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camping trip ended early (or should I say late?)

March 21, 2012

I was awoken by an “Oww” from within my tent around 2300. I jumped up thinking it was my 5-year-old, but it was my 8-year-old. when I asked him what was wrong, he said he had to go to the bathroom bad. the next question was pee or poop? poop was his reply. at this time, I’m just thinking it’s a routine bowel movement that he held in a little too long, which is not uncommon amongst kids having all too much fun to stop for a bathroom break. I helped him out of the tent, helped him get his sneakers on, and gave him his head lamp. I stayed in the tent with my 5-year-old, but kept my head popped out of the tent, just listening and scanning (the bathroom was directly to the right of our tent). There was a group of parents talking not far from the front of my tent. When another parent joined them, I could hear them talking about who was in what tent. I knew it had something to do with my 8-year-old.

the newcomer to the group called my name and told me my boy needed me. I hated to leave my 5-year-old, but what other choice did I have? after checking on my 8-year-old, he told me he needed new undies. he had the runs and it’s still not clear to me if he went in his sleep, or let out a wet fart, or what. the group of parents, now concerned, asked if my boy was ok. all I said was he’s fine. I got him fresh undies and baby wipes and continued to ask him if he was alright. I told him it was no big deal, and that it happens to mommy and daddy sometimes too. he started crying saying his stomach was hurting him. I tried to calm him down. I kept going back and forth between the bathroom and our tent to check on my 5-year-old. my 8-year-old kept complaining about how his stomach hurt. he said he wanted to go home. he said, “I wish I never went camping.” he also said he felt like he had to throw up. luckily, that never happened, although at one point I was sure he was about to.

so, what do you do in this situation as a parent? there’s only logical thing you can do, you pack everything up and you respect your child’s wishes. all I could do was say ok, and start figuring out in my head how I was going to pack everything up with my 5-year-old asleep in the tent. I got my 8-year-old cleaned up and sat him down at a picnic table outside our tent, and started packing everything up. my 5-year-old was too cute, he was all kinds of disoriented. at one point he sat up and was talking to me. the next thing I know, he’s reaching for his pillow and laying back down. one of the moms held him for me while two of the dads helped me pack up the tent. this was a trip I’m sure none of us will soon forget.

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