I had lots of plans for the summer.
I was going to take the kids to every amusement-type place we could find that was close and not outrageously expensive. We were going to play at the park multiple times a week. We were going to be creative every day, with lots of coloring and gluing and cutting. The TV was going to be a once-in-a-while concept, not an everyday, multiple-times-a-day thing.
After being in this parenting gig for four years, and a stay-at-home mom for almost two, you’d think I wouldn’t still be as delusional as I am.
And yet there it is, all written down for you.
Summer vacation is winding down and my oldest will be starting back at preschool in a couple weeks. We’ll no longer have the days stretched out in front of us needing filling.
I’m looking forward to it, as you can imagine. I don’t seem to have the hang of this parenting two children thing. I’m not sure if it will come later, when my youngest isn’t so needy and challenging, or if it’s just not in my personality.
And I hate to point blame, but the almost-2-year-old slowly is draining every ounce of energy I may have at one time possessed. I’m wondering if, as her brother was in day care at this age, maybe I just didn’t realize how exhausting these toddlers can be on a daily basis. There’s so much desire and force and emotion with them. She goes from extremely happy to extremely mad at you for taking her down off the middle of the kitchen table, where she was standing up and yelling at the top of her lungs. She runs full speed most of the time and doesn’t like it when she’s not allowed to do something.
So we don’t take her out in public much.
However, one thing that all of us can enjoy is the pool. The kids absolutely love the water and the youngest is big enough that though we have to be ready to catch her in case she goes under, which she does because she’s so exuberant in her water play, we don’t have to hold on to her the whole time. Not that she’d let us, anyway. So we were able to go once or twice a week, and my oldest learned to snorkel, which he’s really excited about. And my youngest got used to having water on her face so it’s a little bit easier to rinse her off in the bathtub now.
So now, I wasn’t able to do most of what was on my list, probably because of poor planning on my part. But also because I just couldn’t stomach taking both of my kids out in public for an extended amount of time by myself. I mean, we tried the park but the youngest sprinted for the exit after about 10 minutes. Continually. So I spent my time there alternating between chasing her down and encouraging the oldest to attempt the climbing wall. Chasing and encouraging. Rinse and repeat.
I have high hopes for next summer. The youngest will be older and possibly, hopefully able to listen a little better and not be such a danger to herself. The oldest will be even more excited to go places and experience things.
I’m already starting on my list.
*This column originally published in The News-Enterprise on July 25, 2012.