You all thought I was joking about this being a series right?
My family used to go camping a lot. I mean this was an exodus of Moores from our town. We arrived at the campground en masse, with cousins galore and dogs and tents that my grandad didn’t think anyone but him could put up properly.
I loved it because I was allowed to sleep with BOTH dogs in my tent. At which point it pretty much became the dogs’ tent, because two German Shepherds take up more room than one child (Lady was quite small for a Shepherd, although perfectly formed, but Benz was a freakishly large soft lump of a dog who’d flaked out of K9 training for not liking conflict so they evened out to a VERY LARGE dog). Also I got to follow my cousins around as only the youngest and most annoying member of the family can…I wasn’t a whiner, but I asked a lot of questions and I didn’t really get the whole ‘snitching’ thing at this point. I was about three.
However, the entire point of camping is freeing your children to live feral in the woods while you…actually I have no idea what the adults did, something adultish. So when my Cousin T whined that she didn’t want me following her around all day she got short shrift.
So off we go, Cousin T and the boys she was trying to impress, little three year old me, and my bladder. A bladder that is notoriously gerbil-sized and hyperactive. So it wasn’t long before I was whining, “I need the bathroom!”. Cousin T told me to go back, but I had no idea how to at that point (it’s a campground in a National Trust park, so lots of acreage) and she didn’t want to leave the boys.
Eventually, she notices that I’ve stopped whining. She turns around, possibly with a chill feeling of dread, and there I stand in a puddle of my own pee. I’m not proud this happened twice in my life, but at least on this occasion, it wasn’t a defensive measure. It was just a matter of capacity.
Now my Cousin T has a dilemma. Even though we were free, feral children now, the family is still not going to be ok with her letting me actively soil myself. So she came up with a plan.
She picked me up under the arms, carried me carefully away from the puddle of wee, and then dunked me like digestive biscuit in the lake. I start crying. I lose a shoe to a pike (or a tree branch, but I prefer pike), and possibly widdle a little bit more.
Cousin T realises this wasn’t a good plan. With no other options she has to abandon her admirers and walk me back to our encampment. Squelching. With only one shoe.
“Tam was catching fish, EVEN THOUGH she’s not allowed near the water on her own, and fell in the lake!” she tells everyone. “I had to pull her out and she stinks*!”
Everyone looked at me. I snitched on her so hard. To this day I don’t know why she thought it was going to go any differently. She ended up grounded for a day. It would have been longer but nobody can be bothered with that in a tent.
*That part was true. I smelled FOUL. There were ducks in that lake, and all sorts).