My 649th mistake as a parent - camping with young kids. Hands down one of the top 10 most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ideas I have had. I advise NO ONE to ever do it...ok...that isn't true - but be prepared...it sucks.
It started out innocently enough. "Hooray! We are going to take the kids into nature and let them get dirty and unplug - yay for our inner tree-hugger!" We picked a location that was remote enough to feel like a real getaway, but like 30 minutes from home, just in case all hell broke loose - we could go home.
We got there, set up camp and only had to make one run home for stuff we forgot. YAY for awesome parents and being outdoors! Of course, it wasn't until after my husband came back from that run home that I realized I had packed everything for everyone, but had forgotten some essentials for myself. No need to get into details here, but things may have been a bit breezier than normal for me.
In any case, here are some of the lessons I learned on this trip:
6. I don't like camping. I really just like drinking with friends next to the campfire. And since I am on a no-booze for 30-days kick, sitting around watching other people drink kinda sucked. So if it weren't for the people we were with, I would have liked absolutely nothing about it. Ok, that is sort of a lie. I liked that the kids had fun - and since life now is all about them...I guess that is a good thing.
When downloading on the last day with Overachiever that we co-camped with, somehow we came to the conclusion that it wasn't all that bad. And admittedly, it wasn't. So many things could have gone so wrong, and yet all we really dealt with was dirt shit, pain-in-the-ass dish washing, the unforgettable image of my son munching on dirt and the occasional 5-Year Old girl tattle-tale explosion. For that struggle, we got 36 hours that our kids actually played outside, didn't ask us for any media and took a genuine interest in animals and nature. #ParentWIN!
I was on a plane once with a neurophysicist (guys, had to google that and spell check can't even find the word so you know that is some deep science shit) and he said that you must have your kids play in dirt; apparently it creates certain pathways in the brain that are scientifically correlated to intelligence. I don't remember the details because I was a couple of cocktails in and it was red-eye, but the gist I got was that dirty kids=smart minds. Doing these things are good for our kids, and when all is said and done, we are good parents for doing it.
That being said, does it count if you just rent a cabin and stick your kid outside in the dirt to play? I mean, do I really need to sacrifice my kids intelligence potential at the sake of a shower? Surely not, right? Can you say "Glamping anyone?" Same difference right? HOORAY for Nature!
Foul mouthed, outspoken and pretty much an eternal realist.