Camping with My 3 Year Old

June 28, 2013

Make Me Laugh

Make Me Laugh for Weekend of June 28, 2013.

This week’s Make Me Laugh is submitted by Christine Maddox.

campingThe first time I went camping was when my first child was three. We had a small three man dome tent and I invited my mom to go along with me and my daughter. We decided to take some old couch cushions along because I did not relish sleeping on the cold ground and mom was not as spry as she used to be. As I type that I realize that I am the same age as mom was then now. Ugh.

We traveled quite a distance from our home in Texas through this huge state which takes you through many different terrains. I had never actually driven through desert before and I was convinced that tumble weeds and road runners were something you only saw on cartoons. I was wrong, boy was I ever! Huge rolling tumble weeds roll over the highway out there and tiny little road runners speed across your path frequently.

Our end destination was Cloudcroft, New Mexico. One of my co-workers had been talking about a vacation they had taken there and it sounded just lovely. They did not camp however; they stayed in an exclusive resort. We were still game and wanted to see the sites. We made a stop on the way at Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad New Mexico. I thought my daughter would love this since she had a fascination with rocks. It was a long way down in that cave and a lot of walking and within the first five minutes of the trip her head was buried in my neck because she was scared. I have to admit, it was a little creepy, dark, and damp. Oh well.

We finally made it to Cloudcroft and it was as beautiful as promised. It was also as high as promised, something like nine thousand feet above sea level. We rolled in to the camping park in mid-June and looked around. There were no tents to be seen, just a bunch of RV’s. It was a balmy seventy something degrees and we were warm and happy; a nice change from the humidity in the southern part of Texas. We set up camp and were kind of wondering why when we checked in they told us they had a bon fire every night where they did some sing along activities. It did not take us too long to find out because as soon as the sun went down the temperature dropped to somewhere in the thirties.

My daughter was great as we layered her with more clothing; she was getting quite a kick out of the tent, the bon fire, the huge wild eyed turkey that roamed the camp ground. We got a little concerned when we asked about the one-eyed cat and found out he had a run in with self-same turkey but we kept our distance. The fun happened at night when we all went to bed with three or more layers of clothes and four or five blankets over us. We put my daughter in the middle to protect her and all night long she lifted her legs up and pulled the blanket off of us. By the mornings the sides of the tent were heavy with wet, cold dew and we hated to move. We got out and began to make a fire and whip up breakfast. The people in the RV next to us probably thought we were insane and were looking at my little snow bunny with concern. They invited her in for a warm drink and cartoons. To this day, the warm drink and cartoons in the RV is her fondest memory of camping!

This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. She can be reached via email at:

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