but it’s late, I’m pooped out and I’m waiting on a Lemon Glaze cake to finish baking for tomorrow’s bbq. 

And I exaggerate just a little, it’s not really 58 loads of laundry, it’s only 32.  That’s what happens when you go “camping” (read, RV-ing) for 5 days with 5 other people… with trips to the beach (bathing suit crotches, short pockets and towels CHOCK FULL of sand.  We’re still digging sand outta the Lil Blue’s ears), museums, and zoo.  It takes me three days just to dig my way out of the laundry room.

But I am so, so thankful for great trips likes these as a family.  Not to be grim so late at night but we are not promised tomorrow.  No one is.  And remembering that helps put a LOT of things in perspective.  Like mountains of laundry. =0)  Before I know it, the kids will be grown and moved away and it’ll be just Hubby and I in our RV.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the extra space will be delightful.  That and the lack of sand needing to be cleaned out of every seat cushion.  But we’ll miss the days of chatter and silliness… and priceless moments like this:

While at the Museum of Natural History (fabulous by the way, we almost bought a yearly family pass), we had to get on the elevator so that we could see the next floor.  Of course the kids clamored to be the one to push the buttons.  Poppett pushed the outside button and when we loaded into the elevator, I told Monkey he could push the floor button. 

Hubby chimed in, “DON’T push that red button, whatever you do” (the emergency stop button was really close to the floor buttons on this elevator).

The kids all looked at it.  So I explained, “If you push it, it’ll make the elevator stop and the firemen will have to come get us out.”

Hubby adds, “And we’ll be stuck in here waiting for them to come open the doors for us.  So whatever you do, DON’T PUSH THE RED BUTTON!”

“DON’T even think about it. At all.  Not one bit.” 

By now, I’m stifling my laughter because all four of the kids are staring, with rapt attention, at that little red button.  You could almost hear the wheels spinning in their heads as they imagined what it would be like to push that button.

Hubby, “In fact, don’t even LOOK at the button.  Look away.  Right. Now.  Don’t even think look at it.”

At this, Monkey immediately backs away from the buttons and stares at the floor, serious look firmly implanted on his face.  He was falling for this hook, line and stinker sinker.  And he tells his dad, “I’m not looking Dad”

Without batting an eye, Tiger pipes up from the other corner of the elevator, “I’m looking.  I’m staring right at it Dad.” And he was.  Right at it.  And he continued to stare at the forbidden button until we reached our desired floor.  We spent quite a bit of time on that floor.  At least an hour.  And when we loaded the elevator to ride it up to the next floor?  Tiger informs his dad as soon he walks in, with a big ol smile on his face, 

“Dad, I’m staring right at that button!” What a stinker!  Hubby and I had to hold back the laughter.  Tiger certainly didn’t need any encouragement from us.

Fast forward several hours to about 9pm that night.  Same silly boy gave his mom her first taste of night terrors. I’ve NEVER experienced this before.  And I hope we don’t have to go through it again.  It was horrible, especially since Hubby had run off to the store to pick up some groceries we’d run out of.  I was alone.  In a crowded campground.  With a child screaming bloody-murder while staring at me right in the face and shaking violently.  And our “neighbors” were probably wondering if they should call the cops on the child abuse going on in the site next to theirs.

(sorry, it’s now 24hrs later… laundry is done, bbq is done and I’m stuffed to the gills on Lemon Glaze cake.  Note to self: post recipe for Lemon Glaze cake… share the torture  wealth of lemony calories that no one can resist.  Now back to the story I was in the middle of telling…)

I had no idea what to do.  He was screaming, literally at the top of his lungs, eyes popping out of their sockets, veins bulging in his neck and head and the emotional gaggy-pukes are hovering, just below the surface.  I hate emotional gaggy-pukes.  I try being stern and telling him to get ahold of himself.  I confess, I even tried giving him a light fanny spank hoping it would startle him out of his “funk”.  But when the phrase ” I WANT MY MOM!!” choke past his screams, I realize he can’t be awake.  Not even a light sleep.  He had to be deep in dreamland and I was helpless.  I wanted to curl up in a little ball, cover my ears and suck my thumb.  Instead, I try to tell him that I AM mom but nothing gets through.  He soon starts screaming for dad and there I really couldn’t help him.  Dad was unfortunately, no where within earshot.  And I was worried that if I called him, he’d wreck the truck the instant he heard the terrified screams in the background (Tiger’s mind you, not mine. I was just barely keeping mine under control).  So I calmly carried  him back to his bed hoping the familiar surroundings (and his blankie) would soothe his terrified, confused soul.  It didn’t.  He’d calm down for a minute or two and then start the screaming (although this time with his blankie shoved in his mouth that, thankfully, muffled them) all over again.  And still, his eyes bugged wide open. 

Finally Hubby came home (during a quiet moment) and I quickly informed him of the happenings he’d missed out on.  He replaced me at Tiger’s bedside and started talking quietly with him.  Since we were in the trailer, there wasn’t room for me to be in the room too so I had to move away and couldn’t hear what was said.  Whatever it was, it worked.  Guess all that boy needed was his dad.  Because soon I could hear his little voice (Tiger’s that is.  Hubby’s voice isn’t so little) saying something calmly to his daddy.  Tiger soon came out, needing a potty break and informed us that he’d been scared.  We didn’t pressure him over what.  And the rest of the night was peaceful.  Thank you Lord.

The next morning, thinking he wouldn’t remember a thing, I asked him about it.  He informed me:

“I was crying because I was scared of the dinosaurs.”

Me:”You mean the dinosaurs we saw at the museum?” (Tiger nods his head) “You know those are all dead right?  There aren’t any dinosaurs alive anywhere.  Those dinosaurs we saw were all pretend.”

Tiger:”I know Mom. But remember when we saw the dinosaur eggs?  And you could spin the wheel and some of the eggs moved and a baby dinosaur stuck his head out of one of them?” (my turn to nod my head) “yeah, it moved Mom”.

Apparently, the fake eggs, that lay under the fakemommy dino, that moved only when you turned a big wheel (that Tiger loved turning all on his own), that had one teeny baby dinosaur stick his head in and out of was the source of those horrific screams the night before.  Not the big ol mama dino.  Nope.  The teeny baby one that you could only see the head of…

Not this one

or even this one

Or even this big mama one.  No, it’s down below her.  You can’t even really see but there are a bunch of eggs at her feet.  And yes, those are the cause.

I’ve never so thankful to turn down a yearly pass before in my life.