I am not a camper, never have been and never will be. Give me a five star hotel with fluffy robe and slippers, a mini bar and some bubble bath and I'm sorted. So how I found myself in a tent in the garden with my three children on a Saturday night has me baffled.
It all started when their dad said he'd take them camping next weekend, on his own. He didn't even invite me because he knows the answer. The kids were so excited and went to choose a tent; the largest tent I've ever seen (well nearly, apart from my friend Marias, she has a lounge with a blow up settee and rugs, and three bedrooms!).
So, as it was a nice day on Saturday, Chris and Ben decided to put the tent up whilst Lauren, Nat and I were in the theatre watching Joseph. We returned to see every square inch of the lawn taken up with a very high tech looking tent.
Of course, the kids wanted to sleep in it that night, and eat their tea in it - Chris had bought a table with four chairs (four not five, I was not in the calculation). It was agreed then Chris and the children would sleep in the tent and I would look after the cats and sleep in my comfortable warm bed.
Hours later though, I was told things had changed and that the kids had voted for mummy to camp and daddy to sleep in the house. They felt sorry for me because I'm missing the weekend away next week (but honestly I didn't mind a bit), so wanted to make me feel better by allowing me the chance to sleep under the stars!! Aaaah, bless them.
They pestered, and pestered, and so................ I gave in. I did insist on having my duvet, sheet and pillows rather than a sleeping bag though, so they made my bed up for me and we had a little snack at the table early evening (with daddy) and got into our beds.
That's when the mayhem started. Giddy is an understatement. All three of them were bouncing around on the blow up beds, throwing pillows and giggling. I let it happen and even joined in abit and actually found myself enjoying it.
Two hours later we were reading Horrid Henrys Underpants and they were lying still. Then we heard a car, and a loud hello, and two heads popped round the door of the tent. Jennie, my mate and her husband Richard had called round for a nosey. They're caravanners (new to it), and Jennie couldn't beleive I was in a tent!
That was it, the kids were giddy again. Jennie got into my bed; we called 'room service' (Chris, in the house) and he brought out the wine and we had a natter and a giggle with the kids showing off the tent and my new jeep.
At 10.45pm Nat was beside himself so the kids and I excused ourselves and the other three adults retired to the house. The four of us went to sleep quite quickly but were rudely awoken pretty soon after by some rather large heavy rain drops on the tent.
Lauren hated it, and ran into the house where Jennie put her to bed while Chris and Richard were fumbling around in the dark trying to put the roof back on my car. The boys went back to sleep.
Two hours later Ben woke me up saying he couldn't sleep so he too went back into the house to his bed.
That left me and Nat snuggled under my duvet where we had a lovely sleep until 7.30am the following morning.
What a palava! How Chris is going to cope next weekend I'm not sure. But I didn't enjoy it so much that I'm volunteering to join him to help!