The men-children returned from camp on Tuesday after five blissfully quiet days without them. We almost didn’t know what to do at night while they were gone – there were no arguments over the dinner table, no demands about homework, no screaming to pick up stuff or begging for help at home. Father of a Man-Child and I even enjoyed several long, uninterrupted conversations (it’s been a while), and Sister of a Man-Child was simply in heaven (as you would be being an only child for a few days with the undivided attention of your parents).
If you didn’t hear the men-children soon after they arrived home, you could definitely SMELL them!!! Pity Father of a Man-Child who had to collect both boys (of course they didn’t arrive home together or leave together – the joys of twins) and endure them in close proximity for the short trip home. Trust me they absolutely stank; I imagine his car will carry the odour for weeks.
By the time I saw them both at home they had showered thankfully, probably for a good 30 mins each, and fair enough too. My only sample of the smell of boys after five days of camping was the clothing that came down for a wash, the sleeping bags that needed airing and/or washing, and the socks and boots that were so vile they had to spend the night outside because they could stink out an entire room in seconds. It really was a very rude shock to the olfactory senses.
Man-Child I did change his jocks on occasion although he didn’t shower at all on camp. And Man-Child II (and all other cadets apparently) simply wore their cadet uniforms for the whole five days. So naturally, since they didn’t shower, they didn’t bother changing their jocks or socks either……..gross!!! Perhaps I should just throw those ones out?
Both of the boys came home thoroughly exhausted, but having really enjoyed the challenges of their respective camps. That would be with the exception of the last night, during which they both endured gale force winds and driving rain. It was actually so bad on Cadet Camp they had to abandon the camping ground at 10pm at night and all hike back to the barracks, where they got to sleep in dorms (relative luxury), without bedding though, as that had all been left at the site. Thankfully the school put the boys’ safety first – strong winds in a camping ground full of large trees being a recipe for disaster. Man-Child I also endured a close encounter with a leech one night in his sleeping bag – ewww. Nasty little suckers!
Whilst they both survived on the food (army rations and dehydrated noodle meals for the most part), they were certainly thankful for the large steak we served up to them upon their arrival home. Nothing like a few days camping to appreciate a home cooked meal, a nice warm bed, a hot shower and a toilet that’s not a long drop. J
As for the parents who chose to let their boys stay home and not attend camp – far too soft!!! This is the stuff that turns boys into men – the adventures that shape them and make them realise they can survive, and that they are stronger and more resilient than they might otherwise believe. Good old-fashioned male bonding – bring it on.
PS. Off on holidays next week – so forgive me if I don’t post a regular update. Am seriously considering going away without a laptop and am too busy to have prepared anything in advance. Sorry folks.
Read about pre-camp preparations here: Man-Child Free For Five Days – Woohoo!