penelope and bumblebee

Good grammar costs nothing.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

File Under: What Were We Thinking?

So. Bumblebee has officially been on her first camping trip. I was 16 and off with friends of my own before I could say that; my parents not being great fans of the great outdoors. Not so for bee; her parents are intrepid enthusiasts of the great outdoors (ok, dad is – mumma’s learning), and we want her to know how to start a fire, pitch a tent and catch more than a buzz when she goes off on her first adventure with friends.

Camping was a success. We and the family of bumblebee’s partner in mischief and child care set out early Thursday morning for beautiful warsaw, ontario and the warsaw caves conservation area. Car camping at its least challenging, we had a great site that was all wooded, mostly shady and devoid of neighbours. it was a cool place, complete with caves, kettles and a limestone lookout. Of course, we didn’t see any of those, as caves, kettles and a limestone lookout are just not condusive to outings with newly walking, curious one-year-olds. Sure, we intended to see them, but, like renting canoes and having a quickie in the woods, it just never happened.

We still had a jam-packed, fun few days; the kids going nuts with pretty much free reign in the camp. While still keeping an incredibly close eye on them, we really only ever had to direct them away from putting nature’s bounty in their mouths. Even with an abundance of tasty rocks, pine needles, dirt, pine cones and more dirt around, it was easier to watch them there than at home.

They loved the river, bumblebee being bold enough to wade in and make ‘splashy splashy’ without need of clinging to her dad’s leg, and couldn’t get enough of the beach, even though she kept falling into the holes that the bigger kids had dug.

The skeeters were bitin’, as were the blackflies and deerflies, but babies didn’t get even one bite, thanks to the butterfly bush oil we totally slathered on them, head to toe. Between that and the sunscreen (omg I spent $30 on this bottle of totally natural, chemical free stuff from europe because I am so paranoid and against chemicals and drug-store brand crap going anywhere near bumblebee. Btw – check your baby’s sunscreen. If it has an ‘ingredient’ called Parasol in it, chuck it. Stuff causes cancer and has been banned in every country but can and usa), nothing was going to get to those babies.

The fresh air and running around totally knocked her out, so naps and bedtime were decent (for her), allowing us to eat, drink, play some cards and enjoy some adult bonding by a warm and crackling fire. Ahh. Then we all snuggled into the tent, bee getting rights to the thinsulate mat after we couldn’t inflate the huge air mattress we bought for the occasion (found the valve, btw, in the closet in the basement), and slept pretty good, save for the scary howling and bee’s toxic 3am pooper.

Hmm, you must be saying, but I see that it is Saturday night, and it’s kind of weird to be home on a Saturday night instead of Sunday night. What gives, you must be thinking?

Well, I’ll tell you what gave. We ran out of food and clothes.

Let me assure you, I don’t pack light. I spent two days tetris-ing things into the car, ticking things off of a detailed and exhaustive list, and then adding more after a spontaneous last minute trip to canadian tire.

I packed lots of food and lots of clothes. I packed salt and pepper, pots and pans, sunscreen and bug juice, badminton and frisbee, toys and books and balls and shovels and pails and… well, you get the point. I underestimated only two things – how hungry and how filthy camping would make bee.

Really, she spent the whole 3 days eating and getting dirty, but she was kind of picky about what she would eat, and it was a bit cooler than I had expected it to be. So, we’re back. Our friends stayed the extra day as they were slightly better outfitted (this being their second camping trip with their babe). But I was the one that remembered the coffee and individual filters, so no one could ever accuse me of being illprepared. Besides, now we know. Bring at least six of everything for a 3-day trip, and lots of raisin bread, in case that’s almost the only thing your wee crazy one wants to eat in the bush.

Anyway, all’s well that ends well; bee’s first camping trip was a success; we didn’t get eaten by bears, and it is not even 8 o’clock and my girl is totally crashed out already, allowing her weary, but nicely tanned parents the opportunity to commune with all things city, most excitingly, the computer, the tv and the fridge.

Tomorrow we’re going to have an urban adventure at the outdoor art exhibit at nathan phillips square, but we’re already talking about when we should book our next camping trip. Wanna come? I’ll bring the coffee.


  • At 12:22 PM, Blogger Village Mama said…

    First of all, kudos to you for venturing out into the wild with your wee one in tow - we very briefly considered the idea of camping with out petit man, but then just as quickly shelved the idea seeing as we can barely keep the bum from disappering through the trees in our backyard, let alone somewhere out in the bush where he really could vanish!
    The bugs, well, I probably should have warned you about those. It sounds though, like you had such a great time otherwise that it didn't really put a damper on the over-all success! Sorry you didn't get to explore any of the caves but there's lots of time for that, they're not goin' anywhere!

  • At 4:01 PM, Blogger lisalou said…

    I wanna come!

  • At 9:55 AM, Blogger metro mama said…

    Snaps for you guys!

    I can't even pack properly to go to Grandma's for the weekend.

    Love the pics.

  • At 10:54 AM, Blogger sunshine scribe said…

    Sounds like a great camping trip (oh and butterfly bush oil is the greatest!!). We were at the outdoor art exhibit on Saturday - fabulous!

  • At 12:22 AM, Blogger Mother Bumper said…

    Wow, that sounded great. I'd love to hear some more camping with wee one's pointers because I'd love to take my girl out this summer (9mths). We love camping but I'm a little afraid of forgetting something really important. Kudos to you for pulling it off (even with returning home one day early).

  • At 1:52 AM, Blogger KILROY_60 said…

    I do hope I have commented you to death tonight. I've been enjoying reading so much...I couldn't help myself but to join in with a bit of writing.

    Always a pleasure...look forward to more soon.

    Sounds like Bumblebees first camping trip was an adventure for all. Looking forward to following more of her firsts.


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