Pre-kids, we went camping all the time. We would load up our car and go at the last minute, the joys of freedom. When we decided to go camping with our first born (18 months), it didn’t seem like a big deal. No, the big deal came when his blood curdling scream woke up the campground at 3am. I can still picture the disgusted look of our fellow campers as we did the walk of shame out of camp early the next morning. Mental note: Do not camp with young children.
Fast forward two years… My husband decided to organize a huge camping trip with family and friends. He obviously forgot about the last camping experience. After months of agonizing, I reluctantly agreed with one stipulation: I had to have a trailer. I figured at least we could have a stove, heat and running water. No tent camping for us! Josh searched high and low and finally found one to rent. This beautiful trailer was ours for our fun filled four day weekend. Notice the cool camo.
As soon as we arrived Josh started setting up the trailer. Basically everything that could go wrong with this “beautiful” trailer did. The table wouldn’t stay up because a leg was broken. The water pump wouldn’t work. The heater would not work unless we hooked up the REALLY loud generator. We should have saved our money and tent camped.
The first night was horrible. Our six month old cried all night long (Predictably). Instead of hanging our heads in the morning, we decided to power through and enjoy the rest of our trip. Besides, it was our closest family and friends trip that was ruined, not strangers. It’s their fault; they agreed to go camping with us. The second night was equally as bad. But, this time my oldest fell out of the bed and on to the floor. He woke up crying and hollering for me. This of course woke up the baby, my husband and most of the other campers, again.
Where was my Keurig when I needed it? Bleary eyed and grumpy, we headed over to my parents motor home to beg for some coffee and a warm place to sit. Ugh. This trip was almost over.
Wouldn’t you know it both boys slept perfectly the last night? By that time we were exhausted and excited to be headed home. Oddly enough, everyone else seemed to be feeling the same way.
That night, in the comfort of my own bed, I thought back to the past several days…we didn’t have much fun. But if you ask Jake what he liked about the trip he would smile and answer, “We went fishing in Grandpa’s boat, we caught frogs, I played with my cousins, and we roasted marshmallows.” I guess it really is about the memories.
Lessons learned: Expect a camping trip with young kids to be fun for the kids, not necessarily for the adults.