I hope you all had a fantastic father’s day. This year we went camping with some friends who have decided to start a father’s day camping trip tradition. It was our first camping trip of the year and we were all super excited, despite the fact that the weather forecast predicted quite a bit of rain. We brought lots of tarps and lowered our expectations for sunshine and swimming.
We had a great time with our friends…exploring nature, sitting around the campfire, playing board games under the tarp, throwing rocks in the lake, and making delicious campfire food.
I have to say though, despite how easy I might have made camping with small children sound in some of my previous posts, this was not an easy camping trip! It was still super fun and I’d do it again, but it was not easy.
I should have packed twice as many clothes as I did. Big Sis didn’t make it to the potty on time TWICE, which I just did not anticipate…she has not had an accident in a long time. Then with getting wet in the lake and getting sticky with marshmallows and getting muddy just by falling or sitting or playing around the campfire, we really did not have enough clothes for them, so I found myself saying “no” a lot more than I would have liked in order to keep they warm and dry. Shoes were a problem too. Even though I had the tennis-shoes next to the door at home, they never made it into the van so we only had our keens. Keens are fantastic but when they got wet, which was inevitable on this trip, they stayed wet for a long time. The girls didn’t seem to mind, but I worried about their cold, wet feet. Next time…pack twice as many clothes as I think I’ll need and remember multiple shoes!
I’ve mentioned before that Little Sis is very strong willed. This was our first camping trip with her as a sort of “big kid.” Last summer she was mostly crawling, just starting to walk, and she was pretty easy to manage. But this year it was challenging to balance trying to give her some freedom to wander around and explore, but stay within our limits. We were constantly having to take off after her as she ran somewhere she wasn’t supposed to go, after we had just asked her to come back. By the end of the camping trip she was starting to listen more often, sometimes without us even having to tell her to. She would reach the “getting too far, please come back” point and look up to see if we were watching her and then casually bend down to pick up something and would head back toward us. It was a lot of work and I can see how some parents might choose not to go to the trouble of dealing with it and just not go camping because it’s too hard (I admit that it’s tempting!) but the challenge is definitely worth it to me. I remind myself that I want my kids to experience camping and I want them to learn to listen, even when it’s so fun for them not to! I think the more we do it, the easier it will get.
I am getting pretty pregnant. At this stage of pregnancy with my first, I was still tiny and “cute pregnant.” But with my third, I feel like a giant and am not surprised at all when people ask me if I’m due soon. Camping while pregnant is not a big deal at all until the night comes. Sleeping is always the worst part of pregnancy for me. It actually wasn’t too bad the first night we were there. I was thirsty because I didn’t want to have to get up in the cold night to go to the bathroom, haha, but it wasn’t too bad. The second night though my body decided to start having symptoms that I haven’t had yet this pregnancy, so that made the night pretty rough. Heart burn, leg cramps, and some difficulty breathing while laying down (not sure about that last part…maybe because of sleeping on an air mattress…maybe because of the cold damp air?). But it was worth it to me. Snow can be fun, fall and spring are lovely, but summer…camping/hiking/swimming season…is my favorite of all. And, you know, day trips are awesome, but I just love sleeping in a tent. When I was in college I rented a house with some friends and they all left for the summer so I was there alone. I didn’t want to go camping by myself so I set up my tent in the backyard and I camped out there rain or shine for at least a month! I loved it. Of course I caused a tent-shaped brown spot in my yard. Whoops. Anyway, pregnancy can make camping rough, but my love of sleeping in tents, especially now, snuggled up with two beautiful girls and my sweet husband, is too deep to give in and not go! We are going camping again in a couple weeks and I’m going to try to remember to drink more water during the day, bring something for the heart burn, and do plenty of yoga 🙂 It really helps me to sleep.
I’m so glad we got to camp and had such a great time with our friends despite the challenges of rain, lack of warm dry clothes and shoes, a crazy disobedient toddler, and pregnancy challenges 🙂 I am looking forward to going again in a few weeks. Hopefully it will be warmer. I think that will make a big difference.
Do you have any Father’s Day traditions? Have you gone camping yet this year? How did it go?
Thanks for reading!