10 April 2017

The "Great" Outdoors

Thank you for all the nice comments on the last post, guys! You are very sweet! I appreciate hearing that some people liked the series, even if overall page views were low.

We ventured out to our backyard on Saturday, Theodore's first real time playing outside. Last year he was too little and so was regulated to a blanket or pack 'n play. Now he is free to toddle around and explore himself. But it turns out he kinda hates the outdoors. At first he sat where I put him down and refused to move a muscle himself.

Then I dragged the picnic table down into the yard and sat him down at it. He proceeded to climb up and down from the benches to the table, careful to never, ever touch the dirt.

At first he yelled at the sun - really, he did, pointing and yelling, and looking plaintively at me to back him up - and cried whenever the wind blew. Eventually, after much effort, I got him to play in the little house, opening and closing the door and the shutters.

He completely refused to touch the ground though. When he fell down, he cried and tried to stand back up using his elbows, holding his hands up in the air like a surgeon who has already scrubbed in for surgery. Theodore is much like me, in this respect. We love going for walks, taking hikes on wide, well-marked trails, sitting in the screen room or on the covered front porch, but we just aren't much for hanging out in the great outdoors. Which brings me to...camping.

This summer, we are going to attempt tent camping for the first time since that one completely hellish time we went camping on an island in the Gulf of Mexico in the summer. I want to be a person who camps. It's a very inexpensive way to see America, I like cutting off electronics cold turkey, getting up and going to bed with the sun, forgetting about our worldly cares and living in the moment, making really fun memories with my family. I'm not a high maintenance kind of girl, I can live without make up and use public restrooms, and I want to teach my kids how to enjoy the simple things in life. But I'm concerned that I like the idea of camping more than actually camping. Dirt, sleeping on the ground, anxiety attacks trying to keep my children safe. Oh goodness. We are slowly but surely building up our supply of camping gear in preparation. When we get our tent, we'll practice camping with my sister-in-law and her family in their backyard. She is an experienced family camper, they regularly travel around the state with their six kids in a tent, hiking and cooking over a campfire. She promises to teach me everything she knows. Lord knows I need it.


nichole davis said...

I love camping too. I am terrified to go with the kids. I am so worried one of them, especially Mya will get out of the tent in the night and will be gone. How does one prevent this in a tent?

Jacqueline said...

I am planning to lock the zippers together with a carabineer that has the little twist lock on it. Abigail doesn't have the fine motor skills to open it. You could also use a combo lock. Plus either Matt or I will sleep in front of the door at night. It'll be tricky, esp with her desire to run. We'll be bringing a backpack harness for sure!

nichole davis said...

Good ideas! :) And we love our harness. We went to the park last night and I put Mya in the harness and followed both my girls through the whole thing. Mya is a little more brave than Natalie when it comes to climbing so there were plenty of moments when she finished a slide or bridge before Natalie and I could. I was so so grateful to have a harness on her. We simply wouldn't have gone to such a big park without it. Though I did get some looks when Mya was kind of dangling middle slide from the backpack. I don't care she was fine and safe with her mom still instead of in the road.