Well, we are just back from our first proper camping trip with Callum - tent and everything, none of this cheating caravan lark like we did last time! Oh, how I missed the caravan! It was Bank Holiday weekend and I had booked a weekend away as a surprise for Stuart and Callum (and me of course). I had wanted to go to Camber Sands as I have a great memory of going there when I was a kid - lots of sand dunes! However, there is only one campsite there that accepts tents and that was full so we went just up the road to New Romney.
I really liked the campsite. It wasn't amazing but it had the key benefits - free hot showers and nice toilets, a bar which sold food, entertainment and an indoor heated swimming pool.
We got there between 7 and 7.30 with an already grumpy Callum in tow - tired and fed up of being in a car. We tried to put up the tent as quickly as possible but imagine it was way past 8pm once done. I got started on cooking dinner while Stuart tried to get Callum to sleep. It took me an hour too cook a 20 minute meal and Callum was still awake at the end of it. We (well I as Stuart didn't know where we were going) had hoped that Callum would be ok co-sleeping in between us on the mattress. Unsurprisingly, with everything being exciting and new, Callum wasn't interested in sleeping. He did eventually go off near 10pm. Stuart and I hurried our dinner down and then with nothing better to do we went to bed too. I tried to curl around Callum on my side but there really wasn't much room for the three of us. Soon after going to bed, Callum woke up and then didn't want to go back to sleep. He hated being on the bed, hated the sleeping bag cover. Sometime in the early hours, he eventually fell asleep laying next to the bed with his head on the mattress. But then the rain kept me awake! I woke up feeling very tired and like I'd done a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson!
Callum woke grumpy but cheered up with some chocolate buttons (after his coco pops) and a swim in the pool. We had a fish and chip lunch in Dymchurch and then went to Camber Sands in the afternoon - I was determined to go there. There was the occasional sunny spell but it was very cold and windy but hey! We went over a sand dune and splashed in the waves. Couldn't quite believe there were children swimming in the sea.
We decided on a different tactic for this night. We went to the clubhouse bar to eat dinner, taking Callum in his PJs. After dinner, we let him have a bit of a run round with the other children and then near his bedtime we put him into his grobag and gave him his milk. We then put him lying down in his pushchair, covered him with a blanket (like we did in Cornwall last year) and then walked up the road to the nearby pub. He slept while we were out and then we just transfered him into bed. This time we had made a makeshift bed out of blankets for him (we had tried unsuccessfully to find a camping shop to buy him a mat or single mattress). He had a really good night's sleep, only waking once to climb into our bed, just to climb back out again. However, I was kept awake by the rain.
The next day we woke to a very very wet day. Undeterred, we headed to the Hythe - Dymchurch - New Romney - Dungeness Railway - the world's smallest public railway with steam trains going up and down. We braved the rain throughout the day to go up from Hythe to Dungeness stopping briefly to look at the model railway museum at New Romney. We went up the lighthouse at Dungenness and jumped in lots of big puddles as well as getting rained on lots.
I was in much need of a nice hot shower by the time we got back to our very wet tent.
We went for a lovely meal at the pub we had been for a drink in the night before with a still very grumpy and difficult Callum. Though, in fairness, he hadn't had much sleep during either of the last two days. We then went back to the pub on the campsite for Callum to have a bit of a runaround again and his milk. Unfortunately, Callum nose dived off a chair and whacked his tooth and cut his lip open on a table -queue lots of tears and blood and it was too painful for him to drink his milk. We eventually calpoled him up and eventually he calmed down and managed to drink some of his milk through a straw. We then settled him again in his grobag and in the pushchair where he went to sleep super quick and we relaxed in the pub. He woke when we walked back to the tent but we snuggled him in bed with us and he quickly went back to sleep again. He woke a couple of times but not too bad. The wind mainly kept me awake.
On the Monday, we pretty much got up to a sunny but very cold day, packed up the tent with a still grumpy Callum.
When we got home, I think none of us could have been more pleased than Callum to get back to his toys and a nice warm and dry environment.
So, after that epic, what else is new.
Everything is 'look' with Callum - his main word. Though has said teeth and cheese and others a bit more now.
What I really love at the moment is his singing. He sings all the time. Especially, Wind the Bobbin up and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Its just so adorable.
He loves being outside and putting shoes on - even if they are two left shoes of Stuart's!
He is fab at walking now and is even working up to a run though not quite there yet.
He really likes puzzles and is really quite good at them too. Which means he is good at putting train tracks together.
He is also pretty good at climbing now. He climbs onto the nursing chair next to his cot, up onto the arm and then swings his leg over the top of his cot. He does then get stuck there with a leg either side (ouch!) but it is frightening that he is able to do it!
As for me - the work/housework/life balance is still keeping me on my toes but the good news is we have found a cleaner who is starting next week. I can't wait!