I almost forgot to write about Zoe’s first camping experience! Not surprising since I am not a fan of camping. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve repressed the whole experience. The first time I went camping with my husband, we were on BLM land, where hunting & target shooting are legal (sounds safe, right?). Follow that up with the fact we woke to snuffling bear noises (Bart swears it was a boar), then went for a short morning hike, got lost and almost died. OK, so we didn’t almost die. But we could’ve.
Anyway, there’s a music festival near Santa Barbara that Bart has been to several times with some friends and their kids, and it’s surrounded by a camping area that fills up in mid-June with hippies and heat. Sounds like fun, unless you’re with a toddler. Ever set up a pack & play in a tent? Followed a toddling child while she tastes dirt and leaves and tries to stick pistachio shells in her mouth? Try surrounding that small child with older children for several hours, then try getting her to sleep in a tent with an audible music festival going on in the background.
I know. It’s all about perspective. Maybe if I didn’t hate camping so much, I’d focus on the positive. She loved the music, loved the older kids, honestly had a blast (except for the not sleeping part). She danced with her mom & dad, stole apple slices from another kid around her age, watched hula hoops, sat in a “sandbox” filled with bird seed, took a nap in a tent with her dad and stuffed a melting ice cream sandwich in her face.
What could be better? I can think of a few things, but then, I’m not 21 months old :)
Anyway, there it is. Our first camping experience, and honestly, I’d like to go again when she’s a bit older and requires less monitoring. I fondly remember being a child and roasting marshmallows over a fire after playing in the lake all day. Those memories I haven’t repressed (though I do try to block out the mosquito bites part…)