So, did tents and toddlers mix?

Earlier this year I posted about whether tents and toddlers mixed in anticipation of going to The Big Feastival with Master ATWWAH.  It would be his first ‘sleeping in a tent experience’ and after re-reading the post just now I had set pretty high standards for the weekend.

Sadly my common sense approach of pitching the tent in the garden for a practice run never actually happened so Master ATWWAH’s first sight of the fully erected tent was at about 10pm after Mr ATWWAH and my brother, Mr W had spent a couple of hours putting it up with only headlights to help.

Sadly the 90 mile trip to Alex James’ farm didn’t take the anticipated two hours, instead we spent two hours trying to escape a gridlocked London and then a further three hours on the motorway and A-roads of Oxfordshire.  Instead of arriving at 4pm we didn’t get there until 7.30pm.

It’s a five man tent and Master ATWWAH’s initial reaction was ‘no like tent’ and every time we put him in there he ran out.  Big tantrums started, not just from him, but me too.  I sometimes forget he’s only a toddler and even after trying to explain to him that something isn’t scary I get frustrated that he carries on crying and being upset about it.  Like most toddlers, and his mum, he’s very strong willed, so no amount of chatting and dancing around the tent tiredly was convincing him that it was a good idea to go into it.

So, Mr ATWWAH and I then spent over an hour walking around the fields of the campsite, reciting the Hippos Go Beserk story to him and taking it in turns to carry him.  He eventually fell asleep in my arms and we tread carefully back to the tent not wanting to wake him or trip up over guide ropes.  Removing his shoes and jacket was a game of nerves but he eventually made it into the double sleeping bag with me next to him while Mr ATWWAH drew the short straw with the thinnest camp bed ever.

He slept soundly until 6am when he woke, realised where he was and instantly started screaming and demanding to see his cousin who was in the next door tent.  My brother, and the fellow campers, loved their alarm call.  Funnily enough he seemed to really like Mr W’s two man tent, and if he wasn’t sharing with his own son I’d have sent him off there from the start.

Unsurprisingly later on in the morning we noticed that a tent which was pitched right behind us had moved locations.  Oops.

The second night was a bit easier as he had had a whole day in the sunshine and had nodded off on the way to the tent.  And even when he woke at 5am Mr ATWWAH managed to get him back off to sleep, although we did hear lots of other movement in tents around the same time so we definitely weren’t popular.

And, just to prove that toddlers are a contrary bunch when we returned home on the Sunday Master ATWWAH was really put out that we came home.  He declared ‘no like home, sleep in tent’  Hmm, I don’t think so.

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