Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Welcome to Camp Hamps - PART ONE

Did you know that I never went to CAMP? Going back to my childhood days I remember watching the majority of my friends pack their duffle bags and hop on a large bus headed for Camp Timberlane and I wondered why I was not allowed to be part of this Summer tradition. Perhaps it was because my parents just couldn't get enough of me or was it that they would miss me too much if I was gone for almost 2 months? Whatever the reason, I did have a couple of leftover friends with whom I would hang out with when school was out for the Summer. They both happened to have pools in their backyards so let's just say I attended CAMP SMITHERS and CAMP GOZ for arguments sake. Oh yes, and if memory serves me correctly, my parents did attempt to leave me in a "day camp" scenario when I was about 6 or 7 at a Catskill Mountain Resort. I spent exactly 2 hours in the camp and showed up on their laps after complaining that I didn't like the food they were serving.

That is most likely where I began to know the difference between a plain white bread sandwich with plastic orange cheese and a BUFFET bonanza. My sister's children both attended Camp Timberlane during their Summer vacations. They made loads of friends at camp and to this day their memories are instilled with the wonderful experiences they had there. As a matter of fact, a story of "romance" was part of my youngest niece's life during the years she was at Timberlane. It was there that she met the love of her life, and it was there that he went back to propose to her last year. As you know, prior to a wedding there are loads of fun celebrations that are planned for the bride and groom to be. Engagement parties, showers, brunches, toasts and last but not least...the stag and stagette (otherwise known as the bachelor and bachelorette parties). When it comes to hosting a fabulous party, who none other than Little Miss Party would be on call (albeit 8 months pregnant) to throw her sister a bash that she would never forget? As part and parcel of this event, there were a few projects that entailed the expert hands of Uncle Steve and Auntie Debs to partake in. The project list also included a side-bar with a much needed task - Uncle Steve needed to plant a vegetable/flower garden this year in the Hamps. Here's what took place over the course of the first 3 days of our trip out east.

Day one: Steve arrives after his 11 + hour motorcycle tour of toll booths.

Day two: Debi departs from Toronto/Pearson International Airport while Steve lounges around the pool, enjoying the peace and quiet and waiting for our arrival.

Day three: The List is presented to Steve. It includes a two hour outting to Home Depot to buy supplies for the "projects" as well as purchase all the gardening stuff.

I'm going to turn to another subject for a second and describe my  first day with Mr. G. The intent was to have a few good quality hours with him while my niece and Steve were making their way through THE LIST. I had planned an outdoor exercise class (with a 2 year old...like that was going to happen?), followed by a lunch break and possibly a chill out session with Thomas the Train on the tube. Here is what really took place and I will be inserting a WARNING label because parts of this story will get graphic, gross and you can choose to close this page right now if you want to...I will totally understand...don't worry...

9:30 a.m. - Mommy and Steve depart for Riverhead - Where the stores are...

9:35 a.m. - Mr. G. and I make our way out to the backyard for our "class". I'm equipped with my gymboss interval timer and dressed in my workout gear. Our routine went something like this....jumping jacks, running up and down the hill while doing  "high fives" as we passed each other, froggie jumps, rolling down the hill and last but not least (his favorite) yoga stretches. It took a while for him to warm up to the idea that this was actually a serious class but when all was said and done he ran past me waving his hands wildly in the air screaming "push, push, push that tush"!
We boogied up and down that hill together until he ended up with the following two issues: A very full diaper and the need to blow his nose (he required the BPT "BOOGER PATROL TEAM" to be called in). On a scale of 1 to 10 this is probably considered a gross factor of 20 here...don't say I didn't warn you. And as far as this pictorial of the said "booger" on the said 'boogie" ....don't get the wrong idea...at NO TIME did he ever consume his snot. Are you gagging yet? Thought so.

I have changed many diapers in my life (3 boys) but I don't recall if they had pullups 21 years ago. My thoughts were...NO. My niece left his porta-potty on the porch for me and asked if I would mind training him while she was gone for 2 hours....OH SURE....that didn't exactly work....although I gave it my best shot by asking Mr. G. if he thought his potty was cool to which he replied "yes" as he ran past it.
So what exactly is a pullup? It is a diaper that resembles a pair of underpants but is really a diaper without the tabs. There is a front and a back...which looked the same to me. After our long and exhausting workout, I asked if he would like to make a peepee in the potty. He said "no thank you". Very polite don't you think? Approximately 2 minutes later, he approached me to announce that he has a poopoo in his pants. Ohhhkaay..I quickly grab him and we make our way up to his room to change his bum. Keep in mind...there are no tabs on the diaper so how would anyone take this thing off? The most logical way is to Pull Down the Pull up ...no? Well, no is the right answer...I proceeded to pull down the pull up and OUT flew the contents of the pull up onto the change table. My first reaction would be to scream..which I did...resulting in Mr. G. laughing at me. I bet he could have explained the instructions on how NOT to pull down a pull up. (According to the directions you must tear the diaper off down the side...HOW WOULD I KNOW TO DO THIS?). The other lesson learned was the natural instinct to pick up the contents you pulled down and dropped while in screaming mode. I quickly grabbed the deposit with a WetOne and lost grip of it....Mr. G. continued laughing at me and concluded (in his own mind) that he was more capable of dealing with this Pull Up situation better than his Aunt. Once I was finished pulling up and down, my niece arrived home and I recanted the story to her. She checked my work and pointed out that his diaper was placed on him incorrectly. I checked the status of the Pulled up Pulled Down diaper and opted for the HOME DEPOT excursion next time. My niece handed me my pink slip: *Grounds for Dismissal - lousy babysitter who couldn't figure out a PULLUP.

Vegetable Gardening 101 (How to plant a vegetable garden with an assistant who is 2):  
Uncle Steve, otherwise known as "the Manny", or as Mr. G. calls him Uncle FEEVE organized all the plantings for a vegetable and flower garden. When Uncle FEEVE tackles a project such as this he does so with finesse and SPEED. It is always great to have an extra pair of hands to help you get the job done quickly. Mr. G. was delighted to assist UNTIL the act of planting the plant occured and he actually got DIRT on his hands. At this point he hopped into his motorized vehicle and quickly sped away after being FIRED by Uncle FEEVE. Mr. G. was handed his pink slip which stated the grounds for dismissal:  Employee is a LOUSY GARDENER. *Now we had something in common...we both lost our jobs that day.


All I can say about this one is I have to hand it to Steve to turn a meal preparation into a scene from DEXTER. The short version of this story is the correct and incorrect way to conduct yourself while making steamed lobster in another person's home.

CORRECT WAY: Place your lobsters in the sink and rinse them gently while boiling a large pot of water on the stove. Do not remove rubber bands to release the claws until ready for immersion.

INCORRECT WAY (or Steve Dexter's WAY): Place your lobsters in the sink and fling off the rubber bands with a knife. Turn the water on full blast and aim it on a lobster to see if it starts moving. Pick up two lobsters in your hands and place them close to each other to see if they will FIGHT. Have the lobster slip from your hands and fall into the sink causing them to get distressed.

Water them again until one of the lobsters sh*t themselves in the sink sending the hostess into a tizzy. At this point even though the lobsters looked amazing my niece was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder associated with the serial killing of these sea creatures. Not to mention the poo that hit her sink in a very unappetizing way. That however didn't stop her from a "photo-op" with her red friends. If you are ever in the mood for seafood, Steve is thinking of opening up a restaurant and calling it "The Lobster Mobster".  

Days 4,5,6,7,8 and 9....to be continued.. Stay with me for CAMP HAMPS - PART TWO                                                                                                                           

1 comment:

  1. Your right, I don't think pullups existed 21 years ago either. Your experience reminded me of the first time my mom changed my sons pampers. She had never used them before (I had cloth ones when I was a baby) and got vaseline on the tab. Of course now the tab wont stick to the diaper, so she came up with a new use for electricians tape and wrapped it around the diaper like a belt.

    I can't wait for the next episode.