An odd thing happens when you raise children. Your shopping list tends to cover a broad spectrum of categories. I was cleaning out my to-do list, and took a second look at a shopping list from the weekend. Looking back, it strikes me as a rather odd list:
Inflatable duck floaty
Hannah Montana action figure
bounce dryer sheets
Wallace and Gromitt movie
This was in preparation for an Adventure Princess campout with my daughter last weekend. In case you're wondering, the flippers and the Duck were for my costume for the dance, and the Hannah Montana action figure was for the raffle held during the campout. The Pringles and Beer were mine.
As for the campout, while it was a lot of fun, it was also a complete washout. Our dreams of horseback riding, mountain climbing, and sailing on the lake were drowned by heavy downpours the entire day. Instead we spent most of the day watching the really awful remake of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (the Johnny Depp one, a total travesty)and eating ice cream at the snack bar, and playing a long, drawn-out game of Go Fish.
I want to throw a question out to the women of the audience. Why, exactly, does a gathering of little girls result in hours of meaningless screaming? Natalie and her buddies spent lots of time hanging out in the cabins together while the guys sat on the porch managing the beer and Pringle collection. During that time, we probably had to enter the cabin at least thirty times to tell the girls to stop screaming. But we never actually saw a REASON for the screaming. Each time we entered, we found them sitting on the bed making bead necklaces. We saw no sign of the Deer Valley Slasher, that mysterious guy with the hook for a hand who preys on little girls at campgrounds. There was no giant spider climbing the walls. None of the children were being eaten by a bear. Near as I could tell, they were all sitting on the bunk bed together making bead necklaces. So why the screaming? It was as if the conversation went like this:
Girl 1: can you hand me the bead box EEEEEEEEAAAH!!!!!!!
Girl 2: Sure, here you go EEEEEEEEAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!
Girl 3: My sister says Hannah Montana has a big nose EEEEEAAAHHH!!!!!!!
Girl 1: Your sister is a big poopyhead AAAAA!!!!EEEEEE!!!!!!
Girl 2: I want Pringles EEEEEEHHHH!
Dad 1: What's all the screaming in here????
Girls: What screaming?
Saturday night was the last straw with the screaming. After the dads were done listening to the Penguins lose to the Redwings on the XM radio one dad brought, it was time to tuck the girls into bed. The campground was generally silent except for one cabin, where the ladies had not yet been corralled. This cabin was directly below mine, and I had a direct view of what was happening. The dads were roasting Pringles by the campfire, and the girls were playing a game of shining flashlights in each other's eyes and screaming at the top of their lungs. Every five minutes or so one dad would proclaim, "girls, quiet down," which of course fell on deaf ears. By 11:45 that night I'd had it. I sat up, leaned to the window of the cabin and yelled, "SHADDUP DOWN THERE!!!!"
After some quick scurrying by the dads, the campground was suddenly silent. And there was much rejoicing. and sleeping.