I hate camping.
My husband's family loves it. For some inexplicable reason they like vacations that involve tents and dirt and scary hole-in-the-ground potties. They also don't deteriorate like I do. On day one all of my sisters-in-law show up to camp looking perfect. After three days of campfires and hiking and no showers, they all look exactly the same. I, on the other hand, start out looking somewhat decent (by virtue of the fact that my mascara hasn't worn off yet), and by day three I have deteriorated into a grimy pile of stringy hair and bad skin that would frighten Medusa herself. Not to mention the smell.
Then there is the whole getting-ready-to-go-camping thing. This is a process wherein you spend five days packing up your entire house so that you can take it outside and get it all dirty. Then, once you arrive at the campsite, you do everything you do at home, only it's 10 times harder and about 1000 times as unsanitary.
Add to this the prospect of taking along two toddlers, one of whom asks for his clothes to be washed any time he gets so much as a speck of dust on his shirt, and both of whom need to use the potty every five minutes, and you have a recipe that doesn't sound anything like "family fun".
So, forgive me, but I wasn't exactly looking forward to the whole camping thing. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate every single thing about camping. (I like a fire-roasted smore as much as the next girl). But discovering that my air mattress has a leak would be a lot less annoying if I were doing the camp-on-my-family-room floor thing. Also less annoying? The waking-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-to-pee thing. I mean, unless bladder rupture is imminent, there is no way I'm getting out of my sleeping bag to hike in the pitch black, freezing cold to the hole-in-the-ground potty (do you know what is down there?!). Besides, being out in the middle of nowhere in the dead of night creeps me out. You never know what is lurking behind a bush. (I prefer the suburban security of knowing that if a serial killer gets to me, at least the neighbors will hear my screaming).
But, camp we did. Matthew only asked me to change his clothes about 75 times (at one point he even complained that his shoes were dirty). Matthew and Leah smartly eschewed the scary camp toilets for the pink froggy potty, which was resurrected specifically for the trip. I hiked for three hours with Matthew on my back, which is quite an achievement when you consider how pathetically out-of-shape I am. And Michael spent his time getting as dirty as humanly possible.
Verdict? The kids had a blast with their cousins. We enjoyed spending time with family. And I might have smiled to myself a time or two as I cuddled Matthew and Leah next to the campfire.
Don't tell anyone, okay?