Friday, July 17, 2009
Dirty, Happy People.
We survived our trip to the woods. My washing machine may not. I think we brought back around 20lbs of dirt each. The kids were crusty. The bath that I ran for them on our return, looked like beef stew two seconds after they got in.
Going from electricity to lamp light, walls to canvas, carpet to dirt floors, stresses to relaxation is a delight - we are all wide grinned but so completely filthy. I gave up trying to stop the baby from eating the dirt after an hour or so. She appeared to have a brown beard and moustache for the entire trip.
Camping is definitely an education in letting go. The risk of bug bites, poison oak and campfire burns could freak a parent out but what's the point in stressing about it? Guess what - we came home unscathed.
We also came home with sweet memories of toasting marshmallows by the fire, making campground friends, eating three rounds of breakfast around the camp table and exploring beautiful redwood trees and then there was night time.
I knew going in that camping does not always equal sleep. Campgrounds are often noisy. Night time bathroom trips are complicated. Animals investigate your food and may need chasing away. It can also get cold.
I was completely mellow about bugs, marauding raccoons etc but the thought that the kids might get cold overnight worried me. So, I bundled. They both went to bed in several layers including hats. I then heaped blankets and towels on top of them. The six year old slowly discarded her excess throughout the night - for the baby it was a little harder - she was zippered in.
I had taken her pack'n'play but she made it clear in the middle of the night she wanted out. I brought her in with me. I had a queen sized mattress to share. We both fell back to sleep. I woke a little later, startled - baby was gone!
I found her in the corner sleeping on the ground - she must have crawled over there.
I brought her back - still sleeping - in with me. Again, I woke to find her missing. There she was back in her corner. I realized she was so over bundled that the cold ground felt good to her. After removing a layer (or two) she fell peacefully asleep in her travel crib.
I lay back and watched the stars.