As I stood inside the tent I wondered whether this is what babies feel like in the womb, assuming that the womb has ventilation flaps and enough space for a small stove. Brow furrowed, my musings were cut short as Noah declared he needed the potty, which – being on a campsite – meant he wanted to pee in the nearest hedge.
I have found that, in my experience, small boys find peeing standing up quite confusing. (And, in a hastily added sentence, I must emphasise that it is only my two sons from which I have gleaned the aforementioned experience.) Instead of just leaning against the nearest tree trunk and jetting a neat arc of whizz into the foliage, they tend to panic a bit and kind of squat, which just results in them peeing all over their own knees.
But this is just one of the many joys of camping, joys which I recently experienced over the bank holiday weekend; a weekend in which I accidentally poisoned my wife with undercooked chicken, and in which she promptly got her own back by locking my keys in the car. But that’s another story, and not a very interesting one at that, because I pretty much just gave you all the details right there.
Camping is great. I love it. And, I don’t mind saying: I enjoy peeing in the trees myself. It makes me feel manly, which for me happens almost never. Plus, it’s pretty much compulsory to have a BBQ every day, because what else are you going to eat?
It’d be great to go camping without kids, though. (Come to think of it, most of the conversations I have with my wife begin with ‘If we didn’t have kids…’) I don’t like having to walk through the campsite to empty a potty into the toilets, and – I imagine – neither do the other campers, who have to endure the sight of me striding as quickly as I can clutching a bright blue potty in one outstretched arm as a turd swims around inside. I don’t like having to constantly know exactly where they are when they’re tearing around, weaving in and out of tents. And I don’t like worrying that they’re going to freeze to death at night.
But I could be wrong. I was standing at one of the campsite sinks washing up the cutlery one day when a bloke came and stood next to me. “They’re what it’s all about, isn’t it?” he proclaimed, nodding towards a group of children running around on the grass. And, after a few seconds of thought, I felt inclined to agree; but, more so, I was a bit worried that this strange man might want to actually enter into a conversation.