We make it to where we are adequately hidden from the other men and boys. Squirt says "Is this it (the bathroom)?" As she starts the potty dance and unbuttoning her pants.
"Yep, let me think about this for a minute though." The realization that things were different suddenly became clear. I thought, this could be difficult without a potty.
"Squirt, you only have one pair of shoes, right. Take off your shoes."
"OK." She kicks off her shoes and starts to pull down her pants.
"Wait! Take off your socks. I do not think mom packed you any more socks."
She pulls off her socks. "OK dad, can I go now?!"
"Sure. NO Wait! You do not have any more jeans in your backpack. Take off your jeans."
"Dad I really have got to GOOOOooo!" She takes off her jeans.
She is now standing in her skivvies looking at me for further instruction.
OK pull those down and squat down and let me see how that is going to work.
She follows the instructions. But I see that anything falling would certainly be stopped by the final clothing on her legs. Then I ask this...
"Can you aim that thing?"
She looks at me like I was asking her what the square root of 144 was and says, "Huh?"
"OK Wait! Take those off too because they will get wet too."
She finally squats down and lets go.
She is relieved to finally get to go. I am relieved that we successfully went to the potty in the woods without getting any of her clothes wet.
I hand her the TP.
"Don't step in it! Walk over here."
"OK KJ your up. You got to go?"
With a noticable look of panic..."No I think I will hold it."
"OK suit yourself."
"Wait! OK I got to go too. Do I have to do it like Squirt did?"
"Do you have a change of clothes or do you see a potty around here anywhere?"
She took care of her business in record time.
KJ finishes and says "Dad will you please bring a potty next time?"
"I promise to bring...Next time? Are you guys having fun?"
"YES, this is fun!"
"Well then next time we go camping I promise to bring a bucket or a potty for you two to use."
The night came in perfectly. The burgers were frying in the pan. The bacon was sizzling and often being taste tested to see if was cooked just right. The Conecuh sausage was simmering. We started setting the table; you know we put out the ketchup, mustard, and cheese. Then we got the paper plates out and tore a hole in the plastic wrapping. "OK everybody we are ready to eat."
We ate until we were fully bloated. We sat around the fire talking for about two hours. The girls and Matt were running around to each tent with a lantern. Not sure what kind of game it was, but they were laughing constantly. Finally the kids came over and sat with us by the fire. Squirt had been sitting in my lap for about 30 minutes when she said, "Dad I am ready to go to bed."
"I thought you two would stay up all night. OK 10 more minutes."
I had to wait for this one guy, who was so long winded; I did not think he was ever going to finish his story so I could leave the fire and put the girls to bed. I finally finished it and told everyone goodnight.
Did I mention the tent I brought was just a two man tent? We piled in the tent and quickly provided instruction that KJ needed to put her feet at Squirts head and I would put my head with Squirts head. This provided everybody with enough shoulder room to turn over if necessary. We had packed enough blankets and jackets that nobody should get cold. Plus with the close quarters the body heat should work like an oven.
The girls were so excited to be sleeping in a tent in the woods. I am not sure what they were expecting but they acted like they were at home. They wasted no time in laying down and getting quiet. They asked a few times about what certain noises were.
"Dad what's that?"
"That is Mr. Garrett telling about..."
"No Dad the owl noise."
I laughed, "That would be an owl."
"Dad what's that?"
"That's a bird."
"Dad what's that?"
"That's a tree frog."
"Dad what's that?"
"O my gosh! That is a werewolf...just kidding."
The girls calmed down and finally went to sleep what I would guess was about 10:30pm. Other than some of the noises by the night animals, the guys were finally getting to tell their stories around the fire. Sleeping on the ground is not the most comfortable rest. After rolling over about a 1,000 times you wish would turn over to see daylight peeping in the tent. Finally curiosity gets the best of you and you check the time. 11:03pm. AHH you have got to be kidding!
I then wake up to Squirt crying. I also noticed some of the guys in their tent still talking. I check my cell phone to see it was 1:24am.
"What is it Squirt?"
"I want momma."
The guys I had heard talking suddenly were quiet.
Several thoughts flooded my brain.
- It was really really dark out.
- The dew had already started to settle.
- If I had to pack up everything with this little bubble click light it would take an hour or two.
- Everything would get soaking wet from the dew.
- Squirt's crying would probably wake up everybody.
- She would get louder with each passing minute I took to get everything packed.
- She would probably fall asleep in the cab of the truck while I am packing up.
- The guys are still up I could just let them know I was leaving. They could pack up my stuff for me and bring it to me later.
- Hey now there is a plan.
"Honey why do you want your momma?"
"I am hungry."
"I have some chips. (I realize chips at 1:24am for a small child are not the best nutritional option but hello there is no refrigerator full of milk in the woods) "How about some water? Where is your bottle of water?"
We find the bottle of water and she takes about 8 or 9 gulps. She puts the cap back on and lays back down.
"Are you cold?" I asked.
"No but will you hug me?"
She fell back to sleep with a cozy soft snore within about two minutes. About 30 years later, I mean 30 minutes later, KJ is squirming around. "What is it KJ?"
"I am cold."
"Here use this blanket." A few minutes later she is no longer squirming and back to breathing deeply.
Then the most annoying sound interrupts my deep sleep. My cell phone alarm is going off announcing its 5:30. Why is it that you toss and turn and beg for daylight but right when you reach your maximum snooze pattern your alarm blasts you back into the misery?
I crawled out of the tent and easily relieved myself without getting my pants, shoes or socks wet. Least I think so, who knows, it was cold and dark at 5:30. I got the fire started back up, set the mosquito tiki things back up and got them lit again then sat down to enjoy daybreak. Seeing the stars give way to morning is something I rarely see but enjoy immensely. I took it all in in awe of the God who made it.
Not long after the sun was creeping up KJ came walking to the fire. "Good morning Dad."
"Morning Sweetheart, how did you like sleeping in the woods in a tent?"
"Squirt still asleep?"
"Yeah, she is snoring."
We sat and watched Mr. Garrett crawl out of his tent. He had specific intentions as he held a roll of TP upon standing up from his tent. "Good morning, I will be back." I nodded to him. I decided not to look at KJ. I figured I would let her make her own conclusions as to which business Mr. Garrett was taking care of. I also giggled at the thought of wondering if she was thinking he was going to have to take his shoes, socks, britches and drawers off...I couldn't look at her for fear of cracking up.
"Hey guys!" comes from our tent.
I tell KJ, "Squirt is up, lets go."
We get to the tent to see Squirt unzipping the tent (which although I had shown her how to do, I was still impressed she was able to do)
"Y'all left me in here."
"We were just right there at the fire."
"I got to pee."
KJ pipes up, "Me too dad, can we hurry before everybody gets up?"
Only after one time of peeing in the woods they have become experts.
After most everyone was up we broke down our tent and packed up our stuff. I was greeted with "I don't know what you told Squirt last night, but we just knew you were about to have to leave. We were up, but we tried to get real quiet because we did not want to have pack up your stuff for you." Garrett knows me well. I returned the zing, "I told her I was going to put her in your tent. I figured she fainted."
My plan was to leave at 7:00 to give myself time to get home and cleaned up before going to the writer's workshop at 9:00. Breakfast was smelling too good to leave without having any. We left at 7:15 with a to-go breakfast sandwich.
We got home to an awaiting wife and mother. She asked, "Did you girls have fun?"
"Mom - we peed in the woods!" They said in unison.
She looks at me and says I thought about that after you left. I guess you figured it out.
"I am sure it was not how you would have done it, but it was successful none the less. How did you make it without us?"
"Lets just say, I am glad the girls are home safe...and you too."