I'm always looking for activities to do with the kids that are actually enjoyable for me too. Not that I don't love pretending to be an alligator all day long (what adult wouldn't), but sometimes I just want to do something that I enjoy too. Something that makes me feel like a part of the day was by my own choice. But it's hard work figuring out ways to eek out "me time" with two kids in tow. And since they don't enjoy art museums or avant-guard theatre quite yet, I'm left with . . . walking.
Now I wouldn't say my kids love walking (and by walking I mean sitting in a stroller). But, if they know there is a destination, they will usually comply. So I've found this amazing bike trail that rambles along a picturesque bay (ok, a ravine) that dead-ends at the ocean. It's a win-win: I get a good walk in, and they get to play in the sand.
But in order to keep everyone happy, this simple ritual has turned into it's own travelling road show. Because a successful walk (read: maxiumum mutual enjoyment) requires the following items:
1. water bottles with straps so they cannot be thrown from the stroller. must have one for each child or they will fight over it.
2. snacks. lots and lots of snacks. some for the kids, some to be thrown when Jafta spots a seagull
3. ipod shufffle loaded with kids songs (and by kids songs I mean The Beatles and some Rockharbor worship music)
4. two sets of headphones
5. a headphone splitter
6. a seperate ipod for mommy, loaded with outdated gangster rap that I find both embarrassing and exhilerating
7. lots of suncreen for my fair-skinned beauty and the King of Sun-Induced Eczema
8. toys, hanging from a bag strapped to the stroller, action figures for Jafta, toy phones for India
9. phone headset so mommy can try to multitask during the walk
10. sand toys for when we reach our destination
11. change of clothes for after kids are covered in sand
14. sunglasses for all three of us, because if I'm wearing them, God-forbid they not wear them.
15. one big-ass double stroller
By the time I've gathered all of these items together, it's usually feeling like more work than it's worth. But when I get my butt in gear and make it happen, and we are all really, really doing something we love, including me . . . . it's a beautiful thing.