15 April 2008

It's not going to be a relaxing week.

sleepy
This is my bed. It's warm, cosy and dry. As one should be when one sleeps.

Hold that thought for a moment, if you will.

My eldest boy, my firstborn, my precious wee babe, is here for a week. If you follow that link you'll see what a spectacular place it is. It's also very very far away. It takes sixteen hours on a bus to get there. It's in the desert which means it is bitterly cold at night. He has no tent.

Can I just repeat that? He has no tent.

At his school, when the class goes on camp, the children break up into pairs or trios to share food, tent, equipment and so on. So he and two friends joined forces, and the planning between the three families began. One had a tent and we offered to purchase a little camping stove and the planning for a week's worth of shared meals began. The children had to be at school at 6:00am on Sunday so you can imagine what Saturday was like. Cooking, washing, packing, repacking, airing of sleeping bags, boot shopping, organising, sewing of name labels, the measuring out and packing into ziplock bags of portions of rice, milk powder, cereal, etc. One final phone call to confirm that yes we had the stove, yes we had the cooler for their milk, cheese, butter and sausages, they had the tent, yes. Yes yes yes. Yes.

We rose at 5:00am, dressed and packed the last few frozen items into the cooler, and Mr Soup drove him to school in the predawn light. The bus was loaded and the gaggle of overexcited teenagers boarded. Just as the teachers were about to board, the mother of the other child said ...

Oh my god I forgot the tent.


Postscript: I worried and wrung my hands uselessly for a week. He arrived home and I enquired how they survived in the open without a tent and he informed me that no one used their tents, they all slept on tarps under the stars and used the tents only to store their belongings in so they didn't even miss it. All that worry, for naught!

27 comments:

innercitygarden said...

My best mate met one of our dearest university companions when her tent broke during set up on a zoology camp. Sometimes these things work out pretty well.

Stomper Girl said...

I hope she jumped in the car, drove home, got the tent, and then lead-footed it after the bus beeping madly till they stopped?

Janet said...

Surely they won't leave him and his friends outside to freeze? Surely.

Although, that said, we've slept outside next to the fire camping in the outback. Quite good actually if there's no wind.

peppermintpatcher said...

NO! I cannot believe that! From now on he needs to carry an emeergency tent with him at all times.

Ali said...

Aiii - just confort yourself with the thought that tent-forgetting-Mama's torment and guilt will be worse than yours this week.

I bet your son wrangles his way into some 5 star canvas belonging to someone else. Now just make sure the washing machine is clear for his return.

Cathy said...

OOOPS

Oh Dear

M said...

Oh no.... I'm sure that tent has been air-freighted. Or Harrods are delivering one as we speak (don't they deliver anything, anywhere?).

tut-tut said...

Surely the mother had some CASH on hand, and a long-suffering teacher offered to stop en route to purchase one??

Badger said...

See, now this is why I hate people. They do stupid sh*t like this.

That being said, I would bet money, in whatever currency you like, that your son's group was split up and divided amongst the existing tents. I mean, surely. I would hope.

Joke said...

To put Badger's sentiment -- I thought she would express herself passionately on the manifest evils of camping with which I agree -- another way:

They won't freeze TWO nights in a row.

And that other mother will NEVER forget that tent.

-J.

daysgoby said...

Oh no!

I'm sure something was worked out - but I'm thinking you're not going to be sleeping much until he turns up, safe and sound....

Elizabeth said...

Shit on a stick!
Parents always manage to irritate me somehow and I would be furious with that one.
When my daughter went for a week on her class trip her room mate had the flu. The mother sent her anyways and said upon her boarding the bus, "Please take care of her, she's not feeling well"
Sure enough daughter comes home and is prompty laid flat with the flu and takes us all down with her. Nice.

I 'm sure they did tent share (extra squishy but also extra warm that way :))

Sue said...

She was joking? Right?

Molly said...

She's still alive???

sueeeus said...

Only you could make a picture of rumpled sheets look so divine. And I mean that!

(p.s. Son#1 will have quite a tale to tell when he returns! Stop fretting, Mama Bear. He's a resourceful young man. :) )

Carson said...

You could see it as an Initiation Rite (and how much will he appreciate his bed when he gets home?)

meggie said...

I can't believe she wasn't stamped to death!

kathek said...

He will be a braver boy for it and have a great story to tell his entire life. A right of passage here in the U.S. is to camp tentless and ALONE, my son did it at 12 and it makes me smile every time I think of it. (he is 26 and still alive)

Blossom said...

yikes!!I can imagine how upset you are.
I'm sure they wil squeeze them into other tents to keep them warm and safe.
hugs

katiecrackernuts said...

I am a Girl Guide leader and you have no idea how many times I have heard the same cry, and yes, usually from a parent. It's either the tent, or the sleeping bag, or the food. Never something minor like socks, or a hanky. No, it's always the big things. The teacher will have heard it a dozen times too and there will be, like I always have, spare tents, tarps, sleeping bags, pyjamas, beanies, socks and food. Promise!

fifi said...

I can't possibly imagine your gentle self shaking said mother till her her teeth rattled, but that's what I would have done...


it's gotten COLD!!

Jenny said...

Holy Shit!!!
Moron!
And as a teacher myself, I agree with Badger!

Di said...

not much longer to go now...

manda said...

oh that sucks.

String Bean said...

Well. This will be a good opportunity for your son and his friends to learn how to rough it and a learning experience for the forgetful mother and a 'how-to-deal-with-stress' primer for you.

Corrie said...

oh oh!!!!! I remember when my little brother went on outward bound in year 10 and my mum spoiled him with takeaway and videos that weekend ....hope your boy returns safe and sound!

Corrie:)

Kylie said...

oh my - at least he wont forget his trip in a hurry!