Chapter Three: The first night

So you want to know what you look like after the first night of camping with four kids, one of which only knows how to go to sleep by being on his own, in a darkened room, in a cot?

LOOK! It was so horrendous it made my boobs sag. No. Seriously. They used to point to the sky. In about 1982.

Even Jasper was bleary eyed. Although I must say, he is certainly not a morning person.
Neither is Felix
But this, this was the offender:
OH NO, don’t be fooled by all that cuteness, those big blue and brown eyes, those lashes. Do.Not.Fall.For.It. It took him about a hundred hours of screaming to fall asleep – eventually succumbing to the land of nod in the middle of the tent on the cold hard ground at around 10pm, which when you’re camping feels like 3am.

I moved him ever so gently into our bed and that was a success until midnight. When he had a fairly standard session of light sleep that would normally have seen him sit up, roll over, find his thumb, find his Bobo and go back to sleep.

Instead he sat up (in his sleep) went to roll over and landed on Chef which then caused him to scream for about the next hour or so. I actually started to panic as it wasn’t his normal scream it was a rigid head thrown back body as stiff as a board eyes not focussing scream. I thought at one stage he was having some sort of fit and there was absolutely nothing, NOTHING, that would make him stop or even scream a little bit more quietly.

The scrag in the tent next to us started swearing at us. Can you believe that!?! I mean, she even had kids of her own. I was going to yell ‘have a little compassion’ back at her but thought she may well burn our tent down so just didn’t go there.

The only thing he wanted was the beep beep (the car) and the beep beep to go brum brum (ie – let’s GO THE FUCK HOME). So there I was, now around 1ish, with the little fella, who was doing that shuddery breathing that comes following a good hard screamfest.

Everytime I went to go back into the tent he would start up again.

When he realised we were not going anywhere in the brum brum he was all – let’s go down there – to the camp kitchen. But I wasn’t allowed back to the tent for my ugg boots. SO – in the FREEZING and WET middle.of.the.night. there I was walking this little turkey all the way down a gravel/dirt/mud road to the kitchen. And back. Twice.

Feeling in my toes has returned since, thank you for asking.

He finally relented at returning to the tent – perhaps due to his need to raise his body temperature winning over the urge to scream – and we got a whole two more hours before the screaming started again. This time he wanted a bottle and listen, quite frankly by then I was happy to give the kid his first Bacardi Breezer and packet of Winnie Blues if he’d just – FOR THE LOVE OF GOD – stop crying and go back to sleep.

This time I remembered my ugg boots and down we went to the camp kitchen (because he refused the bottle of cold milk – I KNOW. DON’T START. I WAS DESPERATE). I only nearly died three times – the first when a bounded across in front of us and then when we saw more down near the kitchen and can I just say, these roos weren’t skippy, they were more the Australian version of Frank.

Anyway, after the bottle we got a whole two hours more before – HELLO NATURE! HELLO BIRDS! – the rest of the boys woke up and the day started.

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