Perpetually Peeved

10 things I learned from camping…

1.  Ants bite.  

Upon our arrival to the campground, Mr. Peeved set about getting a fire started, Biggie grabbed her chair and fishing pole (coordinating colors, of course) and headed to the “beach,” Smalls found the nearest downed tree and started to climb all over it, and I set about unloading the car and hauling all our stuff 50 feet down a 45 degree slope covered in loose rocks.  Just as I was taking my third slide down the hill with provisions, I hear an ear-piercing screech.  Smalls, who was playing nicely by herself (this should have been the first warning sign something bad would happen) had been bitten by ants.  

Smalls:   EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  

Peeved:  Okay, Smalls, let me see. It can’t be that bad.  It will be fine, I’ll kiss it.  

Mr. Peeved:  It’s an ant bite.  Those are the worst.  They hurt like hell.  

Smalls:   EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  

Peeved:  It’s okay.  It will be fine.  That’s not an ant bite – it’s not a little white bubble.  It looks just like a mosquito bite.  

Mr. Peeved:  It’s not a red ant bite, it’s a regular ant bite.  Those are worse.  

Smalls:   EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  I got bit by an ant!!  EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!   It hurts worse than a red ant bite!!!  

Peeved:  Maybe that’s not helping, Mr. Peeved.  Smalls, mommy has lotion, let me put some lotion on it.  

Mr. Peeved:  That’s not going to work.  Do you have that after-bite stuff?  

Peeved:  No, I have bug spray, sunblock and lotion.  

Smalls:   EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I need the bite stuff!  

Mr. Peeved:  We are going to have to cancel the trip if you don’t fix it.  Don’t bother putting up the tent yet.  Can you go to the store and see if they have that stuff?  

Smalls:   EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I want to go home!  I hate camping!  EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!   

Well, something tells me this has happened before because the campsite store was fully stocked with after bite lotion.  A few dabs of that, an hour of coddling and a Coca-Cola later, Smalls was off fishing with her sister.  I put up the tents, inflated the air mattresses, put out the chairs and lost 3 pounds of water weight while Mr. Peeved made the most perfect camp fire, ever (or at least, that’s what I’m told).   

2.  It’s all fun and games until you run out of clean clothes and marshmallows.  

This cartoon and a bunch of other totally awesome cartoons can be found on this site: Think I found a new source of entertainment!

Around 7:30 pm on the day of our arrival, we were almost out of marshmallows and, aside from pajamas, almost completely out of clean clothes.  Apparently, after bite and Coca-Cola don’t do much to improve a nap-missing 4-year-old’s disposition.  Smalls spent most of the afternoon throwing rocks at the ducks and stomping off into the woods when we tried to talk to her.  Finally, when the first signs of dusk started settling in, we decided it was time for the kiddo to hit the air mattress for the night.  Smalls melted down faster than a marshmallow hit by a blow torch.   

Smalls:  I don’t want a smores pie!  I don’t like graham crackers!  I don’t want just marshmallows!  I just want marshmallows and chocolate!  No, not like that!  I want marshmallows and melted chocolate, but no bread or crackers!  Mommy!  Biggie is eating my smores pie!!!!  WaaaaaaaaawaaaaaaaWaaaaawaaaa!   

Squirrels scurried off like roaches when you turn on the light.  Nature wants nothing to do with a whiny, screaming preschooler and neither do I.  So, I do what any resourceful mother would do – fling her over my shoulder, strap her in the car and try to drive around until she falls asleep.  

Smalls:  You left Biggie and Daddy! They’re all alone!  Turn around! Turn around!  You can’t leave them!  

Peeved:  I wonder if the campsite store has Benadryll…  

Smalls:  Hey, maybe they have marshmallow and chocolate ice cream.    

3.  Tents were invented by the Department of Torture.  

They make it look so easy.... (

4.  The ability to fish is not genetic.  

spicy, crispy minnows... who knew?

The only time I ever caught a fish growing up was when I was sitting on the dock and got up to move farther down the way.  Completely coincidentally, just as I stood up, a fish bit my line and I “caught” it.  Yes, we can add fishing to the long list of things I’m not good at – right after cooking and just before passing driving tests.  Biggie did not inherit this gene.  She caught six fish.  Granted, they were all slightly larger than minnows, but still it was quite an accomplishment given her DNA.   

One would think that the children would want to throw the poor little fishes that were too small to eat back into the lake.  Not my kids.  

Mr. Peeved:  Okay, we have to let them go now.  

Biggie:  No!  You said we could eat what we caught!  

Mr. Peeved:  There is no meat on this fish, Biggie.  

Smalls:  Daddy!  You said we could eat them!  I wanted to cut its head off!  

Biggie:  Yeah, and I was going to gut it!  

Guess you could say the kids like to eat.  That, they may have gotten from their mother.  

5.  Everything tastes better with white bread.  

Next time you go camping, buy yourself one of these babies!

Smores pies, ham & cheese pies, salami & cheese pies, steak & egg pies, cherry pies, pizza pies…. I could go on in the spirit of Bubba Gump all day.  

6.  It’s okay to ban technology for two days.  


I turned off my iphone for two whole days.  Guess what?  No one suffered except my ego.  Apparently, I’m NOT that important.  

7.  The firmness of an air mattress is directly proportional to the heftiness of your bed mate.  

What this picture doesn’t show is the way the poor lady gets catapulted to the other side of the tent when her husband climbs on to the air mattress.  What it also fails to capture is the way her ass goes slamming into the ground in the morning when he gets up to pee.  

8.  Children who can’t read also have trouble listening. 


There were “no swimming” signs posted all along the shore of the lake.  This, of course, meant nothing to Smalls because unlike those phonetics phenoms you see on the TV at 6 in the morning, she can’t read.  Apparently, reading and listening go hand in hand.  I told Smalls she was not allowed to go in the lake unless she wore her water shoes, rolled up her pants and stayed on the opposite side from where her sister was fishing.  I may as well have written it on a sign for all that she paid attention to me. 

Smalls:  [skipping barefoot in the “fishing section” of the lake with her pants soaked up to her underwear]  What, mommy?  I didn’t hear you. 

Peeved:  Smalls, I said it five times.  Put your listening ears on. 

Smalls:  Oh, sorry.  What did you say?  la la la…. [skipping barefoot in the “fishing section” of the lake with her pants soaked up to her underwear]  

9.  Nothing makes a 12-year-old happy. 

Peeved:  C’mon Biggie, we’re going exploring. 

Biggie:  Ugh, I don’t want to go.  I’m busy.  I’m fishing here, mom. 

Peeved:  Okay, stay here.  We’re going to the campsite store.  Smalls, you want to see if they have ice cream? 

Smalls:  Let’s go! 

Biggie:  Gosh, you guys can’t even wait for me to get my shoes on?  You’re so rude! 


Biggie:  Is that a pool?  Is it open? 

Peeved:  Yes, but I didn’t know it was here, so you don’t have a bathing suit. 

Biggie:  I can’t believe you forgot our bathing suits. 


Biggie:  Oh my gosh!  They have slushies.  Mom, can I have a slushie? 

Peeved:  Sure, but that’s it.  One treat.  Either ice cream or slushie. 

Biggie:  Okay, thanks mom. 

Peeved:  You’re welcome. 

Biggie: [sipping on slushie at check out stand]  Oh!  Mom!  They have sour straws!  Please, please, please? 

Peeved:  No, Biggie.  You got your treat. 

Biggie:  Come on!  You are so mean! 


[pout, moan, whine, repeat x5] 


[checking out at the campsite store later that night] 

Peeved:  Mr. Peeved, can you get those sour straws for the girls for the ride home, please? 

Mr. Peeved:  Sure. 

Biggie:  Yay!  Sour straws. 

Smalls:  Sour straws! 

Biggie:  I am not sharing with her. 

Peeved:  Yes, you are. 


[chomp, chomp, gobble, gobble for all of about 5 seconds] 

Peeved:  Are you done with those already? 

Biggie:  Yes, because I had to share them.  And, I can’t believe you didn’t bring our bathing suits! 

10.  You should always unpack your camping gear immediately after arriving home. 



This was on the ceiling of my car this morning.  Good thing I’m not a complete arachnaphobe!  I have a good friend that’s probably doing the heeby-jeeby dance just looking at it (hey – you made the blog!).  Smalls thought it was “cute” and wanted to name her Charlotte.  I guess it’s better than a gerbil or a dog…

37 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You successfully described the camping trip we took last month! (Or maybe the month before…I’m losing track now.)

ESPECIALLY the air mattress thing. I didn’t realize I was so easily airborne.

Comment by Lori

Yeah, I think I’ll invest in two twin-size ones for the next trip! 🙂

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Between the close-up of the ant and that spider I have officially had my share of heebie jeebies today…

I am also sufficiently afraid of 2022 when my daughter turns 12.

Comment by Andrea Simpson - Conflicted Mean Girl

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved


I enjoyed your stories…they made me giggle and think of my own childhood…& not to mention my own three sons. Keep writing, you’ve got the touch for comedy! MomsMemoirs

Comment by Music&Meaning

Hi and welcome! Thank you for the kind words. If I didn’t learn how to laugh at it all then I would just drink too much. So, instead, I laugh at it all, usually while drinking too much. 🙂

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

The camping post…sounds like I’m better off that the boyfriend forgot the mattress.

Hey…I didn’t get sour straws or a slurpee. I feel jipped. Could you write my boyfriend a note saying I can have a treat or two?

Comment by thoughtsappear

Sounds like I’m gonna have to have a nice long sit-down with Keifer. 😉

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

You have a thank you note coming your way.

Comment by thoughtsappear

That’s a fine looking spider… from 3500 miles across the big pond!

Comment by gallowaygrave

It is quite literally the size of my hand. Spiders don’t usually bother me, but this one made me take a step back. 🙂

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Great post! reminds me of why I have not camped in 20 years! I don’t know how “hefty” your husband is….but if I plopped down on an air mattress….my wife is probably going to be rocketed through the roof of the tent and into the nearby trees! Catch ya when I get back! 🙂

Comment by redriverpak

Guess hubby isn’t that hefty… I just hit the top of the tent and bounced back down. Have a great time! Can’t wait to hear all about it.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Air mattresses are from the devil. I wasn’t happy camping (a happy camper?) until we got a fold-up foam mattress. Yes, it takes up more space in the car, but it saved our marriage.
LOVE Natalie Dee! And those fire cooker things are the bomb.
So, when’s your next trip planned? 🙂

Comment by Amy

We had to sit two to a seat as it is. Did my husband hire you to say we needed more space in the car? He’s already started angling for an extended cab truck… you know, for all the camping we do. 🙂

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

I would have crashed into something if that was in my car! I would be squealing like smalls after her ant bite. I don’t camp for reasons like that. I went camping in college and it lasted one day. Put in an ocean view room on the beach and I have a vacation.

Oh and I always tell my husband that when he rolls over in bed, it feels like he is jumping off the high dive. I literally move when he rolls over!

Comment by thelifeofjamie

You need that mattress in the commercials.. the one with the glass of wine and the woman that jumps up and down.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

That spider was scary. I’m okay with spiders almost everywhere except in the car or in the bathtub.

Comment by tryityoumightlikeit

I just pretended it wasn’t there. It has slunk off and hid somewhere. But, I figure maybe it will eat those mosquitos that keep getting in and attacking my ankles while I drive.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

PBandChutney gave me a heads-up with #FF. Funny stuff. Sounds like a typcial family camping trip. We have four kids under the age of six, if that gives you any indication of what our campouts might look like.

Think you’d enjoy this post. “Smores: Fly paper for kids’ faces” (

Love the name “Smalls.”

Comment by mc6pack

Did you just say “four under the age of six?” What’s your address? I’m sending you some liquor. 😉

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Love camping with my family. Especially in our backyard where we can brush our teeth INSIDE, go pee INSIDE; if it rains, we can go INSIDE; if the air mattress deflates, we can go INSIDE.

But the hanging out together time is rockin’! (And – I think you know from some of my other blogs, I am a huge proponent of summer camp for kids. It’s just I did it already. And now, I prefer my bed.

That spider was scaweeeeeeeeey-big! 😉


Comment by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

Oh, we were never too far from the Marriott. Don’t worry. 😉

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

First of all, where did you get that photo of my ex-wife that is at the beginning of the blog? You must have had a pro touch it up because the picture of “it” is much more beautiful than the reality. Don’t do no camping in Florida because the bugs are bigger than 60’s-70’s Buicks. However, they might leave you alone because of the election cycle and the Republicans and the Democrats and The Tea Party crowd are registering them to vote(remember Bush/Gore 2000? in good old “no one here can even count to ten Florida”) and busing them to rallies all over the place. Your will also need a cache of bazookas and photo equipment in case the Sasquatch(Big Foot) invites himself to camp wid ya’ll.

Comment by Carl D'Agostino

Let me guess – the sasquatch is your ex-mother-in-law. 😉

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

I am so excited that I made the blog, but I am never, ever getting in your car. That thing could have a sibling or offspring that hid under the seat!

Comment by Eurotrash

Yay! You got the comment thing down. I will expect more now. Guess you don’t want me to drive to lunch this week? 🙂 It’s still in there. I didn’t have the energy to try and get it out.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Spicy, crispy minnows!!!! Hilarious.

I don’t go camping, so I live through this post.

Comment by Vodka and Ground Beef

I hear they go great with vodka. You may have to change the blog name: Vodka and Spicy, Crispy Minnows.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

You have a knack for making your readers feel like they took the trip with you – that’s a gift, you know!! Thanks for the camping fix, think that’ll hold me for the next few months now. 🙂

Comment by Bonnie

Well, thanks, I think. Maybe I should start going on better trips… 🙂

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

We went camping once at Yellowstone, and every morning, we had to unzip the tent very slowly in case a 2,000-pound buffalo had decided to sleep next to it. Now, that’s fun!

Comment by Todd Pack

It felt like a 2000 pound buffalo was sleeping on the air mattress with me! That does sound fun though. 🙂 Think of the threats I could’ve used on the kids had we been there.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

Great post! For an avid camper (minus kids) most of my life, you now have prepared me for what life is going to be like next summer for Camp Pie Hole. Maybe I will book the Four Seasons instead.

Comment by apieceofthepiehole

Yes – “roughing it” at the Four Seasons. I think I’ll have to work on that for next time.

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

There should have been a warning at the top of the post or even in the title. You know, some of us tend to jump ten feet back when they see a close up picture of an ant (they look like monsters, okay?)… And then, after being brave enough to sit down in front of the computer again, you scare me with that spider at the end. Ugh. Spiders…

Otherwise I really enjoyed this post 🙂

Comment by SynLar

Sorry. Hope it won’t prevent you from coming back to visit! 😉

Comment by perpetuallypeeved

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