The entire world and his wife are either camping or at a festival this weekend. Or so it would seem.
Social media is awash with images of glitter clad revellers, living their best life and it makes me wonder if we could handle it as a family.
A couple of months ago, one of my best friends asked us to go to Camp Bestival but I had to say no. There were three main reasons for this.
1. Money. Festivals are not cheap. In particular, family centred festivals are very much for the middle class, there’s no way a family on the bread line could afford it. Now, I’m not for a second saying we’re poverty stricken but we can just about manage one holiday a year and so, if we were to hit up a festival, we’d have to decide the year before, allowing 12 months to save.
2. The Bearded Manc is a curmudgeon. At least when it comes to camping, an activity he flat refuses to partake in. He detests it. It would take a very calculated charm offensive to persuade him otherwise. It’s not impossible, I could break him ( I always do) but at what cost to me?
3. Me. I’m the main reason. I’m not sure I’m up to the task of being a parent at a festival. I could physically do it, of course, plenty of worse parents do, but I’m not sure I want to just yet. Bear and Bunni are 1 & 4 years old, respectively, and I feel like that’s too young for any of us to actually enjoy it.
For starters, how do people not lose their kids? I am paranoid about misplacing one or other babe at the best of times, so keeping my eyes on them at a busy festival sounds like a frought, hair-turning-grey, nightmare to me. It’s making me clammy just thinking about it.
Then there’s the sleep situation. Both of my babes like to be tucked up and snoring by 7:30pm (and who am I to argue?). One (slightly) late night knocks them for six, so sleeping in a tent at a busy festival (with The Bearded Manc snoring for Britain), isn’t going to go well and guess who has to deal with the fallout?
And let’s not forget the portaloo’s (rank!!) and the good old British weather which is currently doing its best to blow everyone away across the channel to France.
All in all, I feel like it would kind of be pointless for us right now. We’d spend the entire time trying to contain Bunni whose only interest would be doing a Usain Bolt impression across the fields (the saying ‘wrangling snakes’, comes to mind), while maintaining a visual on Bear, thus not actually experiencing any of the acts.
Tantrums aplenty and nighttime marital disharmony would ensue, in whispered voices so as not to disturb the already shattered small people who we dragged to a field and told them to have fun (but not the kind of fun they actually want).
That being said, I’ve loved seeing everyone’s photos (even if it has been rained off today). They’ve inspired me. If others can do it, so can I. When we’re ready.
Next year, my babes will be 2 & 5 years old which seems more doable, so perhaps we’ll see you there? In the meantime, tell me your secrets to doing a festival with littles ones and not just surviving it (as I suspect many do), but actually enjoying it.
For now though, we are more than happy to make our own little festival at home and dream of future adventures in the Big Top.