It’s been raining cats and dogs for a few weeks now. When the rain has stopped, it’s been so wet everywhere that I haven’t had the desire to take the little ones to the park. Of course, at my very late stage in pregnancy, I haven’t had the desire for a whole lot of activity period. But that’s not really the point.
My three year old was definitely showing signs of cabin fever. My fridge and pantry were void of most staple items. And all the five year old has wanted to do is zone out in front of the TV. Fortunately, baby has been happy just toddling around.
Yesterday I sat on the couch looking for indoor play areas nearby. I discussed joining the local Y with the hubby in case, you know, it never stopped raining. But finally today… sunshine! What began as a trip to Sonic to get gross food for the kids (don’t judge – I already said I had no real food), became an adventure for which I was not adequately prepared.
“Can we go to the park?” asked the five year old as we left Sonic.
“No, it’s a swamp. Maybe later.”
“Pleeeeeease. There’s probably lots of frogs,” he persisted.
“Oh I’m sure of that,” I agreed. But I decided to at least check it out. “If it’s muddy and wet, we’re leaving,” I warned.
Of course it was both of these things. The little ditches were now rapidly flowing creeks. The boy was in heaven! The three year old and baby were happy to stay on the playscape for a hot five minutes until they discovered the lakes and rivers surrounding them. By this time, the five year old had reached the construction area where there was a huge lake with a concrete runoff, feeding into the ditches/rivers. He was finding tons of tadpoles!
At first I tried to walk around with the little two, careful not to get wet or muddy. But that didn’t last long. Then I tried to keep them at least mostly dry. That also didn’t last long. Then I tried to let baby just dip his little toes into the water. But pretty soon he was sitting in it.
Up above the creek, the other two had attracted some other kids (whose mommies probably weren’t too pleased). They were happily running on the narrow strip of concrete between the runoff and the lake, kicking up water and having the [wettest] time of their lives. After awhile, I took baby up top to better keep the three year old in arm’s reach. They were rolling in the water! Splashing, running, giggling with the kind of pure joy only a child has.
I let this continue for quite some time for two reasons: first, it was really adorable, and second, I couldn’t decide how we would get back into the car now that all three were soaked.
At last I had the brilliant idea to leave the car and walk home, change into dry clothes and walk back to the car, then quickly get to the school to pick up the ten and seven year old.
I put baby into the little umbrella stroller, grabbed my purse, the three year old’s hand and walked the half mile home. On the way back, I’d walk them in the double jogger. Brilliant plan.
Never mind that the walk and heat were nearly labor inducing. We arrived home and I realized the double jogger was actually in my car. Nice.
Changed quickly. 20 minutes until school got out. Threw baby back into the stroller and tried to walk back the half mile to the car. Except the three year old, now very tired, would not walk. If you’ve ever had a three year old, you know that’s almost impossible to deal with. Especially with a nine month belly and a stroller that needs to be pushed. Sooooo I had no choice but to carry him. And my belly. Thank God for a helpful five year old who actually likes to push a stroller! He pushed, and I walked as fast as I could with the child on my back (who strangely gained 20 pounds during the trek).
Long story short, we made it to the car and school in time. I didn’t go into labor, but the night’s still young and I’m not fully recovered from the adventure…