Ah summer, languid and idyllic days filled with laughter and fresh air. At least that’s what Facebook and Pinterest seem to depict. I have a dark secret to share with you – while there is plenty of laughter there is also a lot of dirty clothes, dirty floors, and dirty (and sometimes cranky) kids. And very little of it is languid. However, as for idyllic, I’m trying to hold on to memories of my childhood where all I remember is having fun. Being on the other side as the parent, I need that reminder, that my childhood memories are filtered through forgiving rose tinted glasses.
Cut yourself some slack. Those extra 15 minutes you are able to give your child today – that’s the memory they will keep and cherish. Sure there are a lot of fun things to do in the area and I encourage you to explore but don’t feel like you’re failing as a parent if Camp Mom or Camp Dad isn’t prepped and ready to go every day! I think a little boredom is a good thing – from it can come creativity and ingenuity. Though be careful if they get too quiet, that’s rarely a good sign ;).
We have a membership to Curioddysey and we often pick other outings based on the discounts we can get. Over the 4th our whole family got free admission to the Santa Barbara Zoo. We’ve used our Curioddysey membership to get discounts as the San Francisco Zoo, Oakland Zoo, Happy Hollow, The Portland Children’s Museum, the Columbus Zoo and a few others I can’t bring to mind at the moment. And I should mention that we love going to Curioddysey too! Knowing that we can go somewhere locally and get in for, usually, half price, is a real draw.
Now that the drought is more or less over we’ve been using the hose a little this summer. We don’t leave it on for long, but few things are more fun than running through the water in your own backyard where swimsuits can become optional (for the kids that is). We love splash parks too. Ryder Park has water again this summer, over by Seal Point in San Mateo. And Stulsaft Park in Redwood City, Stafford Park in Redwood City, and Burton Park in San Carlos – and these are only the ones we’ve visited.
And few things are more fun – for all of us – than an impromptu picnic. Our favorite? Costco pizza, watermelon and popsicles. And it means everyone has someone to be with. At the end of those less than languid and very messy days there is serenity in getting to unwind with a grown up friend while letting the kids run out their energy for a *fingers crossed* good night sleep.