Parenthood has brought a whole reason for me to love Summer. Outdoor play.
I don’t know if it’s just my kid, but from what I hear from other moms of older babies it seems to be the same across the board. Boredom with the same old same old sets in fast and hard, leaving a really perturbed little one and a desperate mom seeking Tupperware, spoons, crinkly packages that probably won’t harm them if they eat the contents, and any and everything in between to keep baby engaged.
Glorious Summertime in New England lends itself to brand-new-to-baby outdoor play options. Swing sets, wagon rides, the beach, long walks, water tables, kiddie pools, grass. All sorts of new ways to entertain a demanding 10 month old. E has already made it clear that indoor play is well and good for oh, say 30 minutes in the morning, but after that if she’s not exploring life threatening situations like pulling on top-heavy bar stools, she’s all about exploring the outside world with no fear. Like her bee lining it to the water, by herself, for the third time after a long swim and some dry clothes. Clearly after her 10 week swim class and three dips in the Cape Cod Bay she’s ready to take on the waves solo. I’m in trouble when she learns to run.
All is well until the rain comes. And it came. We got deluged yesterday. Knowing the rain was coming and that indoors at Grammie’s all day would be torture for both E and myself I did some research and found a few options to amuse the diva. Most of them fell within her normal morning nap time (of course) so I had little hope of a break. Well clearly E had gotten wind of the 10:30 story hour at the Truro library as she slept for oh, 25 minutes in the morning, getting up just in time to make it for the 10:30 start. After a painful transition of the car seat from Grammie’s truck to my car (it’s designed to be quick and easy. Ya, quick and easy like an annual exam), we were off to be thoroughly amused and entertained for a half hour.
Clearly we weren’t the only ones who did our research. The room was packed with kiddos of all ages, with the regular attendees on one side and the vacationing newbies on the other. We got the separation memo after the story time leader sang “Hello, Hello” to one side of the room then politely asked “who are you” to the rest of us on the left.
E’s newly acquired speed crawling ability combined with her love of shoes and a large group of shoe wearing people left me trying to wrangle her in repeatedly. I resorted to giving her my iPhone and wallet to play with, and got quite a few stares for that one. Yup, mom of the year over here. But she wasn’t loving on strangers’ shoes so I call it a win.
So after 20 minutes or so of playing with my wallet and iPhone in a new indoor space while a nice woman read a story E had no interest in, the Heavens opened and the scarves came out. If there’s one thing E likes more than shoes it’s an opaque scarf.
I got my wallet and phone back and E had a blast swinging her scarf around to a song about the wind and playing peek a boo with a toddler boy next to us. Very sweet. Story time ended and it was becoming clear that I was about to pay the price for her 25 minute nap this morning, but I bravely (or in reality stupidly) brought her into the kids corner of the library, where we had a full temper tantrum melt down over a learning table that I wouldn’t let her Hulk smash. And then we left.
Between the drive to and from and the story hour we got to spend an hour and a half out of the boredom zone. It was a lot of effort for 5 minutes of wonder eyed amusement with a scarf, but we were out of the house, and she was generally happy and calm (sans the end of the journey).
Lesson of The Day: If you’re on vaca or at home, for your sanity and theirs I highly suggest seeking out a story hour, play gym, etc for the little ones. Having grown up on the Cape I had a clear advantage to other vacationers as I know the lay of the land, but even so a newbie with a search engine could easily find the story hours and baby classes. Here’s to surviving the rainy days.