Monday, August 09, 2010

"Brilliant" Parenting Tip Number 203.. When Planning A Backyard Camp Out....

 Adam and I have a theory about parenting... We don't have to be cool and fun parents all the time.. We just have to have some cool and fun moments and make them super memorable and when our kids are adults, it will be those things that stick out and then, we will be remembered as cool and fun parents instead of the big dorks that we really are...

In an effort to prepare for school starting a week from today and to regain the good attitudes that have been lost along with regular sleep this summer,  we will be starting back on our normal sleep/wake schedules tonight.  Since the weather forecast showed absolutely no chance of rain, we decided that a back yard camp out in our fabulous $5 yard-sale tent would be the perfect way to squeeze in a little more family time before we hand our child back over to  the education system..

Please excuse the picture quality.  I have not yet mastered the art of flash photography.

Have I mentioned that Adam and I are the most "non-camping-type" people I'm aware of?  Still, we do want our children to have "normal" childhood experiences and somewhere (obviously in the midst of a sleep-deprived induced hysteria) we decided that normal childhood experiences involve sleeping in a tent on the ground in the South Carolina summer heat, (even though we have a nice air-conditioned house with very comfy beds that I have gone through great lengths to make sure are equipped with optimum sheets with the perfect combination of materials and thread count).

Thankfully, our amazing yard-sale find also has an amazing design and was simple to set up...and, (though I totally picked on him, calling him a sissy-city-boy), I was relieved when Adam caved and ran a box fan from an extension cord to the tent..   We told stories and read the girl's favorite books by flashlight.  Since Adam swears that the story of "The Princess and the Pea" is based on me, I felt very proud of myself as I drifted off into a sweet slumber under the stars..

And then... I woke with a jolt to a familiar sound (though it was much less muffled than normal).

You know those times in life that you have when you have time to recognize that something is about to happen...but you don't have time to stop it from happening?  Well, those are the kind of feelings you get when you are asleep in the back yard of your suburban home in a tent...and you hear the sprinkler system turn on at 5:30 a.m. (a feeling of impending doom one might say).

So I yelled, (waking up all of our neighbors I'm sure),  "ADAM!!! THE SPRINKLER SYSTEM!!!"  And  scrambled to zip the windows only to find the zipper was stuck.   So...I did all that I could do: I grabbed my camera and wrapped it up in my blanket and then surrendered to my unavoidable fate by laying back and laughing while our tent was converted into a screened-in wading pool.  Adam ran through the obstacle course of water grenades firing off around our backyard, and into the house to turn off the sprinkler system.  Emma woke exclaiming, "DAD!  YOU SAID THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE OF RAIN!!!"  And within minutes in true Chloe fashion, Chloe was awake and dancing in the "rain".   And that's when we knew that we had succeeded at creating a lifetime memory for our children:  a memory of their parents being complete and total dorks instead of cool, no doubt...But, it was fun and funny... and that will just have to do.

And as a bonus, I have another chapter for one of the books I keep saying that I'm going to write...but know I actually never will write due to the fact that I will forever be cleaning up the messes that we make gaining the material for these books.  Nevertheless, the events of last night inspired a chapter for my legendary book, Brilliant Parenting 101:  Lessons I learned so you don't have to, Chapter 203: When planning a Backyard Camp Out, check the weather forecast AND the sprinkler system.