1. Let’s just start here: You will get approximately 1.7 hours of sleep per night.
2. Despite the fact that the floor of your tent is lined with a nice, foam camping mat, you will spend your evening in the 12-inch wide section that is not covered. On a bed of rocks and sticks, on an incline, sucking face with the nylon wall of the tent, while the rest of your family sleeps soundly and comfortably on the foam mat.
3. There will be breakfast tacos, burgers, hot dogs, fajitas, sandwiches, queso and fruit. The kids will feast on tortilla chips and Nutella sandwiches and juice boxes for two days.
4. Your kids will enjoy an unprecedented amount of time outside.
5. And when they get bored, you can encourage them to “explore!” and “go find some sticks!” and “dig in that dirt pile!” It’s like nature’s scavenger hunt.
6. You will make the trek to the bathroom approximately 84 times, or every 5 minutes.
7. Because your kids are careful never to have to go at the same time.
8. You’ll teach them to pee in the lake.
9. You’ll teach them to pee in the woods.
10. Your daughter will refuse to poo in the public potty.
11. But she has no problem dropping trou a mere 10 feet from your neighbor’s enormous camper, where you’ll find her, pants around her ankles and her business at her feet, calling for someone to wipe her rear.
12. So then you’ll have the talk about certain business that should be done in privacy, not where your campsite neighbors have a clear view when they look up from their air-conditioned game of Spades.
13. “Stay away from the fire.”
14. “You’re too close to the fire.”
15. “Don’t wave around the sticks that you just lit on fire.”
16. You will end up with burn holes in your camping chairs.
17. And probably your favorite T-shirt.
18. You’ll let your kids stay up later than usual because of camping! S’mores! Beer! (The beer’s for you.)
19. They will repay you by rising with the sun.
20. The sun which will rise earlier than it ever has in the history of the world.
21. And of course you have a clear view because a) you are already awake thanks to the cozy rock/stick bed, and b) tents don’t exactly come with blackout curtains.
22. And they’ll start whispering sweet nothings into your ear, like “Where is everyone?” and “Can we make cinnamon rolls?” and “I have to go potty.”
23. You will start to shush them, but quickly give up, because fuck it, you’re camping. Welcome to Mother Nature, bitches.
24. Where are everyone’s shoes?
25. “I CAN’T HOLD IT I CAN’T HOLD IT I CAN’T HOLD IT!”
26. Between 4 families, you have 2 electric skillets, 1 Crock-Pot, 1 griddle, 13 spatulas, 8 rolls of toilet paper, 72 juice boxes and no coffeemaker.
27. So for the time being you’ll mainline a Diet Pepsi.
28. Then you’ll pull up a camping chair, take a hit of your caffeine-laced aspartame, watch your kids enjoy some good, old fashioned dirt digging, and relax.
29. Until someone has to go to the potty.