So I promised I’d update on how camping went down this year… and here it is.
I’ve come to the conclusion that sleeping outside for fun is just plain stupid! There is no toilet nearby, no kitchen, no night lights, nor a way to control the temperature. There is an excessive amount of NOISE from other campers and wildlife and that wildlife includes bugs, bears, and raccoons. It’s always damp when you wake up even if it hasn’t rained and if it storms, oh if it storms, you convince yourself you’re going to DIE IN A TENT in the middle of nowhere.
I go camping because of my family. My dad grew up camping, and we’ve always gone as a family so it’s a tradition that’s been filled with many wonderful memories over the years. Most of my family enjoys it. My husband and I tolerate it. Sunday morning, the day we were all leaving, The Scottish was rolling up our sleeping bag two seconds after I stood up. He was packed and ready to go home by 8 AM. 🙂
It’s not all bad. The days were good, sticky from the heat but playful and fun with The Wee One and The Cuz Man. We ate delicious meals and made s’mores and mini pizzas on the fire.
The nights were rough.
This year we gave up our cushy spot in the pop-up tent camper to sleep on an air mattress in a tent so our son’s pack n play could fit next to us. (Thank you to The Glue and The Tape for making the swap with us.)
It doesn’t get dark until 2+ hours after The Wee One’s bedtime and there are lots of fellow campers nearby who talk extra loud. This one guy near us kept yelling at his poor sweet dog. RAMBO, RAMBO, SHUT UP, RAMBO, COME HERE, RAMBO. The Wee did his best but with the new surroundings didn’t fall asleep until a little before 10 PM the first night. Then he awoke with a poopy diaper at 3:30 in the morning screaming.
The Mother had The Wee One and I move to the tent camper to sleep and he finally dozed off around 4:30 AM for a quick 30 minute nap while I shivered around him too afraid to pull up the blanket for fear it would cover his face. Meanwhile The Scottish was cuddling with a freezing cold McKenna (seriously, the temp dropped so much that first night) and didn’t sleep much worrying about us.
Of course naps were tough too. Being outside made it too stimulating for him to settle down. For his afternoon nap on Saturday we ran into town for ice cream just so The Wee One could sleep in the car. He was out before we left the campsite!
The second night he fell asleep by 8:30ish after LOTS of crying and some rocking by Grandma MN. The second night also happened to include the world’s loudest rainfall, which The Wee One slept through but then he still woke up at 4 AM. Whyyyyyy??? He then fell asleep in my arms about an hour later and slept until 7:30 AM. Since we never co-sleep, that was pretty special. I smile just thinking about the snuggles. 🙂
Another tricky part was finding a place for the little guys to move around when the ground is covered in rough stones and dirt. The Wee One loves to crawl and The Cuz Man likes to sit independently. The solution was The Sister and The BIL’s portable play yard. It worked really well in giving the boys some freedom.
We also had some doggie drama on our trip! The Tape and The Glue’s little Sophie was almost eaten by a huge German Shepherd type dog while they were walking down to the beach. I wasn’t there but I got to hear the harrowing tale of how The Father (my dad) had to save her and in doing so got a cut on his head from bumping with the dog or the dog’s middle school aged owner. Poor Sophie, she growled at every dog she saw the rest of the trip (and we saw a ton of dogs).
The Wee One and The Cuz Man escaped the daytime heat by splashing in their baby pools. Uncle Glue helped The Wee One practice his bubbles by dipping his head in the water too. So cute!
So yea, camping with a baby is hard. But we survived and we’ll probably do it all again next year! I say probably because if a day trip option becomes acceptable I can see The Scottish and I jumping all over that.
For the record, I do believe there are some truly lovely parts to camping and sleeping outdoors. In fact my favorite part is actually waking up outside (at a more appropriate time of day and not to the sound of my son scream-crying). The sunlight is so soft and warm when your eyes first open, and the bird’s repetitive melodies seem less obtrusive in the morning. The air smells fresh and dewy and there is a great stillness about the earth. It is quite beautiful.
Do you go camping? How do you like?!?!