Mother of a Man-Child

My life with teenage boys

Man-child free for five days–woohoo! September 16, 2011

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camp fireIt’s the end of Term 3 for the boys (where did it go I ask you) and the men-children are off on camp.  That’s the trade-off for having three weeks holiday – they go on a five-day school camp at the beginning.   One is off on Cadet Camp at Puckapunyal, and one is off to Glenelg River (Portland) on an Outdoor Ed camp.

One of the men-children has spent the week getting himself organised, looking at his list, organising tent hire, borrowing sleeping bags, packing etc.  We’ve been to the supermarket several times to buy his body weight in food (they have to carry it all themselves but that didn’t stop him loading up on ridiculous non-essential food items) and he’s all organised to head off in the morning.   As my sister said to him, make sure you eat up the heaviest food first – that 20kg pack is going to feel like about 120kg before he knows it.

The other man-child finally packed last night – no worries, it’s all the same stuff from last time – she’ll be right mate.  Yes, you guessed it, our man-child cadet.  The one who froze last time in his hutchie, because he wouldn’t listen to his parents to understand exactly what he was sleeping under (not in)!   He swears he’s got it covered this time – a warmer sleeping bag and a beanie is his version of improved warmth.  No thermals for this tough boy!  As they say, you can’t do it for them, so I guess he’ll learn for himself.  We haven’t seen his list at all, and he doesn’t even know what time he’s due at school in the morning.  Aaaarggh.

The men-children are just getting their last play fight in before five days apart.  They’ll probably miss each other, ironically, and be back at it within hours of returning home.  I’m just getting myself ready for the unnatural peace and quiet that will descend on the house, along with the bursting-with-food-fridge that won’t empty in a nanosecond, and the washing basket that will stay empty for an entire day or two.  Domestic bliss.

Sister of a man-child is probably relishing the thought of no screaming in the house for five days, and the undivided attention of her parents.  Of course we will miss them, by about day four!  I’ll be sure to regale you with any good stories from the camp in a future post.  No doubt they’ll enjoy being boys/men immensely, hopefully without any major incidents or injuries.

Read about the last cadet camp experience here:  Camping Man-Child Style and Freezing on Cadet Camp (the post-script)

 

Post-Script to The joys (or not) of Parent-Teacher interviews

As a follow-up to last weeks post, we did actually make enquiries at the school about a spot for one of the men-children in boarding school for a term.  Our reasoning being the study routine might benefit him and help create some good habits ahead of next year.

Sadly I received a call today from the school – they won’t take him.  Not CANT, they WON’T.  That’s right, our man-child’s reputation is so bad they don’t want him in the boarding house.  Something to be proud of – NOT!!

 

Mother of a Man-Child: Camping Man-Child Style! July 1, 2011

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hutchieOne of my men-children is off to school Cadet camp this week for two nights roughing it in the cold winter of Melbourne.  If he comes home with frostbite it’s not my fault!  All my best nagging and attempts to organize him failed dismally – clearly he doesn’t take after me – the most organized person my friends know!

The camp is a Bivouac – so called because it refers to a military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters.  That means Man-Child II is sleeping in a Hutchie (see pic) – which is very, very basic accommodation and clearly doesn’t lend itself to warmth, and also cooking his own meals from specially prepared cadet ration packs (yum?).

Naturally the Cadets (who are officially a part of the Australian Army) are a well oiled machine – we’ve had instructions sitting at home for at least a month outlining all the details of the camp and what was required of the attending boys.  Naturally Man-Child II, aka Mr Last Minute, did absolutely nothing about the camp until the day before.  I must admit I didn’t come across the notes until the end of the weekend, and then went into a state of mild panic since he only had three days to get organized.

And so Mr Last Minute went to the “cadet store” at school the day before camp to pick up what he needed (apparently).  That of course was exactly one week after the deadline for them to pick up their equipment – he assures me the place was full of boys on the day he went – I shouldn’t be surprised.

That night, after much hyperventilation by Mother of a Man-Child, we finally went through the list and the questions started……”What’s a C-H-U-X, I need one of them” (yep, a dish-cloth, clearly far too foreign to Man-Child).  “And what about a S-C-O-U-R-E-R?”  See first point!   I felt panic coming on when he asked me if we had a Hexamine Stove!  What??!!  Oh yes, of course, let me just pull that out of the cupboard that contains all the camping equipment this non-camping family have!  He was supposed to get it from the cadet store – whoops.  Guess he’ll be enjoying uncooked two-minute noodles for lunch and cold beef & vegie stew for dinner.  Unless he can borrow someone else’s stove.  Really I could have clocked him one.

They sleep in a Hutchie on the Bivouac – yep, under a canvas tent sheet basically.  At camp they are given the hutchie, sleeping mat and cords.  It was only through us cross-checking the list we discovered he hadn’t collected the tent pegs – a vital component if the picture is accurate.   Luckily I found some tent pegs in the kids play tents that will probably do the trick.  Either that or he’ll be sleeping cloaked in a canvas sheet.

And then we came to the clothing to pack.  For good reason they don’t take much as they have to carry everything in their pack.  But they were given a list of essential clothing to take with them, including beanies and gloves because it’s going to be sub four degrees overnight – especially with these beautiful blue-sky days.  So we tried to explain the need for a beanied head to retain heat, a track suit to provide extra layers, and thick Explorer socks for your feet, even in the worlds warmest sleeping bag, because it will be DAMN cold.  But no, our very own Solo man wouldn’t take a jumper to sleep in – a t-shirt will be fine.  I guess if he’s desperate he’ll just have to sleep in his army uniform!!

I am sure Man-Child II will thoroughly enjoy the camp.  Who wouldn’t relish some time in the great outdoors, hiking, training, bonding, whilst soaking up the cool, crisp, warmish winter days.  If per chance he does freeze his arse off, I’m sure he’ll never admit it to me.  Maybe Father of a Man-Child will have to do the scouting on this one.  And let’s just hope it doesn’t end the same way as the last school camp he attended (see the post below for more about that).

https://motherofamanchild.com/2011/03/25/mother-of-a-man-child-trouble-on-school-camp/