We're going camping this weekend, and we're taking our seven month old baby with us.
When some people hear this, they raise their eyebrows as if I've just said, "We're climbing Kilimanjaro blindfolded, then racing down it on unicycles," or, "We're going to Ikea on a bank holiday Monday." But I don't believe having children should stop you from doing what you want to do.
Hahaha what nonsense. What I really want to do is spend a week in Tuscany, lying around, drinking wine, and never having to wipe anyone else's bottom. But I can't find any agriturismos willing to pay my comedy partner and I to prat about in gold catsuits for an hour, so we're off to Camp Bestival.
This is a family festival - it's like a regular festival, but with less drugs and dance music and more Dick and Dom. Word is that headline act Mr Tumble has a rider longer than Kanye's, with demands including "200 freshly prepared custard pies" and "everything in the dressing room to be covered in giant coloured spots."
We're performing, too, as the Scummy Mummies (rider: two bottles of warm rosé.) I'm not nervous about doing the show, because we are professional comedians with strong material we know back to front, and we'll drink the rosé before we go on. But if I'm honest, I am a bit nervous about spending three nights sleeping in a structure made out of cloth on a crap lilo with a small baby who still wants feeding every two hours.
I'm trying to remind myself that I've been camping loads of times, and have even almost enjoyed it once or twice. Take last summer, for example, when I survived Latitude while pregnant and looking after a three year old.
Sure, I went to bed at 9pm every night, and woke up one morning to find the tent collapsing around me like a fabric coffin, but having kids doesn't have to alter your enjoyment of festivals. (Certainly not if you're my husband, who popped out for "a few beers" one night, and returned to the tent at 5.30am - covered in mud, looking insane, and babbling about "this really cool chick I met who's got an Airstream." Good times.)
So for what it's worth, here are my top tips for camping with small children.
1. Take All the Baby Wipes
Every parent knows how useful baby wipes can be, but they really come into their own while camping. You cannot bring too many.
2. Befriend an Australian
Based on all the ones I've met (four), Australians love camping. They are brilliant at it. This is partly because they are genetically coded to survive in harsh environmental conditions against all the odds, and mainly because they Have All The Stuff. Gazebos, head torches, fold-out dining tables, barbecues, tiny extra tents just for keeping beer cool... For a much more comfortable camping experience, get an Australian friend. Or better still, comedy partner.
3. Let Them Eat Cakes
There's a reason Bear Grylls is always foraging for berries and boiling up hay - this is easier than planning, shopping for, prepping and cooking normal meals while camping. Take some bananas and raisins, sure, but take a break from worrying about whether the kids are getting their full five a day. They can spend a few days surviving on tiny boxes of Frosties and Pom Bear crisps. In fact, this is what Bear Grylls eats when the cameras are off.
4. Drink Through It
Alcohol makes crap lilos more comfortable and tinned food tastier. It warms you up from the inside out. It makes camping bearable, even enjoyable. Again, Bear Grylls likes nothing more after six hours of rubbing sticks together than relaxing with a nice pint of Bailey's. (JUST BUY A LIGHTER, BEAR, THEY ARE FIVE FOR A POUND DOWN THE MARKET)
5. Buy A Lottery Ticket
You never know, you might get lucky, and then next year you can go to Center Parcs.
A new episode of The Scummy Mummies Podcast is released every fortnight - listen free via scummymummies.com or download via iTunes. We're on Facebook and Twitter - @scummymummies. Come see us perform live at Camp Bestival, July 31st - 2 Aug.