Emma has a responsibility chart that we use to reward good behavior. It has topics like eating her dinner, showing respect and not whining. She gets smiley face magnets on each category that she earns in a day, and if she gets all her smileys for the day, she gets to sleep with her door open. Two days in a row, she gets her little tent set up on her bed and she sleeps in there, seven days in a row and she gets a special treat. Yesterday was day seven, which she earned, so her special treat was camping in the living room.
We put the boys to bed early to get everything set up. We moved the furniture around to make room, set up our big tent in the middle of the floor, and because I am a whiner, I mean, pregnant, we pulled our mattress off our bed and put it in the tent. The only casualty of the night was the tent pole that snapped while the mattress was going into the tent. I will not stoop so low as to place blame as to who broke the tent, but just so you know, I was in the other room when it happened. Anyway, we got the tent pole taped back together, and the bed set up, Emma wanted to bring all 54 of her stuffed animals in to camp with us, but I told her to pick six. We sat in the tent and watched Brother Bear while Marty got a good fire going in the wood stove. And by sat in the tent, I mean, I laid down and Emma laid on top of me. An entire queen size mattress between us, and she wants to be on top of me. We took a break from the movie to roast marshmallows and make s'mores, but Emma being Emma did not want to call them s'mores, they were shmarshmallow and chocolate sandwiches. Oh, well! After s'mores and cleaning up all the sticky marshmallowey goo that covered her, we all snuggled in the tent to watch the rest of the movie. Yes, Brother Bear is a long movie, we hadn't watched it in a while, so I had forgotten. Emma was on a sugar high from the s'mores, and couldn't make up her mind if she wanted to lay down between us or at the entrance of the tent. I had chosen the spot closest to the entrance, since I was the one who would have to get up in the middle of the night to pee, so every time she changed her mind, she would climb over my belly to get out or in. I was starting to get cranky, it was getting late, and we needed her to calm down.
We finally told her to pick a spot and stay there, and eventually the movie was over. By this time it was 10:30, and we were all tired. I should say, Marty and I were tired, Emma was still would up and having a great time. For those who don't know Emma well, let me fill you in on a little secret. The girl loves to talk. And talk. And talk. This child will talk all night long if you will let her, and about the most random things. "I love camping. Next time we go camping, can we invite Chloe?" (Chloe is her cousin that she sees camping on Memorial Day weekend, and talks about her the rest of the year.) "I love you, Mommy and Daddy. Why do we say, goodnight I love you every time?" "I want to sleep in the tent every single night!" She had to go potty at 11, and while she was in the bathroom, I got a few minutes to snooze. She came running into the living room, announcing in her loud, excited voice, "I'm done!" and scared the crapola out of me. I think she finally fell asleep around 11:20, but the girl won't stop talking, even in her sleep. Midnight: "Oh no! The thingy is going to do that!" One am: "I really want to go over there!" Two am, Grant is awake, and needing his bink. Two thirty, I am cursing myself that I didn't pee when I was up with Grant. Three: "My blankie is missing! Oh, it's just on the pony." And on and on. Finally, she was out completely and not tossing and turning between us, when Grant was up for the morning. Sleep is over-rated.
Overall, we all had a blast. She is already talking about next time we camp in the living room, and we have put the tent away, but our mattress is still on the living room floor, which is making for a thrilling new toy for the kids. I am just waiting to see which child is going to hit the wall with their head first. I am very grateful that she did not want to camp outside, and I wonder what the next request for day seven of smileys will be. Have a good day, everyone, I am going to take a nap.