One thing I've learned in the ten or more years I've been taking grandchildren to the state fair: Kids won't sleep much the first night. First of all, there's the excitement of knowing that the next day you can ride all you want. Yes, Friday is always our ride day, and we all have unlimited-rides wristbands.
Second, they are sleeping in a strange place with limited privacy, not nearly as comfortable as their beds at home. And there's all the noise: cars coming in the campground at all hours, people walking by, talking, on their way to the rest room.
For a wonder, there were no lines at the showers this year, so the girls and I got our showers taken by 9 PM. We'd had a big day of walking in the heat and humidity, and we all needed our rest. Especially me. I had taken my comfortable chaise lounge lawn chair, the one I usually keep at my cabin. It took up way too much room in the trunk, but I figured I could relax for an hour or so after the girls were asleep.
Back at the camper, clean and refreshed, I ordered them to bed and retreated to my lounge chair with a deep sigh of gratitude. I closed my eyes and was just starting to relax when I heard, "Grandma? Natalie's scratching her head and making the WHOLE camper shake."
Natalie had a case of head lice a couple weeks back. Rachel took appropriate measures and checked her head carefully for the four days preceding the fair, pronouncing her louse-free. But the scratching continued.
"There's nothing I can do about it here, Monica. Nattie, try to stop scratching and go to sleep."
"I can't help it Grandma," Natalie whined.
A brief silence, and then... "Grandma? I'm hungry."
"Nattie, you had a corn dog on the way back here, and a glass of milk when we got to the camper. You aren't hungry."
Soon I heard constant sniffing; Monica said, "Grandma, I need to blow my nose really bad."
"Hold on, I'll get you some toilet paper."
This done, I settled back into my chair, to the sounds of blowing about every 20 seconds... you could tell the blowing was producing nothing, however.
"Monica, quit. Nothing is coming out of your nose, so quit blowing."
"I can't breathe very good."
"Did you bring your inhaler?"
"No," she answered pitifully.
Monica never had full-blown asthma, but she did have lots of breathing problems when she was younger, and had to do regular breathing treatments at one time.
"Do you want me to call your mom?"
"Yes, I think you should."
"You realize if she comes you'll be going home with her."
Monica, whimpering: "I just don't know what to do."
Frustrated by this time, I decided to take action. "Here's what you'll do," I said. "You are not going to die. If you have to breathe through your mouth, then do that. Say a little prayer for God to help you breathe, and go to sleep."
And with that, I went to bed. I think that's really all they were wanting anyhow... me in the camper with them. Because there was no more talking.
You get the picture. My chair was comfortable, but it held no peace and quiet. Kids!