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Re: babies at Pennsic

>At 03:27 PM 6/10/99 -0700, April Dwiggins wrote:
>**If I were you I would think long and hard about doing that.  I
>>do not mean to seem the doom-sayer, but you may find yourself with a
>>very grouchy infant on your hands.  Pennsic is big, loud, hot (or
>>alternately wet)and you are generally at the mercy of the elements.

    While I've haven't taken an infant to Pennsic, I have taken them many
times to Mardi Gras in NOLA, which is big, loud, hot, often wet and we
always had a great time.   The key is to be prepared, and to pay attention
to the little buggers, too.

>>While we as adults accept this as being simply part and parcel of the
>>whole Pennsic gig, an infant isn't going to understand why bugs are
>>eating at him the whole time,

    Why would they?  Bug spray their clothes if it's a problem, and mosquito
netting over the crib...

>>why he can't seem to be cool,

        Sponge baths...

>>why he is soaking wet from a leaky tent

    Fix the leaks...

>>and why those barbarians over there won't shut up so he can sleep.

    When my daughters were infants they seemed to be able to sleep through
anything short of an artillery barrage, however at Baron Wars last year the
gentles in the next site over thought my fiance's daughter's name was
Caitlin-lie-down :-)  Most infants under one year seem to be able to fall
asleep without difficulty in the wierdiest surroundings, YMMV.

>>In the end, I think that the poor child will
>>end up having a simply miserable time.  And that translates into you
>>and your husband having a simply miserable time.

With a little preparation I think you should all have a good time.

Caitlin wrote:

>My nine-year-old daughter will attend
>her tenth Pennsic this summer.  At her first War, she was 2 1/2 months old.
> We stayed less than the whole time (I think she was there for about four
>or five days), had a good War, and we have had a good War with her every
>year that she has gone (and every time after the first has been for at
>least 10 days, and generally for both setup and war week).  She was at Mud
>War, at hot Wars, at cool Wars.  She has also attended virtually every
>camping event that I have attended during that period.  She has slept in
>her own tent since she was three.  As a result, I have a child who will
>camp happily in any weather; who will sleep anywhere; who will eat
>anything; and who takes discomfort and inconvenience in stride as part of
>the price she happily pays to play in the SCA.

    I have to heartily agree, (unsolicited endorsement :-) I've camped in
the same camp with Kindra at two Pennsics and she's a great little camper.

    My daughters have camped since they were little and enjoy it and expect
the little discomforts as a minor price to pay.  Last year I was a lot more
concerned about bringing my 16 year old to her first Pennsic than I am about
the two year old we're bringing this year.  I was afraid she'd be bored and
unhappy, instead she jumped right in and had a great time.  Don't take
counsel of your fears!

Caitlin continues:
>It does put a responsibility on parents, especially when you have an
>infant, to make sure that they stay hydrated, that they sleep warm, that
>they have enough sunscreen and so on.  But babies are closer to nature than
>we are, and they can handle it if you approach it in an organized way.

    I'd suggest for anyone bringing younguns to have a supply of games, and
if you can swing a kiddy wading pool in the camp it can go a long way to
reduce the total level of crankiness.  Trading baby-sitting time with other
parents with kids is also a good idea.  Keeping the kids hydrated is
important, and for nursing moms it's vital to stay well hydrated yourself.

>As my daughter Kindra says, you should bring them when they are young, so
>that when they get old (like her<g>) they'll "know what to do and all."

    Yeah, what she said!