‘Dad I need a poo.’
That’s not an unusual comment to hear when you’re the father of a 7 year old. Then the present situation cleared in my err… fuzzy head…
It was stupid o’clock, the tent was secured for the night, the grass outside was knee deep in dew and the toilets were 50 metres away over a stream and no lights to guide us there.
The urgency in his voice required immediate action, it was cold, very cold. The quilt I had brought as a bed mat had long been turned into, well, a quilt to add insulation to our sleeping bags. I fought with the zipped linen, then fought with the zips on the tent (all three!).
The pleas of urgency had now turned into panic. There was no time to lose, I struggled with my trainers; why did I never untie my laces, and why were they so tight?
‘Quick Dad’ Came a tearful plea.
Feeling not too good myself, the realisation hit me that I should’ve binned the Instant Barbeque this afternoon when it didn’t light properly; but we were hungry and the sausages and bacon hogged the corner that was lit. Well, they seemed cooked…
Instant Barbeque my arse! Instant Salmonella more like!
No time to lose, the boy was now shaking and crying as I picked him up and carried him across the field, it was pitch black, plenty of stars, but no moon and the rechargeable torch that promised 3 hours of continuous use had faded and died after 35 minutes.
The stream roared ahead of us; it trickled really but you get the affect! It was only a large step over to the otherside but where was the narrowest point? I couldn’t see a thing!
Splash! That was my foot being immersed in the water, damn!
I legged across and got him to the toilet.
Relieved but shaking I realised he was freezing cold, and picked him up for the equally perilous return journey.
Splash! That was the other foot.
Thankfully, the rest of the night was uneventful.

‘I think my bottom exploded last night’
Quipped Declan this morning…