Or: Nightmarish tales in fatherhood.
So, this post is a long time coming, but things (as always) have been crazy. Over the long weekend of July 4th I decided, in all my fatherly wisdom, that I would try camping with the kiddos. For a few weeks now both Zoey and David have had an insatiable desire for tents. Usually we are fairly strict about bedtime, and have found that an easy way to appease them is to convert their beds into tents. They happily crawl in and are out within minutes. As a parent, the simple bliss of finding a way to have your little ones fall asleep in a matter of minutes is nothing short of a miracle.
In the beginning.
Thanks to the family pool time as of late, I have realized how significant the slope in our yard is. This quickly ruled out the idea of camping in our back yard until such a time that I can get out there with some dirt and retaining blocks to build a site that is level enough to sleep on. After all, there is not much fun in having your kids constantly roll down the hill on top of you, in a tent, in the middle of the night. This left me with the option of setting up the tent in the family room.
We started by making S’mores over the fireplace. The surgery, chocolaty, gooey goodness did as expected, and we had two wired kiddos for about 20 minutes. Capitalizing on their hyper and distracted state, I broke out the tent. Seeing their faces light up as I was setting up the tent was a sight to behold. Their excitement was palpable, David kept darting in and out of the tent, while Zoey was adamant in her attempt to figure out how to put the tent together. I stood there for a moment, taking in my achievement, not knowing what the evening ahead was going to be like. And it is best that I did not know.
Once the tent was up we asked the kiddos to begin getting ready for bed. I have never seen them move as fast as they did. We had them changed and ready for bed in less than five minutes. It was awesome. We then spent some time setting up the sleeping area. Pillows, stuffed animals, blankets to sleep on, blankets to sleep under, more pillows, more stuffed animals… it was a ton of fun. “Goodnight” and “I love you” were given to my beloved in record time by the kids and they flew into the tent. We had a selection of books to read, and I found some outdoor sounds on Netflix to play. All was right with the world.
And so it begins.
We read a couple of stories and the kids were enamored. The sounds of the birds, wind, and wolves howling coming from the TV only added to the excitement. It was at this time, a mere 30 minutes into this excursion, which the follies began.
The thing about camping is that the temperature inside the tent is somewhat regulated by the constant air flow. When you are inside, this is lacking. So, there was a steady rise in the temperature that was beginning to make the locals restless. Be it the excitement of sleeping in the tent, be it the heat, or be it the s’mores still pulsating through their little systems, but it started with a pillow. As Zoey started to fuss over her pajamas, she flung her pillow towards David. Well, true to form, David did not like this one bit. So, he flung a pillow back at here. With that action, it was on.
The two wrestled and tumbled with each other, laughing though the headlocks as they moved to and fro inside the tent. I did my best to keep them apart, but the sheer glee of being in this predicament seemed to spurn them on again and again. All this activity meant that the temperature was increasing at a greater rate than before. Now we were all hot. After what seemed like an hour, but truly was only about 15 minutes, we remained still in our now sweltering accommodations.
I decided to open one of the doors to vent some air in. This helped. I also positioned a fan to blow the MUCH colder air into the tent from the rest of the house. I ALSO decided that the kiddos should get down to diapers. For as fast as they changed into their PJ’s… Once all settled again, I decided to check the time. Much to my dismay, we had been trying to sleep for close to an hour and a half.
More to come!
That is all I have time to write about for now. There will be a second installment in the very near future. It will cover the AWESOME night of camping at home.
I AM A CRANIO DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and I cannot believe it took us an hour and a half to START to fall asleep.