It's true! Ask Charlotte. She will tell you outdoor time on weekends came to a stand still exactly one year ago today. I declared Memorial Day 2010 the end of our days outside because I was 7 months pregnant and it was too hot to go outside until the end of summer.
Technically speaking - summer never ended - we do live in South Florida, but there was a time in winter when it became less hot. Somewhere in the need to keep newborn fed every three hours, which changed to every 4 hours but still needing morning and afternoon naps I lost the ability to pack up the kids and head outside for the day. This has come back to haunt me all month. Starting with camping in the Keys.
Oh that's right, I did tell you I was going camping in the Keys and then never bothered to write about it. That's because it was a horrifically hot experience that we were totally unprepared for! Sure we had the awesome 10 person 3 room tent, baby chair, sunblock, insect spray, food for 7 days for a 3 day trip, beach gear, kids toys, water, etc!!!! It didn't matter, it was so hot by 10am we were miserable! We spent every day from 10-5 in K-Mart, McDonald's or some indoor shelter. Evenings were lovely with our dear friends but day times were like a battlefield of keeping kids happy and comfortable.
This past weekend I declared it time to take both kids on a canoe ride. Never mind we haven't been on a canoe since before Charlotte was born - over 3 years ago! We used to canoe frequently BC (before children) and suddenly realized it was time to get back outside.
We were met with initial shock and confusion, two kids clinging to me. Then Charlotte moved to the other end of the canoe and seemed content to sit with dad provided graham crackers were made available.
Sam refused to wear his brand new life jacket, I know this because had a very hard time drinking his bottle and cried until I took it off. I get it, you try drinking a bottle in a straight jacket. He stayed happy while a steady stream of crackers and toys were provided.
Charlotte on the other hand deteriorated to a puddle of gloom and utter despair! Every remaining minute was filled with moaning and agony.
This was the mid-point of the trip and in my head I screamed at my husband to ROW ROW ROW, ROW FASTER! We need to get back to the dock and off this boat!
Sam got bored with the sunblock bottle and demanded to be tipped towards the water so he could run his hands through. I'm sure it was cute, but couldn't justify stopping husband from rowing to take a photo.
Charlotte remained stoic in her defiance of having any sort of fun.
We finally returned to the dock to find boats had taken up the entire docking area and we had 4 feet to fit our canoe between two boats. I've always said boaters are a strange folk and no I don't count canoes as part of that gang. They are all outside of their boats just wallowing in the water like water buffalo, one guy throws an anchor our way as if totally missing the fact that a family of 4 is riding in a lowly canoe - we must be invisible on a fake boat.
We wiggle our way through the boats, husband hauls us to shore and we stumble back to the lodge to pay for our adventure and hopefully save the day and Charlotte's mood with ice cream and water. It works, she's back to her happy playful bouncy self after one ice cream bar, potty break and shade.
I tell my husband, don't give up, we just need to redo these things every weekend until they become fun!