Carry On Camping!
This weekend my boys and me ventured into the great outdoors. We went camping!
I have such great memories of camping when I was a kid and I want my boys to have those memories too. Camping as a parent though is a whole new ball game entirely! Here is a little taster of the highs and lows of my weekend to give those of you who are considering camping some realistic expectations. And those of you who are already experienced campers can have a little chuckle as you nod along knowingly!
The Best Bits!
1. Getting away from the xbox, the wii, mobile phones and all other electronics that feature far too frequently in our lives.
2. Not caring what time it is! You go to bed when it gets too dark to see your hand in front of your face and wake up when the light shines through again.
3. Letting the boys run free (to a certain extent!) without worrying about cars.
4. Watching my boys excited faces as they toast marshmallows on the bbq – camping is not camping without a toasted marshmallow!
5. Kicking back in your trackie bottoms with no make up and crazy hair and not giving a monkeys!
6. Being at one with nature as horses and cows graze alongside you.
7. Appreciating the simple things in life.
The Low Points!
1. No matter how many times you have put your tent up before, you just can’t figure out which pole goes where. And why oh why didn’t you colour code them last time you took it down like you said you would?!?
2. Walking five minutes to the toilet block in the middle of the night with your toddler who insists they need a poo and can’t possibly do it in their bedtime nappy pants(despite that being their party trick for the past month at bed time!)
3. Upon arriving at the said toilet block, your toddler then decides they no longer need that poo!
4. Showering in a muddy cubicle and then wincing as your shower stops and you see the water from next doors shower trickling into your drain along with their dirty soap bubbles.
5. Trawling to the dish wash hut with a mountain of plates and cups in your bowl. Your dishwasher is a distant memory and you remember how soggy a tea towel gets after drying just two or three plates.
6. Just as you are trying to get to sleep your neighbours who are sitting just a couple of metres away decide to have a heated debate, later followed by a bonding sing along.
7. You wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of a horse snorting outside your tent and then listen as it does a pee big enough to fill a bath tub just inches from your head.
8. Your husband wakes you in a panic as he has mixed up the bottles in his sleeping compartment and just drunk three big gulps of his own urine (Bear Grylls eat your heart out!)
9. You spend the entire night rearranging your children in their sleeping bags as they roll around the tent finding every single bit of floor space except for their sleeping mat and then scare the life out of you by completely burying themselves in their sleeping bags.
10. The children wake up to the sound of the birds singing and are full of the joys of spring, raring to go whilst you feel like you only fell asleep an hour ago.
11. Every single bit of clothing you packed feels damp, even though it’s not been raining.
12. The chances are that if you are camping in the UK…………………..it is in fact raining.
13. Eldest son steps into a river to paddle but misjudges the depth and falls in completely submerged. Only warm coat is a write off for the rest of the camping trip! On a positive note, 1 – 0 to mum in the argument as to why he has to go to swimming lessons every week!
14. Even though the campsite has a perfectly good shower block, you just feel ‘grubby’.
15. When you come to take the tent down, it NEVER fits into its ridiculously small bag first time round. Why oh why can’t they make them just that little bit bigger?!?!
The first thing that strikes me here is that the low points far outweigh the high points! In fact, there is more than double the number! This would be an unfair representation though. Yes, camping with young kids is a lot of hard work and yes you do spend as much time preparing before and after the event as you spend actually camping, BUT, what strikes me most about the high points is that you can sum them up in a sentence. Camping allows kids to experience the wonderful, simplistic way of life that they so often miss these days. Every single one of my boys love to go camping. They love running around with a stick…………… going to the shower block in their flip flops…………..toasting marshmallows on the bbq. It is these little memories that make all of the low points totally worth it and why we have vowed to make sure we go more often.
But for now, I am off to give myself a much needed facial, manicure and pedicure!