.  

Overall it was a great weekend, and I’m not saying that because we got a rockin’ suite at the end. We got to camp on this beautiful private property at McIntyre’s Resort, met wonderful people along the way, but most of all we enjoyed creating new memories and spending time together as a family.