June is National Camping Month. I was super excited to get the kids out and camping again, so in anticipation of this month, I planned to camp with both kids for the first time by myself. We’d camped in our backyard before with great success (Bax loved it and the baby was still able to sleep in her crib inside). With the little one a little more mobile, I thought I was ready to take the next step and sleep with both of them in the tent. Over Memorial Day weekend, my family had a get together at our farm on the Blackland Prairie just south of Dallas. This would be the perfect test run for experiencing camping with two kids under age of 5.
In anticipation, I read some great tips from Tales of Mountain Mama on taking the kids and baby camping, packed up the tent, my bedroll, Thomas the Train lantern and plenty of pillows and hit the road. The day was going great! A super easy three hour road trip split up by a stop at Collin Street Bakery for cookies. We arrived just in time for the picnic lunch and the kids had a blast playing with cousins. It was time to put the tent up – super easy too. One thing about putting up camp with two kids is not too much time to take pictures – we’ll get some next trip! Once the tent was up, it was naptime, and we found a super comfy hammock for a peaceful afternoon snooze in the breeze.
All was going great! Finally, it was time for bed – late bedtime at camping time, after 9:00 but both kids and I got in the tent, zipped the door and turned the lantern on for reading our books before lights out. But, once that tent was zipped, it was stuffy and hot! With potential rains forecast for the night and 80 degree something temperatures, it was a sauna in that tent with the rain fly on and no air circulating. But, we were all so tired, we finally managed to get some sleep.
I woke up twice in the night – once to screaming baby wanting a drink and second when the storms came in. It was thunder and lightening in the distance but only a little rain on the tent, enough to cool it down just a little. Then, the sun came up about 6:00 and the baby woke up and was ready to go. I tried to get her back to sleep, but her screaming was going to wake up the whole campsite, so we went ahead and had an early morning. Things went south from there. Baby kept screaming and wouldn’t let anyone else hold her, preschooler had multiple meltdowns and I was trying to put the tent down and get us packed up to head home. The preschooler was just laying on the floor of the house, it was time to go. I’m so thankful for my sister – by the time I got outside to finish putting up the tent, she had it all put up and my truck loaded for me. By this point, the boy was starting to burn up, it was time to get home.
A dose of advil and three hours later at home, he had a pretty rough cough and the fever was not coming down. Since it was a holiday weekend, it was time for urgent care. Thankfully it wasn’t too busy and due to the blue lips from a blue popsicle, we were able to see the doctor quickly. Diagnosis – pneumonia. What an end to a camping weekend.
The rest of the weekend we were still on breathing treatments and taking it easy, but both kids did have a blast camping. Despite the rough end to the trip, it was a fun experience to remember. Next time I’ll bring Advil, Tylenol and Gatorade in case we have a sick kid again. I’d like to camp in honor of National Camping month, but in Texas, it is getting in to the warm part of the year to camp outside here. If you are in Colorado, or other cooler states this summer, or don’t mind the heat, go get your camping on! In Texas, our family we’ll wait until the cooler weather comes again.