The Camping Trip that Wasn’t

Yep.  You read it correctly.  We were going to camp, but then we didn’t.  Actually it went something like this:

Me: (months ago) I think we should take Alex camping this Fall.

Dustin: Okay.

Me: (earlier this month) I think we should try camping with Alex in the backyard first, to make sure he’s okay with the whole camping thing before we get stuck in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night with a screaming kid who won’t sleep because he doesn’t want to camp.

Dustin: Okay.

Great.  So we got out our very large, ten person tent (yeah, yeah, I know.  We’re only two people, plus one very small person, plus two pretty small dogs…but you don’t understand, we don’t actually CAMP in the true sense of the word) and set it up in the backyard.  We inflated our double layer queen size air mattress and set it up in one room of the tent, along with my inflatable nightstand, and then put Alex’s crib mattress and a blanket for the dogs in the other room.  We hung a lantern out in the yard, set up our backyard fire pit, and got ready for the “big night”.  I even bought marshmallows for roasting, Hershey bars and graham crackers for smores, and we picked up hash and pancake mix for breakfast the next morning.  Here are a few pictures of our backyard campsite.

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We played outside that afternoon.  Alex loved playing on the air mattress and laying on his mattress to look up through the mesh ceiling at the sky, the dogs were more than happy to cozy up with whoever was laying on the bed…it seemed perfect.  Until night time came.  First, there was the running around and checking out everything in the backyard in the dark (because usually it’s light outside when we play and of course everything is different in the dark). 


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Then came the overwhelming urge to touch the fire pit and the mesmerizing yellow flames (of course we expected this from a child, but after 45 minutes of trying to keep him away, it almost seemed easier to just put out the fire).  This led to screaming, and a lot of “no, no, no…” which in turn led to a temper-tantrum, which we thought wore him out, but in fact did not.  And then we were back to the running around again.  Once we finally lured him into the tent, looking up at the stars from his bed almost lulled him to sleep until the neighbor’s dog started barking because the kids across the street were making so much noise.  That started a riot with Hanna and Indy (our two dogs) which of course meant Alex had to get up and check it out himself.  At 10:00 p.m. we gave up and traded the joys of camping for a nice warm bed inside.  We agreed to try again in a couple of nights.  I’m not even going to pretend we tried again.  We did think about it though.  It went something like this:

Dustin: So we should probably try camping again tonight, because we need to take down the tent tomorrow before we kill the grass.

Me: Yeah.  Okay.  It’s a work night though.  Will you be too tired in the morning?

Dustin: Good point.  Don’t forget Hawaii Five-O and The Event are on tonight.

Me: Well, I don’t want to miss our shows (of course we could have recorded them and watched them later, but conveniently that feature is all but forgotten when making excuses), and there is no telling what time Alex will fall asleep…if he even falls asleep.

Dustin: Well if the other night was an indication, it could be a long night.

Me: We don’t want to kill the grass.  Maybe we should just pack up the tent for tonight, but we could keep it ready to put back up later this month and try again then.

Dustin: Okay.

(Final note, the tent has now officially been relocated to its storage space, and I’m guessing we’ll “try again” in the Spring!)

3 thoughts on “The Camping Trip that Wasn’t

  1. What a wonderful adventure! ha ha. Makes me wonder how my folks did it with the three of us…I only remember the picture they took of the little port-a-potty sitting outside the tent door. Three kids under 4…I'm sure you can sympathize. 🙂


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