• Bed time, and How to Get There.

    The summer we first had Thomas we went to the lake about 6 times, maybe for a total of 25 days. I loved being on maternity leave & the flexibility of not being restricted to only weekends! Most of the challenges we faced camping were small, but the hardest part of camping was no different than the hardest part of being home - dreaded evening time.

    I can't say Thomas was colicky, because he'd only scream and cry for 45 - 60 minutes, but he still screamed and cried for 45-60 minutes every night. Yes, every night. Apparently babies need to do this for about 3 hours to be considered Colicky. To all those parents with Colicky kids, I'm very sorry. Very very sorry. As time went on and the months past - the crying got less and less, eventually only 15 minutes! Then sometimes there was no crying and eventually there was only fussing. Now, Thomas is always happy :) But that's now.... not last summer.

    To spare our Nitinaht family from this nightly horror, we'd disappear into our camper every night around 6. I'd nurse Thomas, Neil would sing to him. We'd do everything we could to settle him. Sometimes holding him did & sometimes putting him down did. There was no easy or consistent solution, but we tried together every single night for months. Eventually, when he'd finally take the bottle (I'd nurse for as long as I could, but there was never enough milk) and drank most of it - he'd give us a satisfied look, so I'd nurse him again. And we'd put him down, he'd roll to the corner of his bassinet and finally fall asleep. The routine was the same at home, but there - the off duty parent could disappear into a quiet room. Not so in the camper!

    We'd re-appear outside about an hour, hour and a half later with big smiles, pretending everything was good. Well, I guess we weren't pretending - we were really happy. Happy Thomas was sound asleep (cute as can be) and happy that it was now our time, time for a beer & time to spend with our friends! But, maybe we pretended a bit about how easy it was to get Thomas down. Convinced ourselves and our friends that we were pros and bedtime was like any other time.

    A year and a bit later I can honestly say that those nights, at home or in the camper, were the hardest part of having a new baby. Harder than waking up with Thomas several times a night, and definitely harder than anything we've faced since he's become a toddler!

    But another thing I can honestly say is that it made no difference if we were camping, or if we were home. It was just hard.


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