Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tank and Terror Go Camping - Part II

The week prior to the Fourth of July, my entire family and I packed up for a week-long camping adventure up in Ludington State Park. My parents had just purchased a camper this spring and we were excited for Lil Man's first camping experience. We crammed five adults, a toddler and 3 dogs into a pop up -- battled torrential downpours, freezing temps and a cranky toddler -- but it was a great time together with family.

Decided to give camping another go before the end of summer. Last week, Brody, Zora and I hit the road after work Thursday to meet up with my parents and siblings in Cadillac at Mitchell State Park.

Thank God this site was more rocks and grass than dirt. Especially since it rained Thursday night, trying to keep Brody clean during that 2 minute walk from showers to camper is quite the challenge. Plus Brody thought this rock bed between the camp sites was the cat's meow. Brought all his diggers and that's pretty much where we played for 3 days.  

With everyone's crazy schedule, it's always a special time when we can get all 6 of us in the same place. So glad Ashley and Adam were able to come up for at least 24 hours. It was a huge bummer that Dan was still at drill that weekend... would've been wonderful to have everyone all together.  

There were a lot of aspects about camping that made me slightly horrified to tackle with a two-year-old... not running off, staying out of the road, keeping out of the fire pit... but Brody really surprised me. If anyone has ever been in public with Brody, you know what I mean. "Free-spirited" is an understatement when it comes to him. 

We all thought it was funny how we went from wearing every coat packed and mittens last month camping to 90+ degrees and zero wind this time. Oh Michigan... you're hilarious. But seriously... I walked around in my bathing suit bottoms the entire time because, let's face it, wearing pants is tough enough let alone when you're sweating your balls off.

And with that heat comes a lot of problems when dealing with a toddler...
  1. Men are cranky when hot (regardless of age).
  2. Too hot and stuffy in the camper to nap during the day, so we went 3 days without a nap. KILL. ME. NOW.
  3. Can't zip up the camper at night when it's that hot still, so Brody would lie there from 7 PM to when I went to bed around midnight just chit chatting with the neighbors and being his typical nosey self. 

So to recap... 3 days of no naps, 6-ish hours of sleep a night (when he's used to 10-12), and incredibly hot weather... there was a very real struggle of needing to drink water to stay hydrated and alcohol to get this mama through the day. The meltdowns.... oh God the meltdowns!!! Parents, you know what I mean.

But anyways, in between tantrums, we enjoyed going on some bike rides, playgrounds, walks and lovin' on every dog in that campground. Lake Cadillac was the grossest, thickest, greenest muckfest I've ever seen in my life. When I saw Brody put water in his mouth, I was convinced he was a goner. At the very least, I expected to start mutating any second. If that was the case, I was hoping for an extra set of hands. May as well make the best of it...

Any time spent with family and having new experiences with Brody is very special to me, but it was a rough weekend. I'm not going to lie, going back to work Monday was the biggest reprieve ever. Tired toddlers can be the biggest buzzkill ever. Hopefully next year he's a little bit more mature and able to handle the heat/sleeping adjustments/boundaries better. 

Or else I better learn to pack stronger booze. Right? 

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