How to Survive in Nature

We went to the park on Sunday for Zach’s company picnic because we didn’t get the memo that only kidless employees were invited. Or maybe the ones with kids were just smart enough to stay home. But we thought, Picnic! Family! Fun! so off we went. Partly because it took us two hours to get out the door and partly because we took the scenic route (who needs directions?), we arrived one fashionable hour late.

We got everyone out of the car, schlepped our caravan of ten thousand bags and children to an overgrown wet patch of grass a grassy knoll in the shade, and set up shop among the twenty-something interns playing volleyball. Even though I asked Mia to use the bathroom before we left home because there might not be a restroom at the park, she promised that she JUST WENT and absolutely could not, would not go again. But what kind of parent takes a child at their word when said child still does not understand the difference between one minute and one hour? Me. I do. I’m guessing that when Mia said she JUST WENT she meant she just went…after breakfast.

“Mommy, I really have to go to the bathroom.”

As luck would have it, the park did have a bathroom. (Yay!) It was only when I realized that we’d have to cross a desert to get there that I decided to come up with a Plan B. Forever after this will be known as the day I taught Mia how to pee in the bushes. “Squat low, but not too low. Move your feet apart. More. Angle your body like so. Yes, I see the squirrels. Focus. No, you cannot wipe with a leaf.” She was a natural, actually. Either that, or I just discovered some serious “how to survive in nature” teaching skills that have lain dormant all these years.

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