In a few weeks time we are going to risk all the sanity left in our world and go on holiday. With a baby. For the first time in 7 years. Gulp.
I’ve done a few holidays with babies, the last notable one being the HESFES filled with mud with 4 children under 7 on a hill, in the rain and a tent that was really too big for me to put up on my own. It was quite a challenge and the thought of doing it now, even with 4 far bigger girls, fills me with dread. I’ve become a total woosy in the last 7 years. All my intrepid camper has upped sticks and buggered off
I do actually really like camping. We have 2 tents, both of which suit the times we use them very well indeed. One is huge, best suited to being up for more than a week at a time but very flexible in how the space works. The other is small and speedy and we have all (all 6 of us, not all 7) slept in it but it tends to get used as an extra room rather than a place to live for a week. The girls use it when we go places we want to have space for them in the garden of a house that has not enough living space for all of us through the day. I must admit the last couple of years of holidays in cottages have softened me up. I think from next year we will have to start camping again and I’m dreading it just a little. The trouble is, once you move in a herd, the options for family holidays without the aid of a lottery win become a little limited.
The trouble with camping, even lovely campsite camping, is that I just do like to be comfy. I hate sleeping on the floor because I’m too lumpy and bumpy for it but I hate airbed too. My compromise Thermarest is lovely but bulky and there isn’t much room in our car now! After 6 children I need a toilet break about 4 times a night and restricting liquids isn’t an option because I get stinking headaches, so I end up grumpily traipsing to the toilet block or obsessing all day about getting a bad nights sleep. And I’ve ALWAYS struggled with getting cold at night, so I fret about that too, as it makes me feel bizarrely sick if I get too cold. I’ve overcome plenty of my issues with buckets and arctic sleeping bags but really, I just like to be comfy. Although I draw the line at the camping bunk beds and air mattress with a headboard my neighbour showed me the other week. Glamping isn’t really my thing either.
I know if I get back into it, it will be fine. I do. I remember being perfectly happy back in the days of regular camping. I love it. When I go on my own with the kids, as I used to, I even used to get thinner. It’ll be good for me. And our favourite Devon campsite has WiFi. How wrong can it go?
Back in the olden days, we used to do holidays with toddlers with my siblings and parents. Given my parents no longer reside on the same continent as each other and neither do my siblings, this is clearly not much of an option now. (Plus, it used to be reduced to unspoken passive aggressive angst ridden warfare, which took the fun out of it slightly). Hopefully having the girls on hand will make having a toddler on holiday slightly less exhausting than it could be, but in the mean time I probably better enjoy this holiday as being the last time for a while I’m not worrying too much about fire, ponds and piles of horse dung for babies to pitch themselves in.