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Should We Do Something Fun this Week-end?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Several weeks ago, I convinced my husband for all of us to go on a family picnic, including our dog, as I often feel we don't spend enough family time doing something fun. It was one of the hottest summer days. We set off with our 3-year old, 2-year old who is the biggest trouble maker ever, our new born, and our big sweet German Shepherd. I prepared snacks, lunch, blankets and toys to take with us. Our first stop (oh yes, there was more than one!) was Mill Pond. Dog on leash and boys holding my husbands' hands and me with the stroller and new born under my mashmana (nursing cover) nursing.

I must describe our family to you first though: our 3-year old, Ben, is always well behaved and is scared of everything, our 2-year old, David, is a little monster who loves to destroy anything he can find and is not afraid of anything, our new born, Emily, is always hungry, our dog, Bear (his name definitely representative of his size) is a lazy sweetheart who loves humans and hates (ready to shred to pieces) any other animal species, my husband would rather stay home all weekend and watch soccer while the kids do their own thing, and I love to plan 30 different activities for us to do on the weekend. I think you get the idea.

So, here we are at Mill Pond playground, Bear tied to the bench, me nursing, and my husband supervising the boys playing.  So far, so good. Then, we decide to go for a walk, look at the swans, the duckies, observe the beautiful nature in 40 degree heat. As soon as we come close to see the fowls, Bear is ready to eat them and David is ready to go in and swim with them (he loves water and swimming). Then, for not so far away I see a dog the size of my hand practically is running around with excitement OFF LEASH. I scream at the owner, who gives me a dirty look, before Bear can open his mouth, as if we we just sentenced his dog to a day in jail (i.e. on leash). We continue on our 'relaxing' journey through the park. At least Emily is now in the stroller and I don't have to nurse on the go. David gets distracted by everything along the way and it takes forever until he catches up to everyone. We finally turn around and go back to the car.

Next destination: picnic and another playground. My husband didn't like the idea of picnicking at Mill Pond and thought it would be much better to go to the playground and play area where we used to live before (not far from Mill Pond). So, we finally get there. There is not a soul outside. Emily is hysterical already at this point. My husband unloads everything. It must feel like 45 degrees at this point with no shade in sight, just a playground and lots off grass with maybe 2 big trees and a forest close by. We lay downs the blankets, and I sit down to nurse Emily. 

My husband, the boys and Bear (off leash) go on the grass to play soccer. Bear becomes unstoppable and the boys seem to have fun as well. Then David notices the splash pad area and is ready to go in with all his clothes and shoes on. I scream at my husband to quickly undress him. Approaching closer and closer we notice a fluffy energized Golden Retriever OFF LEASH with the owners walking next to him. My husband quickly puts Bear on leash. "Is your dog friendly?", they ask. "No, he is very aggressive." I respond. So then, they put the Retriever on leash and have him explore the splash pad. Sure, why not?!!! What are these dog owners thinking? Seriously?! We all watch 'with admiration' the Retriever having a blast amongst the many sprinklers and fountains, until they all leave FINALLY. We move under a big tree to find the only spot in the shade (more or less). Bear comes running to join me and slobbers all over the blanket. I'm still nursing Emily and trying to shoo all the flies and wasps flying around. And, I also really need to pee too. Easy, for the boys there is a whole forest or the diaper. So, should I get the food out now so that we can have our lovely picnic?

We packed up, went home (Emily hysterical most of the way home), and had a nice and relaxing lunch in our kitchen; then the boys went for a nap, and my husband and I relaxed as well. For now, my husband convinced me not to plan any more picnics for next little while:).

If you are a crazy mama like me with little toddlers and infants at home, you may reconsider your outing ideas sometimes, and think of something more easy-going to do at home. I try to do lots of arts and crafts (colouring, painting) and puzzles with my boys at home or in the backyard, if it’s nice outside. Baking something quick and easy, like cookies, works really well with my sons as well. They also enjoy watching pictures and videos of themselves. Whatever it is, you can always find something fun and simple to do and enjoy with your little ones at home!

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