Monday, August 24, 2009

Lola's first camping trip

After nearly two years of not really camping at all, Ray and I decided that we would try. Just try and see how it goes.

We spent the past week trying to cool down Lola's bottles. (Yes, she's still on bottles and, yes, we are still somewhat warming them up. We've made progress, but it's just been inching along...) We bought a new Peapod tent for Lola and a bigger tent for our whole family -- was just going to be too tight a fit in the backpacking tent, we figured.

This was supposed to be a practice run. We have four days off in September, during which we would like to take a family trip to the North Shore. So this was to see what we would need to work on. We didn't have any expectations that this would just go overly well, although I think we both had secret hopes.

I had to work Saturday, so I got home about 3:30 p.m. and we packed up the car.

This is why we went drive-in camping and not backpacking:

While Ray got the tent and most everything else set up, I played with Lola, who had a fantastic time playing on her blanket and eventually exploring her surroundings. She was so excited to be in nature and was having a great time crawling and walking around. (She preferred to walk, but I think the uneven ground was a bit too tricky for her. She did find it much easier to walk around inside the tent.)

So at this point, we started getting, perhaps, a bit too confident. Things were going wonderfully. Lola was laughing, smiling and talking. She was having a great time, which meant Ray and I were, mostly, relaxed. We made dinner for everyone - hot dogs of us adults and baby food for Lola. She, of course, tried to eat the ketchup bottle and was mad that she wasn't allowed any hot dogs.

Then, as nighttime neared, all three of us went for a nice, long hike. We wore Lola out to the point where she finally fell asleep in her stroller. This was the goal. Get Lola to fall asleep and then transfer her to the Peapod.

Did it work?

Um, no.

As soon as the stroller stopped rolling, she woke up and cried. We gave her bottle, but she wouldn't take it. We moved her into the tent and then into the Peapod and that is when things went downhill.

Lola was scared, I think. The Peapod, perhaps a little too closed in, was just something that she wasn't used to. We tried letting her cry herself to sleep, as we would sort of do at home, but she was not to be consoled. Ray eventually went in with her and sat near her, comforting her with "shhhhs" and it worked - until he tried to get out of the tent. The screaming then started again.

After an hour, we gave up. We left. We would have, maybe, stuck it longer had we not had so many camping neighbors, but I just couldn't do that to them - or Lola - any longer. We were home by 10 p.m.

So was it a success? No, not really. But it wasn't that bad, either, to be honest. We got her into the woods, which she enjoyed. It's just going to take some work for nighttime. We're planning for some naps in the Peapod at home, until she gets more accustomed to it.

We returned Sunday morning to gather up our stuff. While Ray and I broke down "camp," Lola was placed back on her blanket. I think she was confused as to why we returned!

We're still planning on September trip. Might take some work, but both Ray and I need to get away from the house for a few days and enjoy what is left of the warm weather before the snow comes.

- Bethany :)

1 comment:

Alison Lea Photography said...

We got Brenna a peapod and went camping last week, too. The first night was AWFUL! She was cold and ended up sleeping with us in our sleeping bag (two zipped together).

The second one was a lot better.

She ended up wearing: long-sleeved onsie, winter fleece pjs, a hoodie sweatshirt and her sleepsac! But, she slept all night...well almost. I kept her peapod open and she sat up once and cried. I rocked her back to sleep.

All that to say, I think she'll do better the next time around.