|Dada, Egg and Dumps...my soon to be tent-mates (God help me)|
Though I can scarcely believe we're doing this, in a matter of hours we shall be taking the monsters to The Wilderness Festival on a beautiful estate in Oxfordshire. By all accounts it looks gorgeous, and there is a lake, swimming, boating, a spa, 5 course banquets, and even boutique babysitting where you can drop your 'I love them but I don't like them right now' rugrats off for up to six hours of kiddie festival fun while you either bunk off back to your tent for a decadent nap, or get up to no good with your significant other somewhere else on site (Masked Ball anyone?).
However (and this is a BIG however), we have done this once before - at The Big Chill Festival three years ago - and it was....an unmitigated D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R.
To be fair, fun was had, but strictly during daytime hours. As soon as the sun fell from the sky, so did any hope of surviving the coming nocturnal night from hell, as our normally darling little Dumps was transformed into a screaming demon from hell.
(Dumpie, as you may or may not recall, did not take to camping very well. In fact he hated it. A light sleeper at the best of times, he would wake shortly after midnight and spend the next several hours before dawn issuing forth with the most torturous screams such that offers of 'Do you want some milk for your baby?' from disgruntled strangers in nearby tents, was easily translated into "Are you torturing that poor child?! Should we be getting the police in?!") It was enough to traumatise us to such extent that we've never attempted festival camping since.
So you see...even though Dumpie is a few years older now, indeed nearly the age Egg was when we last went camping - and he was fine - Dumpie is NOT Egg. Not even close.
Dumps has already developed a taste for the finer things in life. He likes his utensils to be sparkling clean or he won't use them...tables must be shiny and devoid of spills (even if he made them!) before he will deem to put his plate down...he will NOT sit on a toilet that is dirty in any way. OOPS. That could be trouble...big trouble. Wait until he gets a look in at the festival toilets....there is NO way he is going to deem them fit for use (a fair point) - so does that mean he's going to spend the weekend soiling himself and his little Gap skinny jeans as a makeshift porto-potty?! Urgh. I hope not...but yet I can see it (sigh).
It's been a crazy week what with the riots - one of the worst just down the road from here. Tuesday night I was upstairs in bed watching the breaking news on telly, idly wondering why the husband wasn't doing the same, or indeed even in bed at 2:30am. Turns out it's because he was down at the riots of course - filming scenes of hooliganism on his little nikon and trusting his big red bicycle to transport him safely home through the skirmish.
I don't know why I was surprised. Of course he was there. One of the benefits to living in a tall skinny home is that when you're on the top floor (lately more and more my escape hideaway...my lovely balconied bedroom) you cannot hear what is happening on the lower floors. Usually this is grand - especially when the monsters are watching 'The Octonauts' at ear splitting volume downstairs - but in certain cases it makes it tremendously easy for the husband to slip out for whole evenings of frolicking of which I have no idea about. Oh well.
Nonetheless, with local shops still boarded up and the whole area feeling a touch too 'inner city' at the moment, it's not a bad thing to be getting out of the city, to walk amongst beautiful green farm land and get back to nature for a few days.
I hope this is a good idea and that i'm not being totally delusional - which is always a risk. Are we 'the camping sort'?? I mean we have two boys so I guess by proxy we are but...hmmm...I can't help but wonder whether twenty-fours or so from now will see me standing outside a set of loo's, trying to cajole Dumpie inside as opposed to soiling his very last pair of clean trousers. In the rain. While the husband is off watching 'Toots & The Maytals' in a field somewhere...oblivious to his wife's mental anguish. His PREGNANT wife's mental anguish.
(Yep, you heard it correctly folks...and on that bombshell...)
...to be continued...