Thursday, July 19

The Crying Alarm Clock

In the middle of the night I woke up to the baby crying.  This is what babies do.  OK, ok, he's technically a toddler now, and most kids his age sleep through the night; at least this is what I am lead to believe.

I glanced at my clock.  2 AM on the nose.  Blah.  Maybe he'll take his pacifier.

On the way down to his room I stopped to use the loo.  This took far longer than I would have thought.  Did I fall asleep in there?  Before long I was listening to him wail.  The tired muffled cries I had heard moments before had turned into a full force screaming and crying fit.  He would certainly not take his pacifier anymore; but I offered anyhow.  This was a good for the "big guns".  So we sat and he nursed and nursed and nursed for what seemed like hours.  Maybe I feel asleep in the rocking chair in his room.

My mind started drifting off to my own experience as a crying alarm clock.

I was 5, maybe 6, when my parents sent me to Girl Scout Camp.  Overnight Girl Scout Camp. The place where I was dubbed the "crying alarm clock".  I can recall the big tent we all sleep in, set-up high on a wooden platform; it was a giant over sized green version of a single person "army style" tent.  Very late 70s.  It had huge flaps on either end that folded up and opened the tent to the woods around.  Camp it's self was a pretty good deal.  I remember doing a lot of arts and crafts, and campfires, and this one day we ate our lunches out of pails in the lake.  The days were fun.  But bedtime and wake-up time were the worst.  Our cots where low metal bed, which resembled the orphanage in Annie (perhaps that was the problem), and every morning and every night I sat on my cot crying.  Hence the name "the crying alarm clock".

At some point last night I finished nursing the baby and went back to bed, and at some point I put my little crying alarm clock back in his crib and climbed back in my own bed.  And at some point after that I realized it was 5:22AM.  Where had the night gone?  How did I get so wrapped up in my own memories?

Regardless I sincerely hope the big boys first experience at overnight camp is better than mine.  He leaves in about 2 weeks.  I hope he doesn't cry like I did.  I hope he loves it so much he wants to go back again next year.  I hope, being a crying alarm clock is NOT a family trait.


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