My kid’s school is about twenty minutes away and many of her new-found super-fun-fabulous-cannot-bear-to-be-apart-from kindergarten friends live approximately the same distance away…but in the opposite direction. Translation – 40-45 minute ride for a play date. For the last ten months or so, I have come up with every excuse in the book (and probably some not in the book) why play dates are virtually impossible to arrange and then follow through on. Distance + differing after school schedules = a serious lack of interest on my part in arranging play dates. As my parents use to say to me, “What in the world could they possibly have to talk about after school or on the weekends, they spend almost all day together?”
Unfortunately – I mean fortunately (forced smile) – summer is here! And all excuses have flown out the window. On Sunday morning kid1 and I hop in the car and shlep our little behinds to one of her amigos houses. Because it was a trek to get there, thankfully my daughter’s friend’s super-cool mom invited me to come in and hang for a bit.
My daughter’s friend had just had her birthday and was the recipient of the awesome Pumponator PUMP0212 Balloon Pumping Station. While the name (and marketing department) could probably use an overhaul this was a great toy. It blows up balloons with air or water, and can also act as a human/dog sprayer for hot days outside. While I still cut off all circulation in my right hand tying balloons, I didn’t pass out from having to blow them up or inadvertently soak myself with what is invariably a way too large nozzle on the garden hose either.
If you haven’t been to my house, or dropped your kid off for a play date yet, you probably don’t know exactly how neurotic I am. I really want (and try diligently) to be the kind of person who it doesn’t bother that the play room looks like a total disaster. I love living in a two story house because it means that when people are over only half my house is destroyed rather than the whole house as in the case with my friends who live in ranch style homes. Because of my personal crazies (written in the most politically-correct self-deprecating tone), and preference to keep all humans not in my immediate family outside, I LIVE for sidewalk chalk. I prefer the Crayola 52 Count Chalk Carton because they seem to be stronger and have more vibrant colors. With this magic in your hand, you can create games (hop scotch, 4 corners etc.), color a master piece, and tell a story. There are endless possibilities, spanning multiple age ranges and gender. There are obviously other moms like me out there because Crayola has come up with Crayola 3-D Chalk which can come with 3D glasses, spinners, and tools for their chalk. I haven’t tried the fancy stuff yet, but I am getting pretty close to surprising my next play date with one of these new fangled fancy sets.
In addition to keeping my kids outside in order to save my house from their very wild and vivid imaginations I find that on a Sunday afternoon there is nothing I try harder to do than completely wear my children out so that I can get them to bed early, and enjoy a few restful, peaceful minutes myself. On days when I haven’t been able to finagle an invitation to a friend’s house (of which a dinner invite is a requirement), I try come up with some sort of totally random outside project. Sometimes we will go on a nature walk, or bring magnets around the neighborhood to find things which are metal, or find flowers to press in wax paper. This past Sunday we made bubbles. We added food coloring, and aromatherapy oils to ‘cook’ different flavors. It was such a huge success I wanted to include the recipe I used.
- Combine 1/3 cup dish or baby soap, 2 tsp sugar, and 1 1/4 cup of water.
- Add food coloring, or scents as desired.
- You can use straws, pipe cleaners, and spoons with holes in them as tools.
I hope everyone has a great Canada Day (July 1 for my American friends) and a Happy Fourth (July 4 for my Canucks). Be Safe! xo Mom on the Run