Our philosophy on doing stuff with kids is to do it "early and often." We hope that our kids will become good travelers and also that they will love the outdoors! Andrew went camping three or four times last season as a baby, so we were eager to get Clara out there and try out our "camping with two" strategy.
We headed out to the Buffalo Creek Recreation Area south of Bailey, near where we go to cut our Christmas trees every year. This is a really nice area with plenty of flat land, and lots of National Forest land that is eligible for freedom camping.
To handle the two under two thing, we brought two tents - one for the girls and one for the boys. We set them up a significant enough distance apart that a nightwaking by one shouldn't effect the other.
Andrew had a ton of fun exploring the surrounding area. We brought some trucks to play in the dirt. He is really becoming fun, and I am super excited to spend more time with him in the great outdoors! He's so curious and full of the joy of discovery. I'm really looking forward to this part of having kids.
So as the sun was going down and we started getting ready for bed, I realized that I had forgotten to pack Andrew's bottle of milk, which is the way he relaxes to get to sleep. Oops. We had a brief conversation about whether we should just go home at that point, but we decided to give it a shot. There was about a 50/50 shot that once asleep, he'd make it through the night. (Ah, optimism!)
I went to sleep with Clara, nursing her to sleep in the girls' tent. I could hear Andrew over in the boys' tent for a very long time. Singing, chatting, changing positions... He finally wound down and dropped off to sleep around 10p. So far so good.
In the middle of the night (2am-ish?), I was awoken by Andrew's cry from across the clearing. Unfortunately, his method of getting back to sleep after a wakeup was also to have a bottle. And unlike going to sleep initially, which he does happily, night wakeups are scared and upset affairs. I ran over to the boys' tent and offered to switch places with Travis, to think that maybe Mommy had the touch to get him calm enough to go back to sleep after Daddy tried his best. A few minutes later, Clara woke up to be fed, so I was nursing Clara and trying to comfort Andrew... and they were both keeping each other awake.
So that is how it came to be that we packed up camp at 3am and drove home.
We used to say that it counted as a night of camping if we made it until dawn. Maybe with two kids, that criteria needs to be a little looser?