Tuesday, 31 August 2010

More tales from the campsite

Once we'd fully dried off the next day, things were looking decidedly up. A decent night's sleep cosied up in the camper with LTO right by us on the baby shelf, a bacon sarnie and coffee for breakfast, a hot shower, and all was well. Mostly though this was because our chosen campsite really is The Perfect Campsite. We'd been last summer, fell in love with it, and will probably go back every year from here on in. It has everything you could wish for in a campsite: the freedom to pitch your tent wherever you want, an amazing shop selling the farm's own organic produce, 14 collie puppies available for cuddles, a private beach and the piece de resistance - you can have your own campfire. Just wonderful. And extremely child friendly.

Because it's so perfect though, I hate to say it but I'm very reluctant to share the name with you, for fear that the whole world will descend on it next summer. So letters on a postcard please if you want to know - I may divulge the name, but only if you're extra nice....

The camping trip outcome

After all the debate about whether to take the baby bath camping, we bloody forgot it! About half an hour after we'd left home I suddenly remembered it wasn't with us, but we'd gone too far to go back for it. So that was that - our inability to remember everything we needed had made the decision for us and we were just going to have to cope without it.

But bathing LTO really was the last of our worries on day one of the trip. The rain starting pouring the minute we set off in the van (after a mere 2 hour wait for the breakdown man to come and jumpstart it!), and was still going strong when we arrived at the campsite. Trying to pick a suitable spot to camp in and put up a brand new awning in crazy wind and lashing rain was an experience that really could have put me off camping for life.

Thankfully LTO didn't start screaming until at least 20 minutes after we'd got there, by which time a very kind fellow camper had offered to give us a hand putting up the tent  - proof that camping folk really are a good sort. Once the screams started though, I had to figure out a way of feeding LTO in the van, which was completely chocca with all our stuff. As I sat there on a soggy cardboard box feeding him, I did wonder what the hell we were doing trying to camp with a 10 week old baby in the pouring rain. Serious sense of humour failure. If only we'd stayed at home and gone the next day, as sensible old me had suggested.....

For all my worrying about LTO though, he went down without a peep at about 7pm after his feed,without having had a bath! He was completely unfased by not being in the safe confines of home, which obviously pleased me no end. Quite what I was worrying about I don't know. The baby shelf was being put to use and by the time the Husband and I had changed into some dry clothes, sat in front of the heater with a big glass of red and some bread and cheese, suddenly everything wasn't quite so bad after all.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Update: first trip in the campervan

The Husband has won. We leave for Dorset first thing in the morning. Since he's the one who'll be driving the campervan in the pouring rain, I didn't put up too much of a fight. I have tried my hand behind the wheel on a couple of occasions, one of which was actually on the road, but I'm just too nervous to drive it again for fear of inflicting damage on the oh-so-precious van. The Husband would never forgive me if I crashed it, and although I've never crashed a car (I don't count driving into a concrete bollard in a multi-storey car park when I was 18), I don't know why I have such a fear of driving the van, but such is life. I figure I may as well enjoy the ride/snooze from the passenger seat.

So my challenge for the afternoon has been to pack. As little as possible. Given that I'm the World's Worst Packer, in spite of spending the last 10 years travelling overseas for work, this has been a tricky task. Packing for me and LTO? How many nappies/babygros/sleeping bags/clothes/toys should we really be taking? We've been away for a weekend with him, but 5 whole days, on a campsite? Although not a sicky baby to date, I do wonder whether he'll suddenly develop into one over the next 5 days, therefore requiring many more changes of clothes than I've carefully accounted for. But this is camping so surely we'll all be a bit scuzzy by the end of the trip, LTO included? Is that wrong though? It's obviously fine if I wear the same clothes everyday while we're there, but is it fair to inflict such camping rituals onto a 10 week old baby? I guess if my conscience gets the better of me I could do some rinsing out of clothes/sleeping bags etc on the campsite if need be? Aha! - use #3 of the baby bath. Maybe we should take it after all....

First trip in the campervan

We're supposed to be going camping tomorrow - our first holiday with The Little One. He’s only 10 weeks old but surely that’s not going to stop us, we said? We own a 1962 VW campervan (I say 'we', but really it's the Husband's – his baby before George arrived), and decided very early on that having a baby wouldn’t make any difference to our annual camping trips. The camper even has a self-appointed baby shelf inside, perfect for TLO to sleep on, and I have been fantasising about putting it to use from the minute the keys were ours. So what’s to worry about? Well, the camper has been in the garage all summer after failing its MOT. In theory it's fixed and ready to go, apart from the leaking roof and front windscreen, but I’m not convinced we’ll get there without the help of the breakdown man. The leaks wouldn't be a problem if the forecast wasn't for torrential rain tomorrow. Hmm. Husband still wants to go tomorrow (“we should be tough and just do it”), but I want to do the sensible thing and wait until Thursday when we’re less likely to drown on the way there. We’ll see who wins….

The question is, what do we do about TLO’s daily bath, which I’m convinced is the key to him settling so easily every evening? He’s been going down without a peep for some time now, so I’m very wary of upsetting his routine. Do we take the baby bath? Sub-ideal given how big it is and how we’re likely to be taking the entire nursery with us – just in case - although it could double up as a washing up bowl and even a pee bucket for those middle of the night emergencies?! That might be pushing it me thinks…The alternative is to subject TLO to a daily shower on the campsite. Think we should probably do a trial run in the shower tonight if that’s going to be the solution. Watch this space.