1. Load the girls in their strollers and walk to dinner. Ignore the “oh shit” faces of the waitstaff when you ask for a table for four. Swear that you can see the woman’s brain say, “Are you sure you don’t want it To Go?”
2. Stop for ice cream on the way home. Okay, so it’s gelato, because the line for Fenton’s Creamery looks like it’s Free Scoop Day. Only it’s not. Revel in the joy that is your child covered in chocolate.
3. Set up the tent in the living room, unroll the sleeping bags, load all the flashlights with batteries and turn out the lights. Now camp.
4. Curl up and watch the girls play a game of chase around the tent. Laugh at their exuberance and scoot over to let them take turns getting into your sleeping bag and pretend to be asleep.
5. Turn the lights back on while Jocelyn cheerfully announces, “We did it camping.” Put the kids to bed.
I decided that one way to bring a little excitement to the holiday weekend would be to try out camping at home. I have bred urban babies so it’s important to ease them into life amongst the things that creep and crawl. We have taken plenty of opportunities to hike and be one with nature, in daylight hours. But camping is not in Khary’s vocabulary, so perhaps this is more about easing him in.
To say the girls enjoyed it is an understatement. But two things were clear:
1. Jocelyn prefers the ability to turn a light on and off.
2. Camping at home does not equal sleeping in a tent. After two hours of running and screaming and laughing, it was clear that we were going to have to put them to sleep in their room.