So yesterday and today marked the Epic Year-End Girl Scout Fun Beach Camp Out With Bridging Ceremony for our girls’ Girl Scout troop.
Let me just begin by saying that this is an awesome troop with a fantastic leader and a great bunch of girls. So any comedic value I may draw out in this post is not done with malice of any kind. I love these people.
That being said, perhaps this text that I sent to The Lovely Rhonda will set the tone: Next time I get a hotel.
The Girl Scout organization owns cabins, as I understand it, here and there in nice places. This cabin is right in a popular coastal town with a little promenade and an aquarium and lots of shops that sell things made out of imported shells (the Pacific Northwest is not known for its excellent shells) and taffy and so forth.
The cabin is pretty much one big room with an open kitchen along one side and a bathroom that has a door, probably only because privacy laws dictate that it must. If there is anything Girl Scouts believe in, it is relentless Togetherness.
Sturdy vinyl-coated camp mattresses are provided for sleeping and are stored, when not in use, in two large stacks to either side of the room. These are irresistible to your average 6-9 year olds, and while I like to think that our children are above average, they too fell prey to the siren song of the mattresses.
Oh, and someone, NO NAMES MENTIONED COUGH COUGH *TROOP LEADER* COUGH COUGH, brought an apparently indestructible beach ball which spent the two days careening nonstop off of every surface including the ceiling, the walls, and several peoples’ faces.
I arrived late in the evening on Monday, relieving TLR of duty so that she could return home to the relative safety of work on Tuesday. We had s’mores and a bridging ceremony in which the troop leader’s daughter was promoted to the rank of Ambassador and my own offspring became a Junior. (This is the rank above Brownie, for those of you who concern yourselves with hierarchy. I know I was burning with curiosity about it myself.)
After that TLR hotfooted it home and probably spent the evening watching The L Word in a chenille bathrobe with a glass of wine and a box of chocolates. She probably did this because she knew that I would be sleeping on a whisper-thin mattress on the floor of a big open room filled with children. Knowing this, she further knew it was up to her to restore balance and harmony to the universe by doing pretty much the opposite.
You know, at first it wasn’t so bad. My kid was happy that I was sleeping next to her on the floor — I had turned down the chance to sleep on a bed type thing so that this could happen — and the mattress thing didn’t seem too terrible. My sleeping bag was tidy and I had an owl-patterned pillowcase my mom made for me on my pillow. We all settled down relatively quickly and pretty soon there was the gentle, deep breathing of exhausted children.
But then… Well…
My pillow was too puffy. I had grabbed a spare one out of the bedroom and didn’t realize it was one I had rejected for being neck-wrenchingly lofty and unmanageable. I therefore spent the rest of the night chasing it up the slippery mattress as it squeaked out from under my head like a watermelon seed.
And? Every time someone moved, their vinyl-coated mattress made rude noises. The troop leaders both brought inflatable mattresses but these were no better in the rude-noise department.
Did I mention I am a light sleeper?
True story: the tiny *click* of the clock coming alive followed by the sound of a CD spinning before the music started was enough to wake me up in the morning when I used a CD alarm clock, back in the day. Now, of course, I use my cellphone alarm and if I forget to turn the sound back up, the screen lighting up is enough to do the job.
So you can imagine my joy when finally the baby started in. One of the troop leaders has a young son, about ten months old, and of course had to bring him along. He is completely adorable and pretty mellow overall, unless of course he misses his naps and bedtime at a Girl Scout beach camp out. Despite even this he was super delightful nearly all the time.
Oh, except at 3:45am when he woke up, one assumes to be fed, and made a crapload of noise in the otherwise perfectly silent big open room of the cabin. It wasn’t even any of that annoying crying that makes you want to throw the baby out the airplane window; it was mostly just … noises. Noises of various types related to urgency, satisfaction, curiosity, whatever the hell goes through an infant’s little developing brain at FOUR O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING. WHEN ALL NORMAL PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SLEEP.
I like the little guy, and I like the troop leader, and it wasn’t personal. But by FIVE O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING it was starting to get a little bit frantic over on my particular squeaky vinyl-coated rude-noise generator of a mattress. I am not a violent person but it was starting to get all HULK! SMASH! inside my head. So finally I fired up my phone and played Plants vs. Zombies, and around 6:15am I finally settled down. Just in time to wake up at 7am. Because we had things to do.
Last weekend I worked two night shifts and then on Monday morning I woke up — also at 4am — and due to various Circumstances About Which I Do Not Blog, could not sleep any longer. So I kind of walked into this thing with what you could call a sleep deficit. Or you could call it OMG I AM SO TIRED ALREADY I JUST WANT TO LAY DOWN AND SLEEP ON ANY AVAILABLE SURFACE.
But no. There is no time for that on an Epic Year-End Girl Scout Fun Beach Camp Out With Bridging Ceremony.
So now? I’m going to bed.