• Lara Flanagan

Putting the Kibosh on Camping

Updated: Feb 29, 2020

For those of you who follow my ramblings, you will know that the long-awaited shopping trip for camping equipment was due recently. We had planned it for last weekend, but it turns out that I didn’t want to bloody go camping. I am not sure if it makes me eligible for a Mother of the Year award, but I have put the kibosh on camping. When I wrote that word, ‘kibosh’, I am not sure if it was a word I had made up. You know when you forget to spell the word ‘the’, or get in the car and momentarily forget which is the brake pedal and which is the accelerator? Kibosh had that effect on me. I had to look it up to double check I was not inventing things in my head again.

Sure enough, kibosh was there.  It means put an end to, dispose of effectively. To put a stop to, check, curb, stop, halt, end, nip in the bud, quash, block, cancel, scotch, thwart, frustrate, prevent, quell, suppress, squelch, put paid to, scupper, spike or stymie.  What a gorgeous collection of words.   I am a kibosher of my children’s dreams.  Kibosh, kibosh, bloody kibosh.  The kids have been saving for months.  They get $5.00 a week for doing a delightful collection of chores that I can’t abide.  This includes washing the car, vacuuming the house, cleaning the kitchen, bathroom and toilet and picking up the dog poos.  They get an extra $5.00 a month for cleaning the chicken house daily which basically means picking up a copious amount of chicken poo. 

They work pretty hard for their money.  Bless their little cotton socks as I hate all those jobs with a passion and I am sure I would live in chaos if my children simply didn’t adore doing these jobs and watching their savings grow.

They had been talking about camping for ages.  They had researched and found the cheapest options.  I had spoken to them that we would have to do minimalistic camping, as we had little room in the car with the three of us and Kevin and Rosie.  It all sounded great in theory but after a very sleepless night last Saturday night I realised that I simply did not want to go camping.

I did not want any spare time on the weekends, taken up with heading somewhere to stay in a tent and then have to pack up and head home again and wonder where the weekend went.   I did not want to sleep in a tent.  I did not want the kids to buy things that we may never use.  I did not want to pretend as a mother that I was loving doing something that I really had no desire to do.   I did not want to go camping.  Full stop.  The thought of camping in the wee hours, almost made me be sick in my mouth.

But I also did not want to disappoint them, or renege on promises made, or basically be a party pooper.  All night I tossed and turned until I realised I would just have to tell them.  Surprisingly they weren’t too disappointed.  As old man Archie said, “Well it makes no sense to buy something we are not going to use mummy.”  Rissie wanted to know if we would still go on adventures.  Of course, we bloody would.  We had a picnic blanket, an esky and a thermos flask – our little family was rich with possibilities.  We have been known to get up at 3am in the morning to get to Gostwyck in the middle of winter in time for a dawn photo.   Adventure was not the problem, I told Rissie, just camping.

Then I suggested to them that they use their money for cameras which was the next item on the list they were going to save for.  This was thankfully gloriously received.  They were anxious about the cost of cameras, but I told them that I would teach them about high finance and lend them any money they needed. We headed to Warwick on a camera shopping expedition which was simply wonderful in comparison to a tent shopping expedition.  As we had expected, the kids were a little short for their cameras, but we had already discussed the fact that I would become a money lender to them.  I would have bloody given it to them, but that went against my principles.  Inside though I was doing a happy dance as they discussed the pros and cons of their cameras.   No tent, I was thinking, no bloody tent.

Of course the camera thing means that I am no longer alone in my quest to   #startthedaywithsomethingbeautiful.  I tend to just take snaps, with no real rhyme or reason of things that I find beautiful.   Also, I am a quick snapper.  Whereas the kids move slowly, they want to discuss why I am taking a photo of something, they want to know the best angle, they want to talk about many things that my brain does not like talking about in the mornings.  But at least I am sharing something I adore with Archie and Rissie, and if I can impart my love of this world onto them then that makes my little black heart beat with joy. It also means that I am not sleeping in a bloody tent.

A small price to pay for no longer having the threat of camping in my life.  Here is to endless weekends of day time adventures and pottering in my garden with Kevin and Rosie, talking to the chooks, feeding the magpies and sleeping in a bed.

#Motherhood #MyNotes #MyStories #SingleMum

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