Yesterday afternoon, after we had returned from a necessary but somewhat boring trip to the small city to drop off A.'s rental car
, get some tomato plants*, and buy a lug nut to replace the one that fell off of the Subaru, I suggested to A. that perhaps we should move the kids' tent
outside and let them "camp out" on the lawn that night.
A. has been wanting to take them camping, but he knew it would just be a miserable experience because of the bugs.
I thought maybe the bugs around the house would be tolerable at least, though I wasn't sure Cubby would be very enthused about faux-camping in the backyard.
Cubby once memorably remarked upon arrival at a state campground in Arizona, "Are you kidding? We're going to camp in this parking lot
Go wild or go home, that's Mountain Man Cubby's motto.
But then A. said if he set up the big tent on the lawn and told Cubby they were going to camp out there to get Jack used to the idea of sleeping in a tent, it would probably be okay.
I also added that perhaps we could cook hot dogs in the firepit A. made in the brushy area behind the house. Because every campout needs a fire.
So that's what we did.
A. decided to take his bike
to the general store four miles away to get the hot dogs. I asked him to get hot dogs, buns, and chips. He came back with hot dogs, buns . . . and beer.
I couldn't very well send him back to ride another eight miles for chips, even though I was bummed about the no-chips thing. What's a cookout without fun snacks? And fun snacks are in short supply at our house. This was the best I could come up with.
Nori and anchovies just don't scream, "All-American holiday fun."
At least I managed to scrounge up enough lemons for lemonade and the last of some marshmallows. Add in some pickled carrots, radishes from the garden, and Star Wars plates sent by my mom for Cubby's birthday that I forgot to use in February, and you have one festive cookout.
But not really.
A. got the fire going and cooked some hot dogs.
Just steps away from the garden and a freshly-picked arugula garnish.
Charlie was displeased because the only hot dogs at the general store were the red hot dogs, which are a local variety that are bright red with some kind of scary dye and which Charlie declared unfit for consumption the one time we tried them. Frankly, I agree. So he had ham and cheese in his bun, and I ate a salad.
Then they made some really gross-looking "sandwiches" with roasted marshmallows and more hot dog buns, because we didn't even have the right ingredients for S'mores. And then they finished up some coconut-flour cookies I had made the day before. (These
are really good, even though the name of the blog makes me cringe.)
This was obviously the weirdest campout food ever.
They spent the next couple of hours racing around like maniacs, pretending to be raptors.
Tent-dwelling raptors, apparently.
At 8:30 p.m., A. announced that Jack was so tired he was seeing elephants, so they all got ready for bed and got into the tent. I listened to the ensuing tent insanity from the comfort of the house. The last of the shrieking died down by 9:30 p.m.
At 3:30 a.m., A. came in with Jack, both of them cold from inadequate covers. A. put Jack right into his sleep sack and into his bed and we heard no more from him. Then A. got into bed in the house.
At 4:30 a.m., Cubby came in demanding to know why Daddy wasn't in the tent anymore. Then he said he was cold and got into his
This only proves to me that everyone really prefers his own bed over a sleeping bag in a tent, and I still do not understand why anyone would ever voluntarily sleep in a tent.
But Charlie is still out there. I went out to check on him and found him sound asleep in the tent, with good old dog Mia zonked out in guard-dog position right in front of the tent's entrance.
I expect they'll all be awake shortly, requiring hot baths and a large breakfast and already ready to do it all again.
* Six Juliet plants and six Mortgage Lifters are now in the ground. Hooray for The Tomato Crazy: Northwoods Version!