This here bringer of the pooper to the fun party

Because a trip to South Padre Island is out of the question

Leta’s spring break is coming up, and when Jon and I were brainstorming ideas about what to do he suggested we all go camping. In a tent. With Marlo. I told him that he might as well take a bat and hit me over the head, again and again, and then take me by the feet, swing me over his head and toss me into the middle of the street during rush hour. Because that would be less hurtful.

You people who go camping with your kids, AWESOME FOR YOU. You and your kids are going to have awesome memories, and I’m happy for you. I’m just not jealous of you. You and I can still be friends, but when you talk about how your kid loved sleeping on the ground and didn’t mind the smell of campfire smoke in his hair or the bug bites on his face, I’m going to ask you to show me your golden panties. Surely the two go hand in hand.

Jon has tons of memories of camping with his family, and I don’t blame him for wanting to recreate that with our kids. And I’ll gladly engage in this endeavor when Leta no longer freaks out when her hands are dirty. Also, camping with Marlo at this age? They’d have to warn all the bears in the area that she would be present. So they could seek shelter.

So we had to come up with another plan, otherwise he would be camping with his two daughters alone. And I’d be lying in my warm bed, a beer in one hand, bag of Cheetos in the other, crying into my pillow because I’m watching Beaches on Netflix.

Last summer my mother, a total glutton for pain and misery, took Leta and her twin cousins to Logan, Utah for a couple of nights. Logan is about an hour and a half north of Salt Lake, but to Leta it could have been as far away as Indonesia and just as exotic. Other than the trip she took with Jon to Disneyland, this is probably her favorite memory in life. Because of the indoor pool. And the chips and salsa at Chili’s.

(That is also my favorite part about life, the chips and salsa part. And Diet Coke. Oh! And pictures of other people’s cats looking bored.)

Since Jon got to take Leta to Disneyland by himself, I’m going to take Leta to a hotel by myself. Just a couple of nights, a hotel with an indoor pool, a hotel with a Chili’s nearby. And we are going to eat the shit out of those chips and salsa.

I’m really looking forward to getting to spend this time alone with my firstborn child, to making these unique memories with her. I would also pay to be there when she’s talking with the other kids at school about what they did over the break. Because I’m sure some of them will go camping, and others will take exotic trips. And she’ll be all, WE STAYED IN DOWNTOWN SALT LAKE AND ATE DIP!

  • zoeonly

    When I was a kid, our family vacation were almost always to go to whatever the nearest “Holidome” was. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Holiday Inn used to have a few hotels in the Midwest with swimming pools, an arcade, and mini-golf under a big dome with about half of the hotel rooms overlooking it. CLASSY. Anyway, we spent the whole time eating in the hotel restaurant and only getting out of the indoor pool to drip on the mini-golf green and/or the ping pong table.

    My mom was the queen of intending to plan the great family vacation, but she sucked at it (incidentally, now that I have my own kids, so do I) and the truth is, we totally loved these trips and they are some of my best family memories.

  • jmckee

    “My parents never took me camping. Do you know why? BECAUSE THEY LOVED ME.” — Jim Gaffigan

  • Gillian G

    I never understood camping. Why would someone do that when they could stay in a nice hotel room. With a bed. And a bathroom. And hot water. Maybe even room service. And to bring small children camping? That’s just craziness!