My children set up a tent last Thursday.
The night was far spent by the time they drilled the pegs into our rocky backyard and the tent was full of detritus from last summer's camping trip, so they went to sleep in their own beds.
Friday they cleaned it out and we bought real beef hot dogs and had a fire and five boys went out to sleep. Two were warm–including the oldest, who slept outside the tent–and three froze.
Saturday, two of the cold ones learned their lesson and insulated their sleeping areas. Two slept indoors.
Sunday all but one decided to sleep out again. The oldest, who'd come to the same conclusion the rest of us had–when the younger ones sleep in the tent, not only are they eager to go to bed, but no matter how long they stay awake giggling, or how early they start–the rest of us can't hear them.
Could it get more perfect? I pictured a long, and restful spring/summer season. I blocked out all images of the 10' square patch of dead grass developing under the tent and straightened everyone's bed rolls. I went inside. To sleep. Ahhhhh.
The sprinklers came on at three a.m.
The youngest came inside howling that he was never sleeping outside again. The rest hunkered down and waited. I opened the back door. Two choices: mad dash through the Rainbird 2045 sprinklers that were battering the tent, the house and every square inch of yard between, to the control box on the opposite end of the house; or, go downstairs, out the front door, through two gates and make a sneak attack from behind.
I chose the more direct, but wetter, approach.
"They turned them back off!"
Apparently they thought the sprinklers were some sort of elaborate hoax. The older, wiser brother had thought it through, however. "They were supposed to come on, they're on a timer. Nobody's out there," I hear him whisper.
"What if they come on again?"
"I turned them off," I called as I trudged back across the yard. "Go back to sleep." I could hear a handheld video game starting up. "Turn the DS off, too," I added.
Click. What do you know, Mom really does know all and see all.
I went back to bed after drying off the youngest and getting him some spare bedding, hoping they would all be able to sleep again.
Unfortunately the birds in the orchard were on to us. They started their "chorus" at about three-thirty, which started up the neighborhood canines.
Would you believe they (all but the youngest and oldest) slept out Monday and Tuesday as well?
The reasoning being that the sprinklers being off, any forecast moisture would fall down from the sky, and not full force from the ground up, underneath the tent fly. Silly boys. We do live in a desert, but it does occasionally rain. And as they discovered last night, it doesn't always come down in a vertical fashion.
They've announced their intentions to sleep indoors tonight.
It was a nice dream, while it lasted.