Camping is not conducive for sleep. In the dead of night you can hear every conversation, snore and fart across the campsite. You are never alone, it is like being in a bedroom with 100 other people. The snoring was entertaining for the first 10 minutes but became irritating after the third hour, especially when multiple snoring created one long uninterrupted snore.
When I did sleep I would wake in a panic when the slightest movement would make the airbed tilt to one side. Lack of movement in a sleeping bag doesn’t help, especially when your preferred sleeping method is ‘over active starfish’. I only had to roll over to witness my husband in his newly purchased ‘mummy’ sleeping bag. He looked like he’d been vacuum packed and would need the help of a physiotherapist and some lubricant to get moving again in the morning.
All of this seemed irrelevant by 05.41 each morning when the 2 year old came bounding out of his pod like a schizophrenic kangaroo on Christmas morning. I became irrational, threatening him with all sorts of beastly things ‘get back into bed or I will burn all your toys on the camp fire’, ‘go back to sleep or we will go home right now and leave you here’, ‘go back to bed or I will beat you with a tent pole’. I imagined Supernanny’s harsh bespectacled face peering through the tent flap and in her monotone Dick Van Dyke voice saying “Laura, what are you doin? Neffer freaten anyfing you can’t foller frough”. She may well be a behavioural specialist but she’s left a trail of children up and down the country unable to enunciate the ‘th’ sound. At this point I pulled myself together and took the 2 year old on a ‘bear hunt’ in the woods surreptitiously hopeful that a great grizzly would leap out of the bushes and eat him so I could go back to my ‘restricted starfish’ slumber.
Every time we camp we buy a new piece of camping kit. Next time I think I’ll spare the dog’s shame and buy some adult nappies and if anyone has invented a soundproof, blackout tent cover I’d be very interested to hear from them.