Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs daily at Aleteia. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.
When you think about it, we’d have to be crazy not to take all nine kids and a possible husky camping in a rented yurt this summer. I mean, think of all the points in favor of this “plan,” by which I mean we were supposed to be researching replacement dryer parts, and it was a lot more fun to look at rental yurts.
POINT A: I have been camping exactly once, and my husband has been camping exactly never. The one uplifting outdoor experience he remembers is one time, when he was a teenager, he was being mad about being at the beach, and then suddenly he actually saw a school of dolphins! Playful, majestic creatures they were, sleek and muscular, yet strangely heedless of gravity as they danced and cavorted in the sun-kissed waves. Spellbound, he waded further in. Then he realized that the cigarettes in his pocket were all wet. So he went back to being mad about being at the beach.
POINT B: Our kids consider recreational grousing to be a perfectly acceptable way to pass the time -- sort of a background music of discontent that they provide, gratis, to maintain an unpleasant ambience during all waking hours. So I’m thinking nine kids + incessant whining + one-room yurt = better bring gin. And I like gin!
POINT 3: Our three-year-old actually snores when she’s awake, especially when she‘s having fun. No, it’s not a sinus, tonsil, or adenoid problem -- she’s just an enormous weirdo whose interior life is so busy, I’m surprised she can spare enough consciousness for her exterior life to keep her cells sticking together. She thinks so hard, I expect her to just fall apart completely some day, out of sheer absentmindedness, and just fall down like a stack of half-eaten pickles (what? You don‘t stack half-eaten pickles at your house?). And this is not just ordinary snoring, like the kind I do that keeps my husband awake after he woke up from being kicked because he was snoring and woke me up. No, this is snoring par excellence -- snoring to bring the walls down, snoring to lift the roof off, snoring to write home about. Except that no one is home; we’re all in a frickin yurt.
NOTHER POINT : I promised my husband that if he gave up smoking, we’d get a dog. Well, the treacherous s.o.b. actually went ahead and, after fifteen years, gave up smoking. So look at me now. I’m checking Craigslist for a bargain, and all I’m finding is stuff like this. But sooner or later, the perfect dog is going to come along, and then we’ll all be sorry.
POINT V: When I was a new mother and had only three kids, I swore with God as my witness that never again would I have three kids in diapers. All I ever did was look at bottoms, and not in the fun way, either. Well, here I am, an old mother, and I can’t quite get myself to admit that I have three in diapers again. Teachnically, what I have is one in diapers, one who keeps bursting out of her diapers because she is the size of a large cart horse, and one who ought to be in diapers but isn’t because then we’d all know I kind of flaked when I was potty training her a couple of years ago, and there is still some . . . confusion. That is to say, she leads a very dry interior life, but her exterior life is still on the damp side.
POINT THE SIXTH: It’s possible that we told the kids that we’d be having a really nice summer this summer. Do they listen when we tell them not to stick their tongues in the fan? No, they do not. But when we promise them happiness, then they listen, and they hold us to it.
POINT SEVEN: So, one time, I called the police because I was eleven months pregnant and I noticed that our next door neighbor (whom I had never met except for the time I called the fire department, and then it turned out he meant to set those garbage cans on fire) was burying something in our backyard. Now, I am so not a boundary dispute kind of neighbor, but on the other hand, I have seen Rear Window.
Well, it turned out that it was his child’s dead puppy he was burying, on what he considered to be his land, and my callous intrusion into their grief was just making them griefier. So, I’m pretty much a monster. (I still say it was on our side of the line, though.)
Oh, so anyway, I’m pretty sure that, if we rent a yurt, and someone rents the yurt next to us, it will be that guy.
POINT EIGHT: I forget what eight is for but
POINT NINER: I finally caved in and gave up wearing pants. It just isn’t ladylike, it's certainly not modest, what with the scientifically-proven pointy arrows and such; and even someone as busy as I am really has a duty to make the world a little more genteel, a little less utilitarian.
But I haven’t gotten around to buying any skirts or dresses yet. Just . . . no pants.
The campground doesn’t specify anything about dress code; but on the other hand, I don’t like the look of all those pine needles.
POINT THE END: Oh kill me, we’re getting a dog.