We tried another swimming-with-the-dog outing this afternoon, and this one went better than the tantrum-filled debacle from my previous post. Again we visited the Concord river, only this time we went to the boat launch in Carlisle instead of the North Bridge in Concord. The Carlisle crowd seemed to fit our socioeconomic class a bit better, and this time I felt less fear of judgement about letting my children prance naked in the waterway.
Everything about today's trip was less stressful. The dog barked less because there were fewer people coming and going. Because it was just between snack and dinner time I didn't bring anything to eat, and that lightened my load. Also, I didn't bring the beach toys. I think the absence of toys and snacks made it seem like there was less of an "agenda" for the outing, and Harvey played more creatively as a result. Here he is is playing with a stick that looked a lot like a gun. He called it his 'pachoo-er'
No, I don't have any problem with my kids making up guns. I freak out about TV, not firearms.
With the thought of school starting again in September, I realize my coping mechanism for Zion's first winter was taking them out somewhere every frickin day. I don't want to do that every day this year. It's exhausting packing up the house to take in the car every morning and unpacking it every afternoon. I still want them to visit exciting places, but twice a week is probably sufficient and I also want to teach them things at home. Things other than "Leave me along while I clean up."
Until we settle into a good home-life routine I'd like to figure out shorter outings we can do in a pinch. This was a good test-case, and indeed we stayed longer than I expected because they were having so much fun playing with sticks (instead of fighting over the one yellow shovel, I WANT THE YELLOW ONE NOT THE GREEN ONE!!!)
When the boys finally got tired we returned home to a delicious pizza dinner that Dan had been cooking. Hey, I guess I'll have to start cooking again sometimes when Dan goes back to work. Bummer. Enough thinking of September; let's hold on to summer for a few weeks more.