What happens when you don’t pack the soap on School Camp?
THE DAY BEFORE..
Some say bad things happen in 3’s, I say 6’s or 7’s.
This particular morning, was probably close to one of the worst mornings in history.
Never trust a 13 year old to pack for a canoeing trip. I should’ve known, but I chose to take the lazy way out, leaving it for him.
He was quite happy to pack for himself mind you, and it totally suited me-one less thing to worry about.
All looked quite organised in the packing scene which pleased me. I kept half an eye, just in case anything major went astray.
“So what soap are you using?” Hoping he was using the liquid variety.
“Soap? No I don’t need soap mum”
“But you will be gone for 5 days!”
“We never use soap on camp mum”
“What do you wash yourselves with then?”
“….we don’t wash…”
“Good Lord. I’m glad I’m not sleeping in a tent with you then”
THE MORNING OF…
The morning of, and the child runs into our room and states that there’s no milk for his breakfast..not even one drop…and so the morning begins.
Michael: I really need to go to work early this morning, is that ok?
Me: Yep, but would you mind grabbing some soy milk from the IGA first?
So off he trots, ready for work, to drop off some milk, and dash.
In the meantime, I discover Flynn, trying to squeeze into his selected shorts for the day. They were easily a few sizes too small.
Flynn: Oops. I don’t think I’ll be wearing those!
ME: Well it would have been a great idea to try them on yesterday Flynn, it’s too late to tell me that now.
All of the shorts he owned, were packed. Oh well, his problem, he’d have to make a plan. I’m not sure what he did, but he obviously found something.
I decided to check in his camp bag-
MISTAKE NUMBER 1-Resulted in much sweating and multiple heart palpitations.
ME: Do you have sunscreen? You will be on a river for 5 days.
FLYNN: Yes, mum.
I checked…..sunscreen IN, but tube completely empty.
FLYNN: Yes mum?
ME: This tube is completely empty.
ME: Quick, call Dad and ask him to buy sunscreen while he’s at the shops.
Michael drives in the driveway-oh damn. He’s home already.
MICHAEL: Here’s the milk. I’m going to work.
ME: Stoooop. There is an emergency.
MICHAEL: You’ve got your period?
ME:This is serious Michael. Flynn has no sunscreen. He will be on a river for 5 days.
MICHAEL: I’ll go to the shops again, but then I’m leaving. I’ll toot and drop it off.
FLYNN: Thanks dad.
MICHAEL: Anything else while I’m there?
FLYNN: No, it’s all good
ME: Yes! Flynny, where’s your lip balm?
FLYNN: Here……oh….It WAS here.
ME: Honestly Flynn, I thought you packed.
MICHAEL: Are you serious? Ok. Sunscreen and lip balm.
I felt myself begin to sweat. I still hadn’t had a shower. Lucky I didn’t need to make Flynn lunch. He confirmed that with me yesterday.
ME:Flynn, are you sure you don’t need lunch?
FLYNN: Yep! Sure.
I picked up the note, now in an enormous rush, doubting the accuracy of this statement.
I read the note-
“Your child will be required to bring morning tea, lunch AND afternoon tea on the first day”
I couldn’t believe it…..but then I could. I said nothing. I put my head down and tried to work through the morning, it could only improve from here.
XAVIER: Mum, do you know where my hat is?”
ME very loudly: Xavier, I CANT DEAL WITH YOU RIGHT NOW. Flynn is bad enough. I feel like my head is going to explode.
FLYNN, completely cool: Your head will not explode mum. Don’t worry.
I re-examined the packing situation and noticed he was missing his Water Pack.
ME:Flynn, where’s your water pack?
FLYNN: I think it’s outside
ME ?? Pardon? Why?
FLYNN: well it’s drying, because it got a bit wet, but it’s dry now.
ME: Well put it in your bag for goodness sake, or you’ll forget it
FLYNN: I have to fill it up, first
A few minutes passed.
Then I saw it. Flynny darting outside with the water pack on his back, leaking all,over his NEW shirts and shirt.
ME: Flynnnnn. Take it off quick.
I grabbed the pack in seconds and had it off his back. Sweat poured off my brow. Oh my goodness, please tell me this morning is going to end.
The pack was now absolutely saturated. There was no salvaging it.
RING RING- the phone rang. I answered it.
MICHAEL: Babe can you hear me?- Bad reception
ME: Michael this is not a good time
MICHAEL. The IGA didn’t have sunscreen and Coles is closed. I had to drive to Edmonton.
The ship was well and truly sinking, and I was on the front deck. Disheartened, I dismantled the pack and attempted to fix it for him. The kid needed water and there was no alternative.
The stupid plastic end wouldn’t go into the hole.
I called Xavier to help. He is vey good with practical things.
We all gave up.
Michael drives into the driveway.
ME: Quick Flynn, ask DAD to come inside and help. (I sure as heck wasn’t going to be the one to ask him)
Michael walks in.
MICHAEL: What now?
ME: I can’t fix it babe….and Flynny is all wet.
I might add that Flynn was as calm as a cucumber, Michael was driving around the whole universe it seemed, Xavier was still trying to find his hat and I was having a melt down.
I jumped in the shower. I needed to rush now, and Michael was fixing things. Finally, all was going well, I jumped out of the shower with pace, and opened the cupboard to reach for the hair dryer….GONE. What? It’s never gone. I ran out with a towel on my head and a fire in my belly.
“Who’s stolen my hairdryer?”
There was Flynn. Outside, drying his water pack with my hairdryer.
I looked at him and admired his resilience.
I moved backwards quietly, and let go of the tug of war I was having with time and myself.
It is what it is, I thought-but next time, I’m packing!