I think I’ve mentioned this already, but a few weeks back, I went camping with my family. And 5 other families. It’s an annual trip that we’ve been taking, in various incarnations, for close to 10 years now.
We missed last year’s trip, because baby C was born the day before. We had reserved our site with the idea that, should he arrive early or on time, I might be able to pull off the camping trip, or at least stay at a bed & breakfast nearby, so that we could still share the social time. HAHAHAHAHA. Then he was a week late, so that didn’t happen.
Anyway, our little Threenager has always been a bit…how shall I put it? Accident-prone. It’s not like she has two left feet; she did some gymnastics early on, and enjoys doing all sorts of yoga-like poses. But she always seems to be stubbing her toe or knocking her elbow. I had actually just thought this was typical of a 3 year old, but our recent camping trip points to a slightly more atypical kid, in the accident department.
Let me illustrate.
The day we arrived at the campsite, it was close to dinner by the time we pulled up. The Threenager bolted out of the car like a shot, giggling and screaming in delight as she was finally able to let some of that pent up energy loose. We set up our tent, cooked our first meal, had a bit of fun at the campfire with all of our friends, and put the kids to bed, without any problems.
When we go camping, there is a village-style of parenting that happens. Parents just take on the kids that are around and feed them if they’re hungry, take them to the bathroom or the beach, whatever is needed. It’s fantastic and so very helpful when you’re trying to balance cooking on a camp stove, prepping food on a picnic table and keeping children occupied but safe.
The next morning, as everyone was getting their breakfasts going, some friends offered to take the Threenager to the comfort station with them, to keep her busy. Off they went, and we got to cooking.
Ten minutes later, they returned with a quiet Threenager in their arms. She had dried tracks of tears on her cheeks and a big scrape on her nose, but was okay! Our friends were mortified that she had taken a tumble in the gravel on their watch, but we assured them it was no big deal.
I don’t think fifteen minutes had fully passed when I heard the Threenager scream in terror and begin crying. She had been with friends on the road, both adults and kids, when an unknown child on a bike rammed straight into her and knocked her down. Are you kidding?! Poor kid.
I rocked her in my arms and calmed her down. Now she had a massive scrape on her hand, and was holding it like it needed to be amputated. I’m sure it hurt, but she’s a bit of a drama queen, in case you hadn’t figured that out. No idea where she gets it from.
Okay, so a scrape on her nose and a painful scraped hand. Not bad for a first morning at camping. She’d gotten her bumps and scrapes out of the way, learned a few lessons about being careful and watching where she’s going, and she’s stronger for it!
Then we went to the beach.
The wind was whipping around as we sat on blankets and ate our picnic lunch. It was nearly impossible to get the Threenager to eat anything. She’s especially picky right now, and practically an oxygenarian. I finally convinced her to eat a hard boiled egg, which she was doing standing up, braced against the wind.
Then, all of a sudden, she was screaming and grabbing at her face, completely panic-stricken. Someone yelled, “I think it was a wasp!” in the commotion, and sure enough, there was one wriggling around in the sand, and a white welt was growing on the Threenager’s cheek, just below her eye.
Are you fucking kidding me??
I swept my poor girl up in my arms, after applying a bit of ice, and ran her back to the campsite. Luckily one of the families had a children’s antihistamine to give her, and she was fast asleep in my lap in a matter of minutes.
3 crazy accidents, in a matter of 6 hours. Not to mention all the times she tripped going in and out of our tent. Sometimes just a stumble, other times a full on face plant.
So I am christening our sweet, accident-prone Threenager with her new name: Calamity A. She isn’t going to be a Threenager for much longer anyway.