What do you get when you combine a mom, a dad, a 4 year old, and three one year olds with thousands of acres of woods, no electricity, and only tents to sleep in?
A LOT of fun. And a LOT of stuff.
I mean, really, what 4 year old boy doesn’t like dirt, bugs, fire, the dark, flash lights, and the possibilities of scary animals? Oh wait, that would be mine. Thankfully he learned to appreciate some of those (the bugs and dirt mostly, thanks to some fellow older kids at our campsite), and to manage the rest (namely the dark and the animals).
We learned a lot. Such as the fact that baby trees grow into big ones. Have you ever done a 5 mile hike with a 4 year old where the conversation is one about how baby tries grow bigger into big trees and then drop seeds and those become baby trees… and continue?? Yeah. Fun. Not. But at least he learned something??? He also learned that bears like to eat berries. And mommies. But not babies or big boys.
We also learned that no matter how cold the water is, a 4 year old is going to want to get in. And no matter how steep the rocks are, he’ll want to do what all the 5 year old boys are doing and climb down.
Luckily he didn’t know the rules of splashing yet: You splash mommy, and she gets you back!
All in all, the camping itself wasn’t even that bad. I wish I’d taken pictures of the interior of the tents. We brought the peapods (little popup tent things) for the triplets and so they were in those inside my tent. They’ve used them on all of our trips, so I think it helped to have that bit of familiarity, and it kept them contained in their own little spaces while we sat around the campfire at night after they went to bed but before we were ready to.
The Ikea high chairs were also amazing. Completely plastic, so easy to wipe down, and the legs come off for easy travel. (Insert free advertising for Ikea here:)
Aiden learned the magic that is a marshmallow on fire, when it is combined with a piece of chocolate and some graham crackers. I think we all ate WAY too many of those, but seeing as we have more left and a gas stove, we might have to enjoy a camping night at home here soon.
All in all, we survived. Thrived. Enjoyed every minute. Well, except for the 20 minutes following Aiden tripping and falling and requiring a bandaid. Because his leg was so injured we were sure it would need to be amputated. Or not. But if you had heard him screaming? You’d have thought we were doing surgery without anesthesia only using a dull spoon.
But who goes camping without at least one injury??