In the 1990's there was this infamous Saturday Night Live skit with Chris Farley playing a motivational speaker that parents hired to talk to their kids about how terrible his life was because of his poor decisions. He would go on and on about how awful everything was because he, "lived in a van down by the river." This past weekend has me questioning how horrible this character's life really was (not that I've ever lived in a van down by the river*). What I mean is, if he said that he lived in a compact car down by the river, say a 2001 Pontiac Sunfire, with two toddlers, then I'd be scared straight.
This weekend we went camping with the minions and a small group of friends and family at Six Mile Lake Provincial Park. The first evening, after we had successfully gotten Molly and Jack to sleep in their pack and play playpens at either end of our tent, Chris and I high-fived each other at a job well done and sat down with the group for a warm fire, some great conversation and some cider. After a number of camp fire inspired ghost stories the night came to an end when it started to rain on all of us, so we retreated to our tents.
An hour or two post-bed time, and a lot of rain later Chris rolled over to put his arm around me and was greeted with an expanding puddle forming on our double sleeping bag. He waited to see how long it would take me to wake up as the roof of our tent poured buckets of water onto us. A couple of minutes later I woke up, startled and convinced that I had wet our bed. We checked on the kids who were quite damp. Molly was oddly thrilled to be pulled out of her playpen and onto my lap while Chris and I strategized and the water level rose around us.
About twenty minutes later there was a slight break in the rain and I decided to make a run for the car with Molly. Chris was determined that his side of the sleeping bag/tent was dry(ish) and that he and Jack would stay there. Molly and I ran to the car and huddled together on the passenger seat using beach towels as ineffective blankets. Molly was much more excited about our adventure in the car than Mommy was.
As the rain poured down I could feel the cider weighing heavy on my bladder, but I didn't want to bring her out into the rain again, or leave her alone in the car while I ran to the outhouse. Instead, I decided I would squat beside the car in the rain.** As I crouched, Molly pressed her face against the window and pointed behind me yelling, "Hello, Hello.", not to me but to a mysterious presence in the dark that I could not see. It was official, my two year old is less afraid of the dark than I am.
I climbed back into the car for another hour loop of Molly almost falling asleep on my chest and popping up to wave and greet anything that went bump in the night and yelling, "Hello!" at the top of her lungs. Once Chris and Jack finally abandoned the idea of sleeping in the tent and joined us, we secured both Molly and Jack into their car seats and attempted to sleep. The next morning Chris and I were both several inches shorter from contorting our bodies in semi-reclined positions around the gear shift and dashboard. The minions were annoyingly perky.
So, you say you live in a van down by the river and your life is terrible. At least you have space to stretch out your legs and shaded windows to keep your anonymity while you pee in a can.
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*Although I'm fairly certain singer songwriter Jewel did before she made it "big".
**Because I'm a lady like that.