Monday, July 29, 2013

Camping with babies

The past few days we were camping in Flaming Gorge with some extended family on my side.  Our campsites were "on the rim" meaning literally next to a cliff leading down down down to the gorge.  Needless to say, the babies and I spent most of the time right at our campsite--near that big burning hot fire pit.  We learned two new words during those days, "hot" and "ouch."  This is the first time the babies have been camping.  It's also the first time I've been camping with two babies.  And hopefully also the last.  I'll let you know how it goes next year with two toddlers. 

This twin thing has been very enlightening.  I often feel like I'm finally perfecting or fine tuning certain aspects of motherhood that make life more simple.  I have certainly mastered diaper changing.  We've got a regular assembly line going here.  But I've found that with two everything is magnified so much so that what you might not even notice with a single baby, screams at you until you can't but help stop and take note.  This includes things both good and bad--though the bad seems to scream louder. 

So, what works and what doesn't?  Some things are little, like how awful footed sleepers are for crawling babies.  I really don't think I paid much attention to that with just one baby, but with two, after fixing babies legs so that they get back inside the sleeper for the tenth time in one day, I finally decided to put them away for a while.  If you give a baby corn bread you'll be cleaning it up for weeks.  A hat is useless unless it has ties.  Shoes, unless necessary for protection from the weather, are completely optional, even frivolous.  Always carry string cheese with you.  If someone else wants to hold your baby, make sure you're out of sight.  Jealousy and sibling rivalry start young--you can't just pick up one baby.  Costco grocery carts seat two. 

And some things I learned very well from this camping trip--don't ever try to take two babies with you when you need to use the John.  Tent zippers don't lock and babies can escape.   Porta cribs are brilliant in the wilderness--a tall tent to accommodate it is helpful.  Nature provides great toys--pine needles, pine cones and rocks can all be fascinating when stirred in bowls and dumped out and put back in.   And adult size camping chairs are harder to get down from than kid sized--that's a good thing. 

In the end I'm so glad my three older children had a chance to go camping this summer.  Cousins, camp fires, fishing, swimming, tents, Dutch oven cooking, smores and ghost stories.  That's what summer memories are made of.  But I wouldn't terribly mind a lapse of memory on this one.


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