What I’ve learned this summer can really be summed up into three words: Kids. Are. Exhausting. Cute, and great but seriously, exhausting. No, I mean utterly and completely draining. Like leeches. My hat goes off to all those nursery teachers and classroom assistants…it is no easy job to entertain, teach and listen to little ones All. Day. Long.
And let’s really not forget the fact that I’m pregnant and so was consistently on my last nerve. Yea, my OWN hormonal changes really didn’t help with the random tantrums and sporadic and totally uncalled bouts of “mommy I’m bored” this summer. I mean, I’m not even sure she knows what “bored” really means. So, in an effort to keep the smile on my face and cling on for dear life to my last shreds of sanity, I have definitely learned a couple of things that I need to keep in mind and up my sleeve when next summer rolls around:
DVDs are a mama’s best friend
No, not watching them, but asking your toddler to alphabetically sort them out by genre and title. You will also find that letting your baby bang the box on the floor gives you a precious 10-minute window to go to the bathroom and pee because…25 weeks into pregnancy your uterus weighs like a full water balloon on your bladder and you will be peeing much more than you ever planned for.
Spending all day at the beach is game plan A
I’m the type of mom where if I’m going to make an effort and pack the beach bags and expose my preggo butt then well, we better be coming home with some tired-ass kids. How do I accomplish this? Departure time 8 a.m. ETA post-beach 8 p.m. Yes, I shower them there, pack pjs, and toothbrushes. Overkill? I think not. This way they fall asleep on the way home and I can enjoy a QUIET dinner with hubby. So what if I only rinse half the soap and shampoo off, right?
Baking consumes entire afternoons
I never realized how little a child’s hands could hold. Or how quickly they get tired of mixing. And yet they want to help make that cake so you must gather your patience and get the ingredients in the bowl somehow. I left my toddler for 4 minutes to “mix” and I swear she was wearing most of the batter in that short time. Licking-the-bowl time can give you another pee break or a social media breather.
Get them to color something…or sort anything…or mop the floor
This can take hours. Light blue, dark blue. Give them a damp mop and a Cinderella dress-up and let them go for it. What’s that? Child slavery, you say? I say a mama needs 5 minutes of free time on the couch! Or, you know, peeing.
Ace up your Sleeve: Hum Something
Get them to guess which song. This can get complicated when they try to hum something for you to guess because believe me you never will get it but it’ll be one of three songs anyway. Usually the last of the three you hummed. And usually “The wheels on the bus”. Wow, how I hate that song.
And in dire moments…there is always ice cream. Or pretending like you don’t hear them call you. Both work wonders.