Wednesday 5 August 2015

Camping with My Grandson

I had originally planned on being at Campmeeting this week. However, I was unable to book a serviced campsite at our church campgrounds, and I wasn't about to stay at an unserviced site. It kind of defeats the purpose of having a trailer in the first place if I can't use the washroom, lights, furnace... There never seems to be a surplus of money in my budget, plus I had finally decided to hire someone to complete my renovation project for me, so this was going to be a "staycation." However, having my trailer sit idle on a friend's acreage for 2 or 3 years rather defeats the purpose of having it as well. I looked at the calendar and was reminded that the coming weekend was actually a "long" weekend, August 3rd being Civic Holiday here in Alberta. And I really hadn't done anything special for a long weekend in a long time. So I contacted my daughter and asked if she and Damian would like to go camping with Grandma for the weekend. So we did. 
Since it was pretty much a last minute idea, I basically threw everything together. Planning on a weiner roast, I remembered the hot dog buns, but not the weiners. There were a few other things I forgot, but we got by. And mostly had a good time. I brought along Damian's bike and his bubble lawn mower, which he drove so hard that it was "foaming at the mouth." He wasn't sure what to make of this "little house" and a couple of times asked to "go home." 
I didn't know what Sophia would bring along for him to play with, so bought a few things at the dollar store, both for inside in case of rain and as well as outdoor toys. Sophia brought some of each, too, so he had enough to do, even though it rained one whole morning. Unfortunately, the camp site was very gravelly, so not the best play site. And Damian did end up with scraped knees as a result.There was a playground in the camp, but after meeting up with the same "brat" there twice - first, when he tried to take off with Damian's bubble lawn mower and second, when he carelessly smacked Damian in the face with a stick, narrowly missing his eye - we decided to mostly avoid the playground. But having both Mom and Grandma to play with made up for that. Damian would want to be outside from before breakfast in the morning until last thing at night, outside of nap time, which we had to enforce when he got grumpy. He was quite thrilled with the water pistols that I bought him. At one point he jumped into what Sophia referred to as his Mission Impossible stance: legs spread, water pistol held front and centre in both hands. He was seldom without one of his water pistols, taking them along as we walked and squirting every stone or stick that we saw along the way. He took one of his water pistols with him when we went hiking, which turned into dinosaur hunting. In his world, dinosaurs are friendly and we weren't hunting them to shoot them, just seeking them out. And we brought one home to have lunch with us. Ah, the imagination of a toddler!
Conveniently, I had purchased a set of 3 water pistols, so we did have one water pistol fight between the three of us. I decided to try Damian's Mission Impossible stance, shouting "Freeze" as I jumped into position. But what does a not quite three-year-old know about "freezing?" Instead, he imitated me, jumping into position and shouting "Freeze." And promptly fell down. Sophia remarked that he should be on one of those gag cop shows.
We only had one campfire during the weekend. Campfires don't work very well with toddlers. Toddlers like to run and jump and play, not sit still gazing into a fire. Roasting marshmallows or weiners wouldn't have been a good plan as he'd want to do it himself and it would be too great a safety hazard. We did find a compromise when Grandma demonstrated making water sizzle by spraying water from the water pistol on the metal fire pit. He sat still for a while to join me in that activity, but it also highlighted the hazard. Instantaneous vaporization meant that fire pit was very HOT! It's amazing the silly things you find yourself doing when you have a grandchild. After he got up and started blowing bubbles with his mother, I suddenly smelled melting plastic and looked down and saw a spark had landed on his lawn chair. So thankful he was not in his chair when that landed. 
Blowing bubbles was another activity we pursued on the weekend, even in the rain. I got a set of various bubble wands and was able to produce some pretty big bubbles with some of them. One of these new wands looked like a smoker's pipe. I filled the bowl with bubble fluid, but the results were less than satisfactory. Damian decided he wanted to try that one. Unfortunately, after blowing out, he then sucked in and was pretty disgusted with the mouth full of bubble fluid he got as a result. 
I did get a lot of exercise this weekend and not enough sleep. The dining table that becomes a bed is just not comfortable enough for my middle-aged body. And I've got a mountain of laundry. So I feel like it will take the remainder of my vacation just to catch up. 
After this weekend, I have concluded that, while my trailer is perfect for just me, it's definitely crowded with the three of us. But we will make do. We'll have to because money is going to be tight for a while. Sophia and Damian are moving back in with me so that Sophia can pursue the practical nurse program and become an LPN. I'm very proud of her.

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