Tuesday, October 19, 2010
camping with babies
Well, I can't say that our camping trip was entirely successful.
It was not entirely unsuccessful either; in fact it was hardly unsuccessful at all.
The main unsuccessful part was the sleeping part. Or should I say, the not-sleeping part. The Little Pea wanted no parts of sleeping in a sleeping bag, but it was so cold. Thirty degrees overnight! There was ice in everyone's water bottles in the morning. She had to be in the sleeping bag. Was it the feeling of constraint, the slippery nylon fabric, the cold air hitting her face...? Who knows what exactly the problem was, but it was problem enough to have her wake up and howl with all her 16-month-old might, about every hour or so, all night long.
In the end, HWWLLB had to wrap her in a fleece blanket and then build a human/sleeping bag cave around her (not touching her in any way!) to keep her warm and get her to sleep more than 30 minutes at a stretch. I think she actually went for over an hour at one point.
You'd think that all this baby howling would scare away wildlife, but in fact, around 3 a.m. an owl answered her calls. Seriously. At the height of our misery came the most awesome moment of the whole camping trip.
Other than the all-night-howling, the trip was great. Beautiful crisp sunny fall weather, peak fall foliage, and good company with family and friends. The Pea had a great time getting to know lots of uncles and aunties and cousins. This was HWWLLB's annual family camping trip - four generations go camping together every October. Every family should do this! (But few dare...)
So anyhow, my advice to any would-be-family-campers, is this: test out the sleeping bag and the tent first. I cannot overstate the importance of the dry run. Oh, how I wish we had known.
On the bright side, the long car trip to and from camping was enough time to knit a pair of warm toddler socks. And soon, the pattern for the Little Pea's new doll will be making an appearance here. So stay tuned. Now to go make sure my supply of beer and salty snacks is in order for tomorrow night's Phillies game.