I swear these aren’t all for me

By Mir
July 9, 2013

I found myself babbling to the cashier at the grocery store today—not that this is unusual, really—about how you spend the early years of a kid’s life exhorting them to please, pleeeeeeease, EAT SOMETHING, and then they become teenagers and as you’re having your weekly heart attack in the checkout line, you wish they would eat just a little less. Today was worse, though, because we’re gearing up for a camping trip, so in addition to the usual cartload of stuff, I also had an obscene number of bags of chips and boxes of ice cream treats.

What? It’s CAMPING. Calories don’t count while you’re camping. EVERYONE knows that.

There are many things about raising teens that I didn’t expect and/or don’t entirely fill me with joy, but camping with older kids is actually one of my favorite things. Don’t believe me? I wrote about our family camping rules today over at Alpha Mom. Unlike the rules here at home (so unfair! so MEAN!), the kids don’t seem to have a problem with the rules on the road.


  1. Damsel

    Being in Italy has introduced me to an entirely new concept with s’mores. One night, we didn’t have chocolate bars. So we subbed Nutella. Dear Lord, but I about swooned into the fire. Ah-mazing.

    • Meri

      Also good (and non-dairy) are smores with Whole Foods truffles in the red box. They’re made with coconut oil so they melt everywhere which is part of the fun.

  2. TracyB

    I love camper camping, too! Eat, sleep and feel guilty so take a walk around the park and come back and eat or sleep or eat and sleep. Whatever. R&R on steroids!

  3. Heather Critter

    My husband and I bought a travel trailer for our family last year and we love it. Last summer we drove from the Rockies to the east coast, up the coast and back home over the course of a month to visit our families. Even with the cost of gas to tow it, it was cheaper than flying and way more fun than staying in hotels at night.

    This summer we’re actually LIVING in it for what will hopefully be no more than a total of three weeks (but would have been closer to five if friends hadn’t offered us their house for two weeks) because we’re in the middle of a move from one state to another and our house sold sooner than we could leave our current town. So many of my friends and family scoff at this choice over staying in a hotel but:

    1. It’s so much cheaper (we’re military and can stay at full hook-up military campgrounds for $25/day or less)
    2. We can keep our dog with us
    3. We all have our own space, tiny though it may be. And we can bring more with us than if we were living out of one suitcase each during this transition.

    Plus the unplugged thing you mentioned. LOVE IT. And my kids (9 & 6) think this is more fun than the time we went to Disney World, so there’s that…

    I refer to this as “camping”, because while I tote my towel and bath supplies from the public bathhouse to shower and use public restroom and laundry facilities, I am not roughing it or anything close to that, which is just my speed.

  4. Amanda

    I would probably enjoy camping much more if we had a trailer. I’ve become a delicate flower in my old age, and I need to cool off to sleep. This Amazon like humidity just doesn’t cut it. Also, my kids are TERRIFIED of bugs. So there’s that too.

  5. suburbancorrespondent

    Ice cream treats for a camping trip? The logistics of that confound me. Do provide enlightenment!

    • Mir

      Camping with a trailer means you have a fridge AND freezer. They’re not full-size, but we pack carefully. With lots of ice cream sandwiches.

  6. Beth A.

    My boys (ages 4 & 8) love camping. I always pick the campsite…and there are 3 priorities. 1. proximity to the playground –that way they can go play while I’m still happily parked in my camp chair. 2. proximity to the bathroom — because I tend to use the facilities a lot. 3. (and this one is not required like the other 2, but preferred) SHADE.

  7. Chris G

    Please don’t ever stop writing….I love your writing voice and can certainly agree on the tent camping thing. I don’t like being hot at night or sleeping on the ground. Growing up my dad built first a cabin on a river which didnt have a shower in it so we bathed in the ice cold river and even shaved our legs there. We took bikes sometimes but it was more fun to walk to the store etc. We had TV but we read a lot and we didnt have cable or cell phones and that was ok back then. Later he built a cottage on the Lake with showers and being a delicate flower myself loved that we could sleep in beds and now shower. We had a dinky speed boat and it was fun to take it to the store across the lake from some frosty root beer in a bottle or ice cream. We still walked to the park and other places, the TV still had only 3 channels and we brought a video player to watch movies at night occasionally which was a treat for us. We cooked and played board games and it was a great time for us. I later got a divorce and at the same time my parents couldn’t quite keep up with the cottage and taxes and with me being an RN and on the weekend shift at work we didn’t spend as much time as we used to. The boys were growing up and playing more little league. They sold the cottage. My boys ages 19 and 21 now want to buy it back someday. The oldest and I go up there and look around every year or two years and eat at the little bar near by and go to the family store where they butcher their own meat and make homemade beef, turkey, buffalo and ham jerkey. We listen to music and talk all the way there 200 miles and all the way back. We remember when they were little and I used to take them on early morning walks so they could run and throw rocks into the lake, letting everyone else sleep in. Or getting our little boat all decked out for the 4th of July and driving it in the boat parade. We always walk away with a tear tucked into our eyes and sometimes it just slips out and runs down our cheeks…..nostalgia….we talk about the naps I made them take when they were young tikes and how we brought a small durable plastic slide down to the water or as they got older had some balloon fights….it was a fun time we didnt go out to eat unless it was a burger down at the bar down the street when sometimes it was extremely hot and we enjoyed some cool air and skeet ball…they had one machine there and shuffle board but mostly we played the juke box and visited…..

  8. Daisy

    Ah, the grocery shopping. And the teenagers. My picky eater finally decided he liked vegetables a few years ago. I was all excited until he let it slip that he eats asparagus because it makes his pee smell funny.

    Campers, take me away!

  9. Heather

    I think you do my kind of camping ;)

  10. The Cocktail Lady

    I can relate to your weekly heart attack at the checkout! We have 4 kids ranging from 2 to teenager and boy to they just eat more and more and my bill goes up and up!

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