Toddler Camp

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I will not sleep
I will not eat
I will not put
Shoes on my feet

I will not go
I will not bike
I will not walk
On your dumb hike

I will scream
I will pitch a fuss
Why did you think
This was fun for us?

I’ll wander off
I will eat dirt
Just to spite you
I will get hurt

I will make you
Despair and yell
This outdoor paradise
Is toddler hell


I’ve had several occasions this week to be very glad that my kids are past the toddler stage. I can send them to the playground and assume that they will be in reasonably the same, if dirtier, condition when I retrieve them. Our camp neighbors are not having the same experience. There, but for a few years, go I. Godspeed, camp neighbors.

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Motor Me Home

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O, the glorious Outdoors!
We marvel at your Splendor!
Except for that last camping trip
When you put me through the blender.

Three days at the local State Park,
Should have been a plate of s’mores.
After two days we were done.
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

We lost one kid for quite a while
On the banks of the Willamette.
Frantically searched and called for an hour,
Nightmares running the gamut.

Until I went to get the Rangers
Riding my bike, heart steeled,
And found him in the motorhome,
Giggling at the pages of Garfield.

Okay, that ended well, I guess,
So we didn’t go home right away.
Dad and I had a couple of stiff ones.
Tomorrow would be a new day!

Let’s start that day with pancakes!
The favorite breakfast of the boy!
Oh my god, this version of mix
Is loaded with processed soy.

For most people, no worries,
The texture’s a little different.
We got to call the ambulance
From the rural fire department.

An ambulance in a campground
Makes you instant celebrities.
While he rode his bike that afternoon,
I repeatedly answered, “How is he?”

We spent the rest of the trip
Reacting to everything at DEFCON5.
We were completely done having fun.
We just wanted to get home alive.


It is my sincere hope that this last trip will forever be The Worst Camping Trip Ever®.  If it gets worse, it edges into actual life-altering events.  It’s a bit on my mind as we prepare for the next one.  The campground is by the ocean.  I’m considering requiring life jackets 24/7.