Sunday, June 28, 2009

Camp perfect

We went camping this weekend. That's right, me, the spud and the reluctant Frog. It was brilliant. Just don't ask the Frog.

We pitched tent in a field on a great sweep of chalk hill overlooked by the Uffington Horse, an Iron Age fort and the hill where allegedly St. George slew the dragon. Thunder was promised but while we heard it, saw the clouds and watched the lightening, it just rumbled past us. This has been the most glorious weekend and England in high summer is glorious without needing the sun for company, so you must just imagine it - high grass, cow parsley, buttercups, purple mallow, sudden valleys, clustered copses, hawks, crows, scudding clouds and the green of the hills leaping out against the blue of the sky just before a breeze ruffles the grass.

There were 14 of us plus 8 children under the age of 6. I know. Essentially they formed a pack which occasionally split into two mini-packs; all that is except the three littlest who were so easy to manage that it made me wonder what sort of mental I was on when I thought the spud was a handful at 10 months.

He was happy as a pancake, running around, stealing toys and playing endlessly at the stand-pipe being sprayed with water. He went to sleep last night mid-conversation: "Daddy doesn't like camping" "No sweetie, Daddy doesn't like camping... do you like camping?." "Yes, I LIKE camping." "Mummy likes camping too" "NO!!!! CHARLIE likes camping TOOOO!!! Zzzzzzz"....

He didn't get on that well with the inflatable mattress, he kept falling off, necessitating the predicted entrance into our bed and an almost completely sleepless night for me. He pushed and kicked and hogged the covers until springing wide awake at 7am demanding rice. He then walked around the tents of my sleeping friends (I want whatever it was they all gave their kids to get them to sleep in a hot bright tent past 7am) pointing at camping equipment and scattered toys and saying loudly "what's THAT Mummy? What's THAT?" for no reason other than to make conversation until eventually they all woke up toooo.

After two days of playing and living outside it took a lot of soap to remove the incremental layers of sunscreen and mud (and that was just from me). Tonight as he was drifting off after his bath I asked him again if he liked camping. "I LOVE camping!" he said. "I love my Charlie" I told him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. He rolled over, wrapped an arm around my neck and said "I love my Mummy toooo" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. It's my first 'I love you'; kinda made my weekend.


Anonymous said...

When I am old and decrepit and can't remember why my boobs touch my navel, I will remember with absolute clarity the first time Cooper said, "I love you, Mommy." It almost makes up for the absolute insanity that he wreaks on any given day.

And YEAH for camping! I am not a fan of camping at all, and wholly respect anyone who not only goes camping, but takes children with them!

Sparx said...

Aw - yeah I reckon I didn't have to blog that one to remember it. Camping is brilliant with kids, they love it so much it makes for an easy day.

Mum said...

A good two or three inch foamy will do the trick as a mattress. For his age it only has to be 5 or 6ft long and would roll out small. Glad he likes camping, it is fun and I wish we could still do it.

Granddad came back from the dog walk tonight having seen a bear - first this year! Sandy was blase about the whole thing - ergo, no Mum present!

Love Anonymous!

DJ Kirkby said...

Awwwwwwww, sweet. I HATE camping (as you can imagine) and I have to say that if you got Frog to go then he wasn't VERY reluctant to go...though he probably will be next time!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

You make me want to go camping too, and I NEVER want to go camping.

Glyn Pope said...

Hate camping.
Miss my grandson though.

Lisa (Jonny's Mommy) said...

How very, very brave of you. Much braver than I would be. The mental images of him stomping around the campsite are priceless! And that last bit...*sniff* *sniff* and awwwwww!

Potty Mummy said...

I quite like camping (I know, curb my enthusiasm and all that) but sadly I think my boys will never get the chance to suffer from foodpoisoning as a result of eating sausages undercooked on a campfire (as I did on one memorable occassion - and still passed my girl guide camping badge), as Husband is the biggest wimp ever when it comes to life under canvas.

Maybe we should organise a mummy bloggers trip to the wilds. The wilds of Somerset, that is, say Babbington House...? Any takers? (In my dreams)

cactus petunia said...

Sweet memories!

Sparx said...

Mum - oh god, bears; get the bell out before you go out on the deck for crying out loud.

DJ - don't think the frog is going to buy that to be honest but will try!

Wakeup - why not? It's brilliant!

Glyn - where is he?

Lisa - I know, it was so sweet. He's always asking me if I'm ok now too, reminds me of your post of Jonny doing the same

Potty Mummy - food poisoning while camping... for goodness sakes don't tell my frog. What a nightmare, enough to put anyone off it.

Cactus - I know!