A couple of months ago we bought a tent at Target; our intention was to do a camp out in the back yard, something Jessica's experience with the Girl Scouts has made her interested in. Tonight we were going to give it a try, or at least the girls were (the tent is big, but wouldn't really be comfortable for all four of us).
Jessica and Elyse were very excited, and all wound up. They brought a whole host of supplies into the tent: a couple of dolls, a water cup, the Halloween scarf with bats and jack-o-lanterns on it, some colored pencils, and Elyse's ukulele, among other things. They wanted to jump on the queen-size inflatable mattress, and it took quite a bit of doing to convince them they couldn't. They wanted to sing camp-out songs of their own devising, which they did--very loudly.
What they didn't want to do was sleep. Even long after the sun went down, they were still wound up, despite the fact that their Mommy was lying between them barely able to stay awake. There were frequent visits back into the house. Unfortunately, at some point there was a pretty bad tantrum from Jessica.
So, in the end, everyone slept inside, in the usual beds. Elyse was asleep by 9:45 or so, very late for her, and after reading a chapter in our Junie B. Jones book with me in the living room, Jessica was asleep by 10:30, also very late. Anna had been sleeping off and on in the tent, and was asleep in her own bed by 10:00.
It was a worthwhile experiment, but what it proved to us is that the girls are not quite ready for such an exciting adventure yet. We'll keep the tent up for a while so we can play in it, but I don't think we're going to try actually sleeping in it again this year.