“Are you sure?” Dan whispered.
I was not. Tentatively, I moved my right arm. Perhaps I could transfer her from my body to the Pack and Play without waking her up if I did it one millimeter at a time. I’d tried this stealth maneuver unsuccessfully about 358 times over the past couple of hours but I thought maybe this time would be different.
She let out a whimper, which escalated to a shriek.
Over her cries, we heard an unmistakeable “F*ck you!” from the guys a few campsites away. The first time, we allowed ourselves to believe it was not necessarily directed at us. This time, however, we were pretty sure it was.
I figured probably they were drunk, angry and armed and it was only a matter of time until they busted into our tent and held us at gunpoint, the natural result of our crying baby interrupting their drunken shenanigans. Or at least they were going to slash our tires and beat us up.
I whispered to Dan, “I am worried about those guys.”
I figured he would tell me I had read too many Ann Rule books and I should relax, they were probably harmless. (It was actually the beating scene with the brother and the marine from The Paperboy I had in mind).
“I’m not really comfortable with them either.”
With that, we gathered the necessities: baby, diaper bag, wallets, and car keys and scurried into the night like the pair of bleary eyed, desperate adults and sleeping baby that we were. We drove 17 miles to the nearest motel and settled in for the night. Thankfully Sweet Pea didn’t cry in the motel room because we didn’t have a Plan C or even the Infant Tylenol, which, in our haste, we left in the tent.
I wish I could say we were shocked to discover that camping with a 15 month old did not offer the restful, rejuvenating sleep we’d anticipated, but we had tried camping in the backyard, not once, not twice, but three times, all with similarly bad results.
Optimism being a powerful force in our household, we hoped the fourth time would be a charm. Surely, real camping would be different, we told ourselves. Spending the day at the camp grounds breathing fresh air, frolicking in the woods and swimming in the lake would fatigue Sweet Pea to the point where nothing could keep her from sleeping. Except swimming was thwarted by cooler temps and higher winds than we’d expected and Sweet Pea’s frolicking took place mainly in the Pack and Play, as she played peek-a-boo while we attempted a much-needed mid-day family nap in the tent.
While our night did not go as intended, we were pleased to return to our tent in the morning to find it untouched by our neighbors. And we got to swim a little in the morning, before our reservation at the campsite expired. Sunday’s weather was perfect- exactly what had been predicted for Saturday, actually, though we were too sleep deprived to fully enjoy it.
At least now Dan can’t say I’m being a princess if I’m not enthusiastic about camping. I’m just being reasonable.
Seriously, though, do you camp with your kids? At what age did you start taking them? Have you had disasters? Successes? Have you learned any tips or tricks along the way?
|Where was our sleeping cherub at 2am?|