Monday, May 26, 2014

Sleepless in Rathtrevor

The trip to Rathtrevor in some senses was a success. We were able to introduce Finn to his other grandparents, I was able to visit a friend who had recently had her second baby and we were able to give camping with two children a test run. We had planned to only be there for one night just in case it was a disaster (which it was).

The drive up the island is long. Any mother knows that listening to her baby wail in the backseat is heartbreaking and for me, it's something I just can't do. In all honesty though the frequent stops to nurse and cuddle were a relief for us all. We visited the Whippletree Junction, enjoyed the views on the Malahat and had snacks at the feet of the giant Gnome. Both kids fell asleep just as we entered Parksville and pulled into the campsite.

The Rathtrevor campsite is so nice. It's right on the beach but the individual sites are nicely covered by woods. They have a lovely playground for children to play and a simple biking park. The bathrooms are also really clean and warm. This feature is particularly appealing to the parent who visits the facilities with her children almost every hour. I also liked that we could walk to the beach from our site, so there was no need to pack the kids into the car again.

When we got there April and Jon set to work setting up the tent. April loves to feel important in processes like that. She took her role as pole builder very seriously. Unfortunately, it wasn't until we were all set up for the night that we realized the air mattress had a hole in it. There wasn't much to do about it at that point so Jon and April had a rather rocky night (in more ways than one). We started a modest fire and April helped Jon pop some Jiffypop over the fire.

Finn at first had trouble settling so he and I took a walk on our own down the beach. The tide was far out so we had plenty of sand to explore. We could hear a seal barking out on the water and birds such as eagles and ravens calling. It was peaceful. Finn was quiet but alert. The beach was soothing for him. And once Finn was finally asleep he stayed asleep all night.

April, however, woke at 4am and would not calm down. She screamed hysterically for 20 minutes, being sure to wake anyone in the sites near ours. When I finally got her calm and took her to the bathroom, she decided she was up for the day. We turned on her Martin and Sylvia Sparkle Stories in the hopes that the rest of us could sleep more but the only one that got away with more rest was Finn.

After such an early rising, the rest of the day was difficult to say the least. April was so tired she had little interest in exploring the amazing beach at Rathtrevor. She decided she simply could not carry her bucket, the sand was too wet, there were too many crabs (which she then decided she must destroy), she needed to visit the washroom but couldn't walk and that the playground was more fascinating than the beach. We all resigned ourselves to being very tired and called it quits. We very slowly started the journey home.

I'm not quite ready to give up on camping with my young children. Being out in nature really recharges my brain and gets me back to where I need to be to parent my kids. I know April loves it too but she is still not the best when it comes to bed time and doesn't have the awareness to be quiet for others. I like we will wait until the end of the summer to try again.

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