When summer days flow long, blend into one another in a blur of activity.
When this mamma has had enough of summer, enough of kids squabbling, enough of losing patience, enough of not knowing how to deal with it all.
When kids are climbing walls in boredom and down time breeds tears.
This Mamma packs up drinks, snacks and camera. Buckles her kids into the van and stops to pick up kids' friends before continuing on an adventure for the day.
After a brief stop at Tim's for the kids to choose a doughnut each and an hour later we pull up to the first stop of our adventure.
There is something special about a park that is *new* and *different*. A park that they get to explore and play and climb in after sitting for an hour.
There is something about being with friends instead of just siblings that makes the interactions flow smoother.
When boredom with the park leaves kids feeling antsy, we head off to explore the marina, the boat launch, a time to wade in water and throw stones - trying to make 'Deadman's Bubbles'.
A quick stop look through the "looking-scope" and the kids all agree that they would rather take the hiking trail to the dam instead of the random path through the forest.. .
One MUST have a destination, preferably one that is deemed *fun* or *exciting* when hiking with children...especially if you want to avoid meltdowns or whining over what is about to happen!
I should mention that bribes are never frowned upon....the promise of a stop at a gs station for them to each pick out a drink of their own and all thoughts of exhaustion fly from their heads and they start trying to decide what they want when we get there :)
I assured her that they were not all mine (although I wouldn't mind in the least if they were!) and that my 3 had two of their friends with them for the day. That we were from Thunder Bay and just needed a day filled with adventure.
Little old lady and I *might* have snickered at crusty gramma lady who kept barking at her grand-kids to stop climbing on the rocks (that my kids were using as their own personal climbing wall) and we *might* have commented on the fact that rocks and dirt are a lot more fun then slides and tunnels (no matter how cool they are) when you are 4,6 or 8! Hey, there were no signs that said do not climb and it was in the middle of a playground...it was fair game (I did draw the line however when my sweet little ones decided that they needed to start "rescuing" the coins at the base of the fountain waterfall!)
When you mix adventure with snacks, water, rocks and playgrounds the day disappears in a blur of laughter, stickiness and memories....oh, and maybe a tear or two...because with 5 kids there are bound to be at least a few tears or snits no matter how much fun they are having!
The day ended with t.v, stories, and early bedtimes. It was well worth my exhaustion for the happiness of the kids.
As for tomorrow? Well, we will cross that path at breakfast.