Annie went camping for the first time when she was 2 months old. Mommy needed a little getaway and I knew that since my parents were going to be there with Barry and me, I would have lots of help for a week. What more could I ask for!? It went great! Mostly she slept. So did I, but that’s beside the point. We decided to take her again this year. We’ll probably make an attempt to take her every year and let her learn to love nature and the SIMPLE things in life. This year it wasn’t so easy. She wanted to move, move, move……but she’s afraid of grass, so that limited her mobility. So, here is how we successfully took a 12-month-old campingMy Mom is a genius. I couldn’t figure out how we could find a place in the pop-up camper for Annie to sleep. She was way too big for her bassinet and if we laid her in the bed, she could roll off. So, Mom and Barry rigged a place in the floor where the table normally goes. We laid one of the seat cushions in the floor and it fit the space perfectly. I covered it with blankets to make it soft and finally a fitted sheet. Barry nailed a piece of wood over the bottom to form a little jail so the jailbird couldn’t bust out. She slept very happily there. It could have been made just for her! In our family, we like to make do with what we have.
Now we had to figure out how to make her happy outside. Yes, we could hold her all day and we’d be just tickled to do it. She wouldn’t. Man, that girl is wiggly. She can’t stay still for 5 minutes unless she’s asleep. She literally must have ants in her pants. Down Mama, I want down. At this point, she couldn’t walk yet so she was getting frustrated at her lack of mobility. Again, my genius Mama came to the rescue. She brought her old playpen. Yes, HER playpen. She kept it all these years. My mom is resourceful and I hope I am learning from her. We set up the playpen outdoors with some of those foam floor pieces and a rug for comfort. She played and played in that! We could rest, cook, or NOT take a bath while she played. It was great! Score two for my Mama! Oh, we also had her Fridge DJ. That toy is a gift from God. Thank you God! On the 8th day He invited Fridge DJs.
To keep her occupied, you’d think we would give her toys right? Wrong. We brought toys, but my daughter isn’t into the toy scene. She’d rather play with things like bottle lids and utensils. She’d rather rip up old magazines. My mom kept her occupied with bubbles and that was a big hit. She can now say “bubbles.” It sorta comes out “bubba” but I’m proud none the less.
My dad loves his grandbaby. She always wants to know where he is. If he left the campsite, she was always craning her neck to see where he went. They liked to watch the fire together. Annie seems to like fire. Guess she takes after me. I like lighting matches. Yep, I confess. I like to light things on fire. Annie kept pointing to the fire like she wanted to touch it. I am glad she was unable to walk for this trip.
We had so much fun feeding Annie and she had fun eating! I have a meat eater on my hands. She had her first sausage and you’d think she won the baby lottery! She’d eat a bite and go “yummmmmm!” Then she’d open her mouth for another bite. She also said her first real word while camping. “More.” I had given her a bite of Rice Krispy Treat and she wanted “more”. Yep, that’s my girl!
Another big breakthrough for the week was that she actually got in the water! Ok, so she cried for a long time before that, but she DID do it! I stayed with her the whole time and by the time we left the creek she was crying to get back in the water. I was so proud of her! She got her first outfit wet in the creek! I didn’t even care that it was new and had creek dirt all over it. Kids have fun – they get dirty. That’s why they make Oxy-Clean.
You too can take your baby camping. It’s not impossible. They’ll get dirty, but they’ll have fun. It’s a great learning experience for them. I don’t want Annie growing up attached to the TV and video games. The simple things in life are the best. Get outdoors. Take your babies camping. Don’t be a weenie.