By: Jennifer Murray

Man Camp

I want to support my wife in all of her passions and pursuits.  It gives me tremendous joy to give her the opportunity to go do something SHE enjoys.  So when General Mills and the Betty Crocker team invited Jen to join them for their blogging event "Baking with Betty", I really encouraged her to go.  Since I am working at home now, I have the unique ability to volunteer my time so that she can take advantage of these sorts of opportunities.

So what does a dad do by himself with 4 little boys that are full of energy for 36 hours?

CAMPING!

Our itinerary:

– Grocery Run (hot dogs, smores, other unhealthy snacks)

– Build Fire, don’t burn down house

– Roast Dogs, make smores, eat cookies

– Pitch Tents, blow up mattresses

– Sleep under a full moon!

Ok, so I am not about to pack them up by myself and head for the woods, but we did have our very first camping experience.  I consider it a preview of many camping and fishing trips to come.

Our grass was crispy brown at the time, so I did have to water everything down before I struck the first match, but we built a roaring fire that the boys really enjoyed.  It gave me a great opportunity to talk to them about fire safety.

It was perfect weather for camping.  Once it was dark, the boys all cheerfully climbed into their tents without protest (much to my surprise).  When I was tucking him in, Brooks looked at me very seriously and said, "Daddy, the birds no get in my tent when it’s dark outside?"  I said, "Birds?  No buddy, no birds are going to get in your tent tonight."  He just smiled and put his thumb in his mouth, ready to drift off to sleep.

I was amazed, after 15 minutes of chatter, the back yard grew silent.  All four of my boys were sleeping outside for the first time!  It was this daddy’s dream come true until…..the swarm descended.  You see, we have individual travel tents* for the boys because we use them when we are on the road with the boys.  We do not yet have an adult tent, so I figured I would sleep on an air mattress under the stars.  That plan was going well until the dive bombing mosquitoes attacked at midnight.  I finally lifted each sleeping boy from his tent and retreated to the house.  My mission was still mostly accomplished, but I am going to have to find a tent for next time.

Man Camp was a success, but we were all 5 very glad to see mamma again.  Stay tuned, I think there will be many outdoor adventures to come!

QuatroDaddy

* Links to Amazon Affiliate

11 Responses to “Man Camp”

  1. Suzy
    August 30, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    We just got four PeaPods for our crew … taking a trip to TX next month! Do you have any tips on how to acclimate the kids to the new sleeping arrangements? We are thinking about putting the PeaPods in their cribs for a few nights, and then moving them out into the living room for another couple of nights before we head out on the road …

    Keep up with me, Ted, and our Fab Four at four-by-two.blogspot.com

  2. Lacie
    August 30, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I LOVE IT! Great job Dad! :-)

  3. QuatroMama
    August 30, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    Suzy, we had them sleep in them a week before for 3 or 4 nights to get them used to them. It was a little ugly for a while, but they acclimated, and its been our saving grace ever since. Love those things! With your crew being a little older it might be easier…ours were just 15 months when we started using them. Make it fun – “camping” “tents” “special beds” your excitement should go a long way! Call me for more suggestions!

  4. Lauren Green
    August 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    That looks like SO much fun! I’m sure the boys will LOVE it! That is my style of camping – in your backyard, so you still have access to your bathrooms and kitchen!

  5. Tricia (Once A Month Mom)
    August 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    So cute! And I got a good giggle out of visualizing you carrying each one of them to the house when they were asleep. Kudos for you for trying that by yourself! I am sure they loved it and will have memories for years to come.

  6. QuatroMama
    August 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Tricia, I think he was afraid the ones still left in the yard would wake up while he was carrying the others in, and be scared for their lives out in the backyard alone. However, they snoozed right through it. Sad to miss it, but so glad they had a blast as “dudes” while I was away!

  7. Amy
    August 30, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    I LOVE those tents! We take them to church camp with us, throw the girls in them… perfecto!

    Sorry the swarm killed the mood, but I’m SO IMPRESSED your kids went to sleep OUTSIDE without a fuss… my girls FLIP OUT at being outside in the dark. There’s no way they would sleep out there, lol! Good job, Daddy!

  8. Liz@HoosierHomemade
    August 30, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    You are one brave Dad! It was great to meet you Jen! Maybe we can get together again sometime soon!
    ~Liz

  9. Barbara Manatee
    August 30, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    Way to go Dad!! Way to make it a fun weekend while Mom was gone!!

  10. AmazingGreis
    August 30, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    Way to go QuatroDad!! Looks like ya’ll had a great time while Mom was away!!

  11. Tanyetta
    September 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Great job!!!!

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