Bear Attacks and Free Children

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As parents we can’t help but love our children all the time at least until they grow up and become ass holes. We spend countless hours rocking them to sleep and kissing their boo-boos. We wipe snot from their noses and clean up their vomit. We wipe their butts and scrape their dinner from the walls. Through all this we love them. We may curse under our breath or out loud if it suits you but we still love them.

Three weeks ago I was offered a job in New Hampshire. A job that started…well…yesterday. Panic! So I had three weeks to pack up the house and kids and move 200 miles away. You know, no big deal. Shoot me. And I did it. Packed everything up, moved it, found a school and a daycare, and found a house. Great, right? Not so much. That house I mentioned, it won’t be ready for another two weeks. Stuck in house limbo, I had no choice but to find some sort of alternative. I had three options, stay in a hotel and spend more money than I earn in one pay period, live out of my car with the two kids, or camp in a campground. Being the modern bohemian mommy I am, I obviously chose camping.

How bad could it be anyway? <== That is the question I asked myself as I booked 12 nights at a campground. Yes, you read that right, 12 full nights in a tent…..just me….and two young children….in a tent….for 12 nights.

I was obviously drunk on the adrenaline of moving.

Much like being drunk in general, you wake up the next day asking yourself what exactly you did. By the time I pulled the tent from the back of the car I could feel the hangover settle in. I almost immediately wanted to climb the tallest tree and pretend I was an owl…far…far…far away from my children. Pheobe was screaming for no apparent reason although I’m pretty sure Theo was throwing a baseball at her head and Theo was mocking everyone who walked by.

But I still loved them, unconditionally. I convinced myself all this chaos was due to them being away from me for the two weeks prior and being stuck in a car for the greater portion of that day. I was sure all this would die down by the next day, and it did. For the morning anyway.

All three of us were up and at um by 6am and ready to start our new adventure in New Hampshire. I was starting my new job and the kids were starting their new daycare. A quick breakfast minus the coffee (ugh) and we were off. Life was good and it was just going to get better. At the end of the day we made a quick trip to the grocery store for some dinner goodies and headed to the campground. That was until I remembered we didn’t have fire wood and I didn’t have coffee for the next morning. So we made a stop at the most expensive store in the area, but our problem was solved for about $40. Now staving and ready to eat each other, we finally made it back to the campground. Almost immediately Pheobe was screaming about something, and by screaming I mean blood curdling.

The noise resonated throughout the campground. Trees bent from the sound waves. Campers fled to their tents and campers in fear of the obvious bear eating a small child in a near by sight. Even the lifeguards at the pool herded swimmers to a “safe” corner. To our delight the campground had removed the port-a-potty from our area leaving us to take our screaming masquerade on parade. As we made our way to the bathrooms a mile away Pheobe continued her show intermittently. Any campers still outside then made their way into whatever domicile they had. All I could do was grin nervously as I prayed the campground would not kick us out for excessive noise. Scream. Laugh. Scream. Laugh. Their was nothing I could do to keep this fucking child on a, preferably positive, even keel. Everything set her off.

She didn’t see the squirrel soon enough.

There was a stick in her shoe.

We were walking too fast.

We were walking too slow.

I was talking too loud.

Theo didn’t wait for her.

She farted.

Everything. Set. Her. Off. EVERYTHING.

Back at the camp sight it was discovered we didn’t have a lighter…or a match…or anything fire related other than 2 large bundles of wood. Perfect. More screaming. Related, this mommy cannot make fire appear out of thin air. AKA rubbing two sticks together. Now both kids are starving hungry. I’m about to eat my arm off; or start screaming next to Phoebe. Theo reached his breaking point and started throwing his baseball in any direction that would lead him far away from his now devil sister. Defeated, I sat at the picnic table watching Pheobe as she screamed louder waiting for her head to start spinning. If only I had had popcorn to eat while enjoying the show.

Without fire we were left with PB&J for the second night in a row. Throughout our meal I was reminded several times, by Theo, that I really should have brought fire so we could cook. Thank you captain obvious. By  7pm the showers were closed, resulting in all three of us washing up with cold water with our brand new crab bath scrubber. Oddly enough the cold water seemed to subdue Pheobe and the screaming finally stopped. As long as I continue to freeze my child to death, she might actually shut the hell up. 8:30pm and both kids are tucked into their “beds” giggling. Theo then looked up at me and said, “Mommy, can we stay here forever?”

I responded with a big smile and a sweet voice, “No, next week we move into our new home so we can sleep in our own beds and play with our toys.”

With that, they both settled in and I was reminded how much I love them. Through all the bear attacks screams and frustrations my love for them stays strong. That is until tonight when it starts all over again and I am tempted to tie Pheobe to the guard shack at the campground entrance with a sign that reads:

“FREE! To a good home or whoever will take her!”


3 thoughts on “Bear Attacks and Free Children

  1. You know, I think my Leila could give your Phoebe a run for her money….there have been nights where she actually screamed herself to sleep.

    And the first several times I went camping, I brought no method of fire making. You’d think I’d have learned after the first.

    Packing up kids and you in weeks is amazing. Seriously. Wow.

    And, if it weren’t for the fact that I’d be blamed for the lack of TV at bedtime, or in the early morning, or whenever, I’d actually contemplate extended time in the woods with my brood


  2. I do remember days of screaming children up at the cabin my in -laws used to own. And those screams carried…LOL. Everything will work out. Hang in there.


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