In the fam's attempt to save money, or I should say not spend money we don't have, but still desperately needing some time away we decided to go camping. To give you an idea of my level of expertise in this field I should tell you that so far any one I have told about this trip has said, "what? you camping? are you serious????", suffice it to say if given the choice I would take 500 thread count, pay per view, and room service over air mattress, woodland creatures, and marshmellows that immediately catch on fire....but thus is the life of a new mom...so many sacrifices, woe is me.
I decided that I would try to make the most of this trip and agreed to camp as long as it was at the beach, my favourite place on earth, second only to under the Christmas Tree listening to Elvis Christmas Album after everyone has gone to bed (...and yes, that still is my favourite thing in the world...oh, and my baby, the tree thing and the baby). We headed to Long Point Provincial Park, just under three hours to get there. The place is uber-family, to the point where I was getting annoyed, not to mention that our late decision to take this mini-vacay meant every site, or good site I should say, was taken, leaving our wonderful home away from home, next to the playground and showers/washrooms. I fell asleep each night to the lovely wilderness sounds of 15 year olds playing on the swings while trying to say every curse word known to man before their parents called them back to the tent as well as the gentle hums of the toilets flushing.
There are a few valuable lessons I have learned about camping with a baby, at least at this place, which I will share:
- there are only showers, no tubs, the kid hates showers and screams like she's being murdered in a bad 'b' horror movie...which meant she didn't bathe for a while...you know that wonderful 'baby-smell' everyone talks about...it only has a shelf life of about 48 hours.
- washrooms don't have change tables...and changing a very active baby on a half inflated air mattress in a tent means you have to sleep with the stench of baby crap all night...I swear, it's like she knows when she's gone poo and purposely flips over and rubs her but into any nearby fabric like a dog with worms.
- protecting your baby from mosquitoes becomes your only purpose for living while camping, I think at one point I actually leaped over the car, did two somersaults, landed upside down next to her play pen just to be able to swat away a mosquito that was hovering dangerously close.
- not all kids automatically know that sand is something which is played with and will still eat it...as well as cigarette butts, weeds, ants, bottle caps...maybe it's just our kid, she does have a weight problem, she'll eat anything, I guess I can't really ignore it any more...but in all seriousness I sometimes wake up in a panic from nightmares of the kid being on Maury Povich alongside the other 400lbs 5 year olds...but I just can't stop feeding her those rolly polly thighs are just so damn cute!!!
- campsites don't come with highchairs
- when the baby cries in the condo I don't even think about the fact that my neighbours might hear her, but when the baby is crying in a paper thin tent and you can hear her cries echoing through the wilderness...you get a little self conscious.
Basically, you know if you could hack it, and if you think you can it's a super nice place, and if you can't it's worth the drive to the park just for a day trip to the beach.