Not unexpectedly, attending a Music Festival with a toddler is a different experience than going by myself.
It’s a lot more running around and a bit of anxiety, chasing her when she takes off – and sometimes disappears out of sight – to play with her older friends or explore on her own (after a few scares she ended up with an ankle band with my phone number on it!). It’s dealing with lack of sleep, but not just yours, hers too; no naps and late nights. It’s being thankful for friends who entertain her as you prep meals or line up for food, as you set up and take down the camp, as you take a half hour to see a set by yourself (so glad I got to see you perform Doug Koyama!). It involves a lot less music but a lot more puppets, magicians, and clowns. It’s sand tables, rocking horses, see-saws, a huge amount of face paint, and wagon rides. Did I mention wagon rides?!
Mostly for me, it was getting to know this little person with a big personality of her own in a whole new light. Away from home and our usual routine, I witnessed her gain independence – to the point of pushing me away once in a while, make new friends all by herself, walk bare feet for a whole day, embrace the weather in all its frequent and drastic variations, get up on stage and walk with amusement through the maze of taller people, try new things that were challenging – or silly – and trust in her ability to get them right with practice (it’s not just her baby doll who flipped over the big black wheel – she did too and loved it!).
Here’s a little glimpse of what a music festival looks like from 3 feet off the ground 😉