How's it going? Good New Years Eve I hope, lots of partying and staying up to see in 2013? We celebrated the New Year by camping in the garden. It was a sort of dry run for when/if we decide to go camping in far off places. We've got a six man tent which if you know anything about tents means the manufacturers supply those plan diagrams showing something like it's the 18th century British Slave Ship Brookes with the six people sleeping head to foot and no other room for anything. So in reality this means that we had enough room to fit one double air mattress and one single air mattress in it with the idea that I'd sleep on the single and Juliette and the kids would sleep on the double. All good so far. All set for a great night's camping. All tickety boo.
Now the sticking point in the plan was always going to be Sam because Sam needs total darkness to go to sleep and one thing tents aren't very good at is keeping the light out when the sun's up. No one ever goes into a tent when it's daylight and says "I can't see a thing it's so dark in here!". So we all "pretend" to settle in for the night at quarter to seven in the hopes that Sam would get all sleepy and then we could all squeeze out again when he's off in the land of nod. Alas come seven o'clock Sam is running around bouncing off the insides of the tent like psyched up WWF wrestler bouncing off the ropes in a wrestling ring. Me, Juliette and Eva were on the air beds in the middle just watching him go back and forth, up and down, back and forth. The tipping moment came however when he stopped running around, crouched in the corner of the tent and silently crapped in his nappy. We're like "Sam are you doing poo poos?" and he's wide eyed, his shoulders hunched up around his ears, red faced, you could hear the straining in his voice as he say "Er, no?". That's when we decided to abandon all of us camping and get Sam back into the familiar routine of sleeping in his own bed. Changing a poo-ey nappy is risky at the best of times but when everywhere poo could go is your bed then it's time to relocate. Eva was so disappointed that I said that she should go to sleep in her bed for now and then when I went to bed I'd carry her out to the tent and she and I would camp instead. So that's what we did.
So I'm not staying up till midnight because we've got little kids and they don't give a sh*t about sleep ins as you know. Ten O'clock rolls around and I go and get the sleeping bag to wrap Eva up in. I wake her up; she's sleepy but excited and I take her single duvet cover for me to sleep in. I get us out to the tent where summer now appeared to have left us as the temperature is now in the nippy region. It may because it's been up in the 28/29 degree area for the past week but that night the temperature had dropped down to 8/9 degrees so it felt colder - a lot colder than that temperature had any right being. I wrap Eva up in the sleeping bag and tuck myself in with the single duvet next to her on the double air mattress. Snug as a bug in rug. But Eva doesn't go to sleep because she's too hot in the sleeping bag so I unzip it and let her sleep on top. Five minutes later she's too cold. Repeat. So to cut a long story short we end up sharing the single duvet with the associated problem that someone is not going to get some covers. That someone is obviously me because I'm the dad and if Eva is cold she's going to be waking me up anyway. Why didn't I use the sleeping bag? Because the air mattress was cold too and the sleeping bag was now keeping the warmth from being leeched into the cold rubber. So we settle in for a good nights sleep ...
Tom the cat is an excellent rat catcher as I've mentioned before which is curious because he's very loud when he's moving around at night. I mean it's not long until he starts meowing and stalking us in the tent. Proper yowling meowing. It's like cat talk for "Hey! I'm coming to getcha!", pause, louder meow, "I'm get really close now dude!", pause, louder still, "I'm right behind you! Wooo!". I don't know how he knew which way we were sleeping or that we were in there in the first place but in the end it resulted in Tom dabbing my head through the lycra like tent wall. Dab, dab, dab. You've got to be kidding me. So because I'm laying down I moved my fist past my pillow like Superman doing his flying pose and punched him. Problem solved.
Another issue was the Waikato Hunt Kennels or rather the Hound of the Baskervilles, Cujo, Cerberus and co. that live at the Waikato Hunt Kennels over the hill. We usually hear them howling at feeding time around 4pm. It's a little bit disconcerting if you don't know that someone hasn't actually opened up a gateway to hell what with all the noise that sounds like the screaming souls of the dead but once you know what it is everything is good. I think it was because it was New Years and the dogs were spooked but they started howling like it was a new moon or something. They didn't really let up until the last of the far off fireworks and the popping of champagne corks finished sometime after midnight. So I didn't plan to be awake at midnight but I was. Happy New Year!
An hour or two later ... dab, dab, dab, f*ck off Tom, Superman punch.
Eva woke up at half five in the morning and pretty much wanted to spring out of bed like she'd had the best night's sleep ever. I crawled out with her and she managed to watch all of the film of "Despicable Me" (runtime 95 minutes) before Juliette and Sam stumbled into the living room at half seven or so. I went back to bed of course for an hour because I'd done my parental duty. Dad of the Year 2013 - back of the net! I'm thinking of slacking off for the rest of the year because I reckon I've peaked too early. Right, I'm off to find out where Tom's sleeping and dab his head until he tries to Superman punch me.
Love Mark xxx