If you know Pete at all, you know that he loves, I mean LOVES the outdoors. We might even dare to call it an obsession at times, especially when it comes to researching and acquiring new (and always lighter) equipment for backpacking and camping. Lucky for him, in her short existence on this planet, Norah has shown signs that she too will be a lover of the open air and this makes Pete one super happy camper. Quite literally in fact as last weekend one of Pete’s dreams came true – he went camping with our daughter!
To be clear, they didn’t actually “go” camping, but rather he setup our tent in the backyard and he and Norah slept outside. While he certainly pines for the real deal outdoor adventure with both kids, Saturday night’s experience was a necessary test run before going all out woodsy with a toddler. And for the most part it was a smashing success. They slept outside the whole night and they loved every minute of it. While I fully supported this endeavor, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a wee bit neurotic about the whole thing, and as neuroses go, there was no clear basis for this worry. All I can surmise is that it stemmed from thinking that there was no way she’d stay out there the whole night and stressing about the possibility of having to deal with some middle of the night toddler freak out. Thankfully this was not the case and I’m super proud of my baby girl! She did wake up maybe a little earlier than comfortable – 5:30-ish (ouch) – but there was a lot of outdoor noise and commotion so who can blame her. Yes at that painful hour, on top of what must have been the longest train ever going by blowing its horn every 10 seconds, there was also the joyful spring symphony of birds making sure that everyone knew dawn was on the horizon. As Pete likes to tell it, shortly after the sunup song began Norah swiftly lifted her head and exclaimed “what are those birds talking about?!” After that, going back to sleep was a fading hope, and at about 6:30 I started getting text messages asking for snacks.
Of course no first camping experience would be complete without s’mores! We borrowed a fire pit from our lovely neighbors and after Crosby went to sleep for the night (your turn will come buddy!) Pete built a little fire and we introduced Norah to the ooey gooey deliciousness of hot marshmallows sandwiched between chocolate and graham crackers. I don’t have to tell you how amazing this was for her – there were definitely some moments of crackhead crazy eyes after she’d had her first and was watching us make more. I suppose it probably helped with the overall enjoyment of the “camping” experience that we loaded her up with sugary goodness as part of the deal, so all in all I’d say she’s a fan.
PS For Christmas we got Norah a book called Fred and Ted Go Camping – an easy read story about two dogs and their camping experience – which instantly became one of her faves. But for some reason now when we read it she doesn’t want it to be Fred and Ted, she wants it to be Mommy and Norah. I guess that’s my cue to be a part of the next adventure :).