We got back Saturday evening from a 2-night camping trip at one of the most beautiful spots on God’s green (but sometimes red and other pretty colors) earth, Arches National Park. We forgot to bring Hazel’s pacifier. We also couldn’t find our family-sized tent (and only discovered it was missing when we were otherwise packed and ready to leave) so the first night we had Ike, Mabel, and Hazel in one small tent and Henry, Rose, and me in another, with Dean sleeping on a cot next to my tent.
(Tangent story: Dean and I got engaged at Arches in April of 1996. A couple of weeks earlier we had almost gotten engaged on a drive up Provo Canyon, but the road was closed to the place Dean was planning to take me, and the nearest alternative was the road to the Squaw Peak lookout (a local make-out spot). I told Dean I just couldn’t get engaged at Squaw Peak. So he asked me what would be my favorite place to get engaged, and I chose Arches. When we drove down to Arches, Dean set up a little tent near the river outside the park, and we both slept in the tent. I trusted Dean completely, but in general I don’t tend to tell people how we shared a tent, since I wouldn’t encourage my kids to do the same. But the reason I’m telling you this now is because it says so much about life: that Dean and I (chastely) shared a tent at Arches before we were married, but didn’t get to share a tent now.) (But when our kids are grown and Dean and I go camping, we will share a tent again.) (And that’s ALL I’m going to say about that.) (He already might want me to delete this whole paragraph.)
Anyway, in spite of Mabel’s very valiant baby-wrangling efforts, Hazel made quite a lot of noise that first night, so the next night I brought Hazel in my tent with me. She fidgeted a lot and finally found a position she liked, with her face against mine and her arm around my neck, which was incredibly sweet and dear except for that her breath smelled like a rotting raccoon carcass. I’ve never known a toddler’s breath to smell so bad. Maybe she was sick. Or maybe it was from eating hot dogs and Pringles.
Before she settled into this comfortable-for-her position, she kept shifting around and talking to herself. Several times she patted my chest, put her mouth against me as though to nurse, and then said quietly to herself, “No.” (She’s been weaned for six months, but apparently she has a really good memory.)
Hazel did sleep really well that night, which allowed most everyone else in the camp to sleep well, too. (But not me. Even if Hazel is one of the cutest toddlers on God’s multicolored earth.)
Henry’s lunch request today: “I want some of those silly chips with that funny guy from Strongbad.”
This funny, funny guy. Just seeing his image on the computer screen was making Henry laugh. (Thanks to the King of Town, I cannot put mayonnaise in or on anything without saying, “Too much mayo? I love too much mayo!” Thanks so very much to the King of Town for that.)
I had one other really dumb thing to say, but as it is I’m probably going to be late to pick Mabel up from school, so this is one of those times when I’ll just hit “publish.” (Heaven forbid I should save this as a draft and have to wait to publish it.)