An Indoor Camping Trip

Well, we were originally going to visit the great outdoors this weekend for the 4th of July. Ruggedness. A tent. Two toddlers. Plus a couple more.

That was the plan.

We were going camping. Me, husband + 2 boys, meeting up with my best friend, her husband + 3 boys in Atlanta. Yes. Outnumbered by little boys.

But it wasn't to be. There was an illness (my poor Godson) and it was one of those contagious virusy things, so pretty much right after we drove up the 8 hours to see them, we had turn back and come home. The story of the roadtrip is a whole 'nother post for a whole 'nother day (large peanuts and pecan farm and pink cars and tantrums), but once we got back, there were a couple of little baby hearts to mend. Little hearts broken because they couldn't stay and play and campout (which was equally as devastating for us adults, believe you me.)

So we made lemonade.

We camped out inside.

A 4-year-old, 2-year-old and a couple of parents, all-night in the living room.
We already had a "tent," which was really an outdoor "Expresso" play cafe given to us by my sister and my GAWD did this come in handy this weekend, since our backyard is in current shambles and un-tentable in any way at the moment.


We already had sleeping bags for the real camping, so we set it all up then had our hotdogs and beans and corn and other 4th of July foods using all the red and white and teal (because I had no blue - which of course my son obnoxiously gently pointed out as not being the real blue -- #momfail) that I could muster up last minute and then, when it was time to settle in, we got our jammies on and had indoor S'mores.



Yes, I can take down a S'Mores.

After S'mores it was time for bed.

Oh, I forgot to mention they had ice cream before the Smores. So they were just a little sugared up. Also I forgot that they get tired around 7. Which meant we were all laying down by 7:30.

So we all layed down, the kids on their mini-Lightning McQueen airmattress sleeping bags inside the cafe, and us in our plain ol' sleeping bags on the floor, outside the cafe.

Let the fun begin!

Here's how the next hour and a half went. (In the following conversation, kid #1 is my 4 year old. kid #2 is my 2 year old.)

Kid #2 (peering out fake cafe window): MommyDaddy whatyadoin?
Me: Sleeping honey.. what are you doing?
Kid #2: You sweepin?
Me: Trying to, what about you?
Kid#2: Me sweep too!
Me: But you're not laying down yet. Can you lay down in your bed?
Kid #2: OK! (swish swish swish swish swish crinkle swish)
More swish swish swish crinkle swish (and by the way that's what the sleeping bags sound like when there's rustling.)
Kid #2: (peering out fake cafe window again): MommyDaddy whatyadoin now?
Me: Still sleeping, honey, why don't you lay down in your bed?
Kid #2: OK!
swish crinkle swish swish rustle rustle swish (lots and lots more of this, along with previous conversation. It was like Groundhog Day.)
Kid #2: Hahahahahahaha!
Kid #1: STOP HITTING ME!!! Mommyyyy! He's HITTING MEEEE!
swish swish swish crinkle crinkle rustle swish swish (CACKLE) swish swish rustle
Me: (now going INTO "cafe", #2 scrambling back to his own side of the cabin) OK, #2, time to get out. Let's go to your real bed.
Kid #2: Nooooooooooooooo!
Me: Well, aren't we friends here? (both kids nod) Don't we love each other? (chorus of "Yes.") Then why are we hitting? If we hit, we won't be able to sleep in the tent together. OK? (I close tent door - yes, there is a door - and lay down because it appears that they understand this. But we shall see.)
Kid #2: (talking to self) We not mean guys. We nice guys!
Me: (husband and I laughing to each other.) OK. Then be nice and go to sleep, I love you!
rustle rustle crinkle swish swish swish rustle swish crinkle rustle rustle rustle.

Husband senses eyes on him and shines flashlight (can't camp without flashlights!) on tiny fake cafe window. There is a tiny face peering out of the fake window and you can only see it from the nose up. Tiny face from the eyes up, silent, just staring out the window, in a spotlight. This vision makes me start giggling and now I'm caught in that quiet place where I'm not allowed to giggle for fear of getting everyone all riled up. So I stuff my face in my pillow because now of course the not being allowed to laugh makes me laugh even harder like in church, and I'm hysterically laughing into my pillow and now there are tears in my face and I have to stop myself by thinking about how unfunny it will be if everyone starts swishing around and being wide awake because they are wondering what Mommy is laughing at so eventually I stop. Because we're already going on an hour of this.

Eventually, snoring comes from the tent and everyone goes to sleep. Yes!! Miracles do happen!

Well, except me.

Because the floor is hard! I'm like the Princess and the Pea and everything is jabbing me. And the metallic microwave cooking sleeve I am sleeping in has made me sweat profusely. So now I'm sleeping on top of the microwave sleeve and I can't sleep because I need a blanket. I decide to sneak past the tent and lower the air but I don't have a flashlight so I can't see how low I am putting the air conditioner, but I'm sweating so badly I don't care. We can pretend we're camping out in Oregon in the winter. I push that button a few hundred times. Just to make sure. And a couple for insurance. And I lay back down.

I half-sleep for a few hours and then around 2, I hear some swishing and rustling and a giant bulge appears in the side of the tent. It's my 2 year old who has rustled his way and jammed himself down between his mattress and the side of the tent, almost upside down. That big bulge is his head. This doesn't look safe, so I crawl in and not very quietly because there is all that swishing, and I grab him and put him back where he's supposed to be and I hold my breath and crawl back out, waiting for everyone to wake up.

Nothing. Thank God.

So I go back to my side of the floor.

And I wriggle and writhe around and decide that I'm giving up the dream of floor-camping and going to that big cushy couch right behind me, but I feel twinges of guilt the whole way for throwing in the towel and being the only wimp in the bunch. But whatever. So I move to the couch, but I don't want to swish my sleeping bag on account of the noise so now I'm blanketless.

And I hear more swishing and I don't know where it's coming from but I'm freezing and I have guilty pangs because I think I have put my family in the frozen tundra and I look down and my sleeping bag is gone and it's now on my husband. Stolen! It must really be cold. So I crawl over top the couch and go find myself a blanket and return.

I finally fall asleep. Nice and warm and cushiony. Just like real camping.

They wake up at 6.

The end.

Indoor camping: success! Only an hour and a  half of rustling meant they were sleeping by 9:30! I actually expected much longer from a 2 year old, so I consider this a fantastic dry run for the real thing, don't you?

blog comments powered by Disqus