Dan has been talking for awhile now about want to go camping... in a tent. Umm, did someone miss the memo that we have three kids ages 4 and under? But, like usual, when he has a crazy idea I eventually caved in wholeheartedly.
The babies and I spent all Friday morning packing up for our big camping debut. "Camping in a tent" sounds like it shouldn't involve a whole lot- I mean, that has to be one of the most basic ways of camping, but don't be fooled, the amount of stuff I crammed into the car was incredible. But, it was all worth it- because my three babies and man-child had the best time.
After we set up camp, we began exploring the campground, spending some time on the playground and watching the babies discover what "camping" is all about. After dinner we had visitors and spent the evening with them making s'mores and popcorn over the fire, playing baseball and taking bike and wagon rides. Then, being the smart campers they are, our family left us for their hot showers and warm beds, leaving us behind to rough it in the tent with three little monsters.
But, as they often do, they surprised us by sleeping like champs. Jackson and Audrey had their own room in the tent so we sent them to bed first and after they were tucked inside their sleeping bags they were out quickly. Next up was Jonah bear- we fed him by the fire and then let him sleep first in his car seat in my car with the windows partly down while Dan and I relaxed by the fire so that he could get into a deep sleep before we put him in the tent. It worked like a charm. At bedtime I just carried his carseat into the tent and he slept soundly in it all night, waking twice to eat, and then again to cuddle with me until he was up for the day at 9:00- yes 9:00! Audrey woke up soon after Jonah did and we finally woke up Jackson around 9:30 so he could eat the pancakes Dan made over the fire.
There were definitely a solid four hours in the middle of the night when it was pretty cold. Jackson and Audrey never woke up, they were warm and cuddled up in their room and the paranoia in me didn't sleep a lot since I was constantly poking Jonah to make sure he was warm and breathing with all the blankets around him. If he started talking today I'm pretty sure his first phrase would be, "STOP poking me when I'm trying to sleep!" I do it ALL the time. Seriously, it's a sickness. After breakfast we went outside the campground to the bigger park for a bike/wagon ride and to play on the playground before coming back to the campsite for snacks and to pack up for home.
We got home mid-afternoon and right away threw the babies into the bathtub- they needed it for sure! And then Audrey and Jonah both took long naps. I'm sure not all our camping adventures will go so smoothly, but from those trips will come the "do you remember that one time when we were camping and..." stories that we will tell and re-tell around campfires long into the future when our babies aren't babies any longer.
Our family of five, survivors of our first family camping adventure!