Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Roughin' It

De Vrolijk campground, Laren Gld.
With hubby away, the kids having a two week holiday and gorgeous weather arriving just in time, I decided to take the boys on an adventure and take them camping for the first time in their lives. I've been camping a few times in the past; our first holiday as a couple was camping in Denmark, while one of our most adventurous was camping in the Rocky Mountains in Canada, listening to the crackle of large animals prowling the woods at night while I cowered under a thin sheet of canvas, hoping the steel bear-bins in which we had to store our food were far enough away to ensure the bears would stay 'over there' somewhere. We counted 23 bears -both grizzlies and black bears - on that holiday but fortunately never had to share a tent with any of  them.
This time I chose the campground 'De Vrolijk' which is about 15 minutes away in Laren. I figured it paid to be close to home in case it all ended in tears and we needed to bail out. Plus the camp has a large lake with a beach where the kids can swim and play, a major attraction.
Long story short, our camping adventure was a huge success, with the exception of Carl's accident on the final evening. At about 5 pm, just as we were getting ready to think about cooking some dinner (tinned meatballs, mosquitoes and sand with rice) over our single spirit burner stove, he did one jump too many into the lake and landed awkwardly on his right foot. His toes dug into the mud, his weight landed on the back of his heel, and he ended up with a very sore foot. The next morning it was swollen up impressively and he couldn't put any weight on it at all. Hmmmmmmm. Cue forward a couple of hours to us sitting in the ER at Zutphen hospital. My back was aching from piggy-backing him everywhere and he was looking sideways at the wheelchair a nurse was trying to coax him into.
The triage nurse who first saw him suspected a broken ankle (OMG!), but x-rays eventually showed no broken bones, but plenty of swelling and deep bruising. At this point Carl cheered up considerably when he realized that he would be getting an impressive pressure bandage, and this was nothing to the sheer joy the next morning when I picked up some crutches for him so he could be mobile.
So far his biggest concern is that the bandage and crutches remain a permanent fixture until he's been at school for at least one day, and he wants me to email photos of him, fully handicapped, to his teachers as an advanced warning. Niels is jealous of Carl's special status and between moments of muttering darkly looks like he wants to chuck himself under the next car to get crutches of his own. I wonder what age we are when getting injured is no longer fun and exciting? About the age we stop having a parent to fuss over us 24/7 I suspect.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

He's Back!

Crisis averted, Monkey has been found. Phew! Turns out he was under Carl's mattress, having ended up under there when hubby changed the sheets. It's so hard to get good staff these days...
Smiles all round :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MISSING! One Slightly Worn Monkey...

Something truly terrible has happened...the fear of every parent with young children. Carl's Monkey has Gone Missing. MISSING I tell you! This is the same Monkey who has comforted him every night for the past four years, been dragged on and off countless planes to New Zealand, Singapore, Scotland, England, Denmark and more countries besides. He's survived hundreds of hours of car trips doubling as a pillow, tens of thousands of kilometers stuffed in hand luggage, and countless washes in the machine, Scout sleep-overs, days being dragged in and out of the sandpit, piles of lego, bicycle bags...and yet he's never gone missing before. To be honest he's rarely more than a meter from Carl's reach outside of school hours, and has been smuggled into school on more than one occasion. 
The photo above is just one of countless which I have found on my iPhone over the years, taken in secret by Carl when I'm not looking in homage to his best buddy. And here he is Christmas 2009, joining in the fun, as always within reach of Carl:

Monkey comes from Build A Bear, that chain of shops where kids get to pick out their cuddly toy of choice, stuff it, put in a heart, help sew them up then convince their parents to spend a small fortune on cute outfits. 
This is Monkey dressed in the Star Wars Stormtrooper outfit I brought back from Houston last year:

Since then Carl's looking a bit better (more teeth) and Monkey is looking a bit more tattered (less fur) but they are still inseparable. Which is why No 2 sobbed himself to sleep tonight while his parents turned the house upside down looking for a small brown primate whose 'birth certificate' lists him as Triceratops Transformer, but we all know simply as...Monkey.