Our 4 year old daughter has been wanting to go camping the last few weeks. For some reason or another she’s got camping in her head and has brought it up quite a few times recently. She probably got it from TV or perhaps from her preschool – what with them learning about summer activities and such.
The problem? We’re not exactly what you’d call a camping kind of family. I’ve only ever done it once in my life – not by choice – and the hosts had a nice RV in which I slept. I’m just not a get-intimate-with-earth kind of girl.
That said, I could see us parking a little trailer or mini-RV on some campgrounds and spending one (do I dare stay two?) night “camping.” But, of course, we have no plans to buy a trailer/RV anytime soon. So, when our baby girl says she wants to go camping, the answer she gets is obviously no.
Being the clever little girl she is, the other night she answered back by saying, “let’s pretend we’re camping.” Thankfully, I have a creative husband who immediately thought up a way we could do this in our own house. After he arrived home from work and we had all eaten dinner, the man proceeded to set up “camp” in our living room.
He set up a toy tent she already had, brought out some marshmallows, chopsticks, and a flashlight. (Bare with me, this will all make sense soon.) He then stacked some of her books on the floor and stood an empty paper-towel roll in the middle to hold the flashlight. We sat down on the floor, used the chopsticks as our wooden sticks and “roasted” our marshmallows over our fake flashlight-campfire. Of course, we went around and made up stories as we ate our marshmallows.
Our baby girl was not just happy we had gone “camping,” she was ecstatic. I think it was even better than the real thing - no bugs, no allergies, no mess. And, I had found a new appreciation for my dear husband. Don’t get me wrong – I always appreciate him. But, seeing how fast he could whip up a camp-site, please our daughter (and me), and watch him be an all-around great father while roasting his marshmallows…well, it touched that soft spot I have in my heart for him.
Now, if he could just whip up an in-home spa for me, I’d be one happy mami!