Monday, January 29, 2007

Never Again

I took Jackson on a Cub Scout camp out this weekend. My wife packed the suitcase, which basically means that we had everything we could have possibly needed and more -- and thank goodness for that.

We stayed in a cabin with the other cubs Jackson's age, and all the parents. Since I am a frequent snorer, I brought along a vat of ear plugs to distribute. Turns out it was unnecessary, because I didn't sleep at all. Technically that's not true, but I think in order for me to snore, I have to pass through the first two stages of sleep. During the first stage, the brain begins to ramp down as the body switches to sleep mode. This is usually associated with shutting the eyes. This I rarely did.

The cabin bunks were rickety and squeaky. Mine in particular was missing a few tie backs to the frame, so that it sagged like an open mouth nearly to the floor. My son lay on the top bunk and couldn't fall asleep, so he fidgeted for what seemed like an hour and a half. Kids in other bunks had meltdowns for various reasons while their fathers got in and out of bed to console them. Once my son finally zonked, I put my "mattress" on the floor. I quote the word because this was more like a plastic wafer barely the width of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Then one of the boys woke and declared that he couldn't sleep, so his father got up with him and they chatted right next to my face for half hour stretches. Then the boy needed milk, then he had to go to the bathroom, then he couldn't sleep again. I felt like Arlo Guthrie -- I wanted to kill, Kill, KILL! His father, thinking I was asleep, stepped over my head wearing just his underwear, then bent over with his ass practically in my face to get into the suitcase to retrieve a flashlight so that his son could read under his blanket. But the kid didn't understand "under his blanket" until I explained it in no uncertain terms.

Finally, the kid buried his head and fell asleep.

Then Jackson woke up hacking -- a horrible sound the shook the dirt from the cracks of the ceiling. Thank goodness Beth packed cough medicine. That took a while to take effect. Then he couldn't sleep, and had to go to the bathroom, then wanted to read a book. I checked the time. 4:30AM.

Tick tock (kill, kill), tick tock.

Never again.


Alan said...

Oh Scott!

Forgive me for that mad laughter that you had to have heard just now. I guess this is the other side of fatherhood.

*takes copious notes*

After hours, my mother's boyfriend used to only wear his underwear (tighty-whities) and a t-shirt during my upbringing. He had a great big belly. I still don't know what to make of it all. I think I'd rather he hadn't. Is this a common thing among father-figures and their young male charges? Do they dress this way if they have young daughters? And my main question, is that practice wise or no big deal?

My brain works too much. Sorry for your pain, Scott, but thanks for the way you told it. :)

Toni Anderson said...

LOL. Ah, the joys of parenting. Dads get the really juicy assignments :)

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Why didn't you use the earplugs?

Bailey Stewart said...

Alan - yes. One of our funnier stories is the night that the antenna blew over - middle of night. Dad got up and went up on the roof, in his tighty-whities.

Yes Scott, the wonders of parenthood. But I bet Jackson will look back on it with fondness. The things people do for their children.

Jaye Wells said...

Oh man! At least you got to take in some scenery. Haha! Sorry. (Snicker.)

Scott said...

Alan - My dad used to walk around in the buff, so tighty whiteys would have been a welcomed relief.

Toni - I didn't realize just how juicy it was when I got into it, but it's all worth it if I get a story out of it.

Toast - I did wear them to start the night, but with my kid groaning at random I decided to be ready for him. I would have eventually heard him anyway, but so would have the rest of the cabin.

Bailey - If Jackson does remember it fondly, then no regrets.

Jaye - Next time I'll take pictures so I can share!

jenbeauty said...

OMG...I actually laughed out loud...underware...giggles!!

You will look back with your son and just crack up over this!!

Kathleen said...

My parents did NONE of that stuff. No camping, no Girl (or Boy) Scouts, no nothing. I'm just happy I don't have kids so I don't have to feel guilty about not doing those things either.

Everybody's underwear stories? My father wore none, just a nightshirt. Egads, I have nightmares just thinking about it.

mr. schprock said...

Being a father of daughters, thanks for this touching glimpse of a father-son moment. It sure looks like I'm missing something.

Jada's Gigi said...

I'm cracking up over this and the last few posts although the Emmett/Jackson love post is too you know what all parents eventually learn...there is NO true sleeping on kid overnight trips...LOL

Tee said...

ROFL! I laughed out loud at "His father, thinking I was asleep, stepped over my head wearing just his underwear" ... That was unexpected to say the least!

I have never been camping and somehow have always known it was like that. Thanks for the warning ;)