Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fireman’s Poles Are Off Limits

Our family has a campsite at a private campground North of Truckee.  We have been going there since I was 5 years old (yes, a fricking century ago, I get it).  Now, my children are nearly as old as I was when my parents purchased the site and Susanne and I attempted (yes ATTEMPTED, more on that another time) to take them up to have the wonderful childhood camping experience that I remember. 

Funny thing was when I was that age and enjoying the camping experience I did not realize that I was DRIVING my parents to drink and smoke.  I realize now that they must have started these habits to cope, because that’s what respectable parents do while camping with toddlers rather than shooting themselves.

When I was a little older I remember my mother would come back from her friends campsite a little tipsy (smart woman, I see that now) and I remember asking her “Are you drunk?” to which she would hold her hand up, positioning her thumb and finger about a dimes distance apart and say “I had one TEENY WEENY Martini.”  Smart woman.  I should have brought the strong stuff.

One of the good and bad things about this campground is the playground.  You heard it folks, a good old fashion playground with swings, monkey bars and all.  When I was old enough it must have been a godsend for my parents to send us off to the park to play. The bad is that when they are toddlers, you have to go with them.

The campsite is actually full of nature. You know, Bugs.  Emily has issues with bugs. “EEK A BEE DADDY”.  Emily that's a fly. “EEK, ANT BIT ME DADDY.”  Yes Emily, I told you not to pick up the ants.  “Eeek, eeek, eeek, eek”. Bartender, bring me another drink.

So Susanne and I needed a break and figured that the park would give the kids something to focus on and would give us a rest.  For the most part it worked.  They enjoyed the swings and the monkey bars.  Then a couple other kids showed up, and Emily decided it was time to flirt.  Now here is a two year old girl glowing at the site of this 7 or 8 year old boy.  Yes, it scared me.  She runs up to the boy does a sort of hipswing and arm flailing and says in a sing-song voice “get me, get me” and runs off.  The little toddler flirt is trying to get a boy to chase her.  After two or three instances where the boy does chase her, she tries for a final flirtatious chase.  “Get me, get me” she singsongs, pivots and in an apparent attempt at slapstick comedy runs smack into the fireman's pole on the play structure.  It wasn’t funny. She had enough speed to knock her flat to the ground.  I bet she doesn't do that again.  At least till she’s a teen and she verifies there are no fireman’s poles around.  While we are on that subject Emily, I don’t want to hear about you being around Fireman’s poles while men are around.



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