Last week I read an article about how terrible summer is with a toddler.
I love Scary Mommy and I can totally relate to many of their articles...I get the humor, I'm a mom and I'm right there seeing the ridiculousness of it all with the best of them. But, this article really got under my skin. Yes, having a toddler - or child of any age - is tough. It's more work than one can imagine, there's no off or pause button. It's exhausting and yes, sometimes I do wonder why I bother leaving the house with my daughter when it would have been easier to just stay home.
Having a toddler - or a child of any age - is also pretty awesome. I couldn't wait for summer to arrive so that I could do all sorts of fun activities with Penelope and see her experience wonderful things in life for the first time.
Let me just tell you that the joy I felt watching her eat an Italian ice on a warm summer night for the first time was not a normal amount of joy for one grown person to experience. That simple act of enjoying one of the most delicious parts of summer...well seeing Penelope have that felt like one of the best nights ever.
And so today instead of complaining about how life has changed now that we have a toddler (believe me, I miss summer happy hours too), I'm going to talk about why this summer is going to be effing awesome with my two year old.
Swimming. I was wasn't sure how P would be around water this summer. Last year, she was still so small. Would she be too afraid or too comfortable? Well it looks like we have an abundance of comfort over here. This kid is already swimming with her float on and pointing to the diving board. Swimming with P is my new favorite summer activity, hands down.
Bike riding. This kid loves her bike and my heart just about bursts every time she climbs on, helmet and all, ready to put that pedal to the metal.
Bubbles. Another summer activity that she is obsessed with. I wish I felt joy for anything as much as she feels for bubbles. Oh wait...I think it's in the form of watching her with bubbles. We love this bubble hurricane that spins out bubbles on the double; win for Penelope with thousands of bubbles and win for Mom & Dad that we don't have to lift a finger.
Impromptu summer treats. As a kid, I remember that there was nothing that felt more special than when we went for ice cream. My mom and I brought her to Rita's last weekend for some Italian ice and let's just say her 'orange' (aka mango) ice with vanilla custard was the hit of the century.
Smell of sunscreen and sweat with tired, red eyes. A day in the sun equals sunscreen all over, causing oily skin and greasy hair and the most divine summer smell. Combined with those sleepy, sunny red eyes, there is nothing more precious.
The boardwalk. We haven't done this yet but it's definitely on the list for this summer...we are from Jersey, after all. Boardwalk funnel cake, bright lights and little kiddo rides. I can't think of anything more fun.
Vacations. True, vacations are now a lot of work with a child, there's no doubt about it. And as my boss and mentor told me...when traveling with children, it's not a vacation, it's a trip. I couldn't agree more, but it makes me happy that we are able to go on a few getaways throughout the year so that P is used to traveling. I can't wait for our annual family campout this coming weekend (we can't wait for her to try s'mores!), our July trip to Aruba, and our Delaware beach getaway.
Outdoor evening time. It's not easy to forget how great summer happy hours can be, but I've found just as much joy in just enjoying snacks (and a glass of rose) on our terrace in the early evening hours with some 90s rock on the jambox and a full water table for P. For me, that's a pretty awesome night.
I could probably go on and on. I have grand plans to get to the zoo, splash parks, Field Station Dinosaurs, the NJ Balloon Festival and so many more. I know that while each of these activities will be a little work for Mom & Dad, I can't wait to see my daughter experience all of them!
What are your plans with your kiddos this summer?