Today was the first day on the campsite where we four were glamping, sorry, camping alone. For the previous couple of days we have had some visitors and it was fantastic to see them as they really helped with "Stop! James" who had a penchant for pulling himself up onto the free-standing and slightly unstable, gas cooker.
One of my friends who came to visit, brought her beautiful little girl who has been friends with Bethan since they were about 6 weeks old. This particular friend who I met when the girls were still babies completely knows and understands the PTSD I suffered in those first few months following Bethan's difficult birth. I credit meeting her and the other 3 mothers that I also met at that time with helping me learn to laugh and relax around what I considered to be my sick baby.
Back to the campsite.
So, this friend is a Therapist and I was telling her about the difficulties that I thought I would have with my OCD whilst living in a tent on a campsite. Let's face it, campsites aren't known for their 5 star award rating for cleanliness and my knuckles were already cracking and bleeding from the amount of washing and cleaning I had done in the lead up to our camping expedition. Unfortunately, this need to wash my hands before layering on copious amounts of anti-bacterial gel in addition to cleaning door handles at every possible opportunity, stems from being institutionalised on a neonatal ward where the cleanliness has to be meticulous, especially around the premmies.
However, my friend praised me for going on the campsite with my baby and embracing the whole 'back to nature' thing (even though we had an electric fridge and heater, to me I was still heading 'back to nature'). She continued to say that it is good to get out of your comfort zone and build your confidence and the children will benefit from that confidence too.
I'm not even going to suggest for one minute that my OCD is cured as I was on pins about not being able to sterilise (even though James was eating soil sandwiches) but I started to become accustomed to the fact that you can't control everything and dare I say it; I started to relax! Watching Bethan and Rob relax (James kind of did but he was on a Dora and Diego mission to get to the gooey geyser most days; at one point he crawled and climbed through our picnic so he could get to the purple, plastic spoon) really helped and for the first time in about 20 months, I managed to read my 'Time' magazine from cover to cover in one sitting. However, we still brought the cordless Dyson; just in case.
Camping Etiquette - the children's playground *9
*Rob said that I forgot to include this in my previous camping etiquette guide. When on the children's playground, know your place. Priority for the swings and co goes in the following descending order:
1. Recurring visitors to the campsite.
2. Age - the older you are, the more likely you are to be able to go on the swings and flirt with the other teenagers from Meadow 4 who you see each Bank Holiday.
3. Bog - standard young campers like Bethan and James. They didn't care as Beth loved running after the frisbee, bat and ball and plastic skittles that we had brought with us and James enjoyed eating them :-)