Putting the tent up
‘Can you help me put the tent up?’
‘Girls… can you help me put the tent up?’
‘I’m reading, you want me to read don’t you?’
‘And I’m guarding my teddies.’
‘I appreciate your teddies are important, but can you help me with the tent?
‘No, if I help you the bears might eat my teddies’
‘The bears are going to come in here and eat your teddies…?
‘I think the bears will be more likely to eat a 7 or 10 year old little girl than some teddy bears’
‘I thought you said that the bears didn’t want to eat humans?
‘Er, um, well they don’t-‘
‘So why say it now?
‘I’’m just pointing out there is no risk of your teddies being eaten’
‘But we might be eaten?
‘I didn’t say that-‘
‘Yes you did’
‘We are definitely not helping you with the tent, you’re scaring us.’
‘And I’m still reading my book’
‘Who wants some dinner?
‘What is there?
‘Well, we have pasta with pesto or bread or that’s about it’
‘You’ve got to eat something’
‘Okay, hot chocolate please.’
‘Hmm, that’s not food and there is no hot chocolate until you’ve eaten something.’
‘Do you have any burgers? Or macaroni cheese?
‘No, we are camping, we have a cooler and a little stove, its limited choice and tonight its pasta and pesto or nothing.’
‘But you have to eat something.’
‘I don’t want pasta.’
‘I hate pasta’
‘What – you’ve eaten it a million times at home?
‘A million, you are exaggerating, you’re exaggerating’
‘It’s an expression-‘
‘And you tell us not to make stuff up and you say ‘a million times’
‘[scary voice] GIRLS. DO. YOU. WANT.SOME.DINNER.?
‘Okay – fine, no food for anyone.’
[Silence for 5 minutes]
‘Mum, dad, when is the pasta ready?
‘Has anyone seen my nightie?
‘Have you looked in your suitcase?
‘Or your rucksack?
‘So is your strategy to find your clothes just to ask us to pass them to you?
‘So do you know where it is?
‘In my bag.’
‘Well you get it’
‘I can’t reach it’
‘I can see that your arms are not 4 foot long, have you thought about moving your legs so that you can reach it.’
‘Oh, ok… can you find my hairbrush?
‘When did you last see it?
‘No, not in which city, where about’s in the Jeep did you have it last?
‘I don’t know, either inside or in the tent’
‘That narrows it down..’
‘I think she used it’
‘I DID NOT, WHY WOULD I EVER USE YOUR STINKY HAIRBRUSH!?!
‘You used it I know you did, you couldn’t find yours.’
‘Not in a million years would I do that.’
‘Don’t exaggerate! That’s what parents do.’
‘I need the loo.’
‘They have loos in this campsite, they’re over there.’
‘I’m too scared to go on my own. I bet they are disgusting.’
‘Well, they’re Pit Toilets so they are going to smell. You just have to deal with it.’
‘What are Pit Toilets?
‘There is a pit below you, there is no flush.’
‘So what happens to the poo?
‘It stays there then its pumped out at some point.’
‘So there is a huge amount of poo below us in the loo?
‘What happens if we fall in?
‘Well, you’d have to fall through the loo and given you’re now quite old I doubt that’s going to happen.’
‘You doubt it?
‘Okay, its not going to happen. I think its impossible.’
‘I don’t want to risk it.’
‘So if you need the loo, what are you going to do?
‘I’m going to go here, by the Jeep.’
‘No you’re not.’
‘You can’t stop me.’
‘Lets hope we don’t have to prove that, come on I’ll come with you.
‘Okay, its bed time now girls. Time to get up the ladder and get into bed.’
‘It’s not a bed’
‘It’s a mattress with sleeping bag and pillow, and I think if you have those 3 things you can call it a bed.’
‘I’m scared of the bears. They might climb up the ladder and eat us.’
‘I don’t think bears are likely to climb up the ladder.’
‘Ah – not likely, so there is a chance they can climb up?
‘I don’t know, I’m not an expert on bears, but I think its very very unlikely’
‘But you said bears were one the cleverest animals-‘
‘-yeah, you said they can do anything, they can swim or climb into car windows or get into humans’ fridges –’
‘I did say that –’
‘- Exactly, so why can’t they climb up a ladder?
[Sigh]. ‘Girls. It is bedtime. We will put all our food in the Jeep so it is locked away. All our saucepans are locked away. Anything which will attract bears is in the Jeep, they don’t want to go into a busy campsite as they are scared of people, so we are very safe and it is time to climb up the ladder and go to sleep.’
‘So if its safe why are there ‘Bear Warnings’ all over the campsite?
‘Because if we all obey the bear safety guidelines then we’ll be fine. It is safe because of the warnings.’
‘I still think a bear could climb up a ladder-‘
‘- yeah, and slash into our tent.’
‘You may think that, and it might be scary, but you need to get cosy in your sleeping bag and go to sleep.’
[They get into the tent]
‘Time to stop reading; put the Kindle away.’
‘What was that noise?
‘It’s just someone clearing their stuff up, that’s not a bear noise
‘How do you know?
‘What noises do bears make?
‘I don’t know what noises bears make, but they don’t make noises like they are humans clearing stuff into their RV (Recreational Vehicle).’
‘Don’t you think you should know more about bears if we’re camping?
‘I know that we follow the Bear Safety rules so we’ll be okay’
‘You don’t know, you’re hoping but you don’t know.’
‘You’re right, I do know and I am hoping. But if the bears come then you’re closest to the tent door so they’ll eat you first’
‘DAD!!! Now I’ll never get to sleep.’
‘Yes you will, you’ll sleep perfectly and I envy you for that. Love you. Good night.’
[Silence for 5 minutes]
‘I’m not snoring, that’s breathing.’
‘Then stop breathing.’
‘Is that really helpful?
‘Is it helpful to be argumentative at this time?
‘I’m not arguing, I’m just breathing.’
‘And stop breathing.’
In the tent
‘Can you move your leg, your foot is in my face.’
‘That’s my space, its in your face as you’re hogging too much space.’
‘Grrr, I hate this camping, there’s no space in this tent, how can it fit four of us’
‘Plus my feet are fairly clean.’
‘They are not, they are disgusting.’
‘You slept okay last night’
‘I did not, I was awake all night’
‘Well, I heard you peacefully snoring all night-‘
‘- I DO NOT SNORE, DON’T YOU DARE SAY THAT’
‘Ok, you were asleep all last night and you’ll be fine tonight. Good night.’
‘How do you know I was asleep?
‘As I was awake for about 6 hours and in that time you didn’t move once, you were like a piece of concrete.’
‘What do you mean concrete?
‘You were very still, like a log.’
‘Why are you talking about logs and concrete, it doesn’t help me, I need more space, I’m so squashed.
‘You have the same space as me and I’m twice the size. Plus we can shnuggle up together and its cosy.’
‘I hate shnuggling and I just want a bed.’
‘Good to see the camping is going well. Love you. Sweet dreams.’