This week the tide of winter has turned toward announcing the oncoming spring. Maybe Punxatawny Phil was right this year? And while I'd love to say I'm LOVING it, there are a few things I'm concerned about with spring...
1. It's MESSY.- I know, I should be all, "Oh, feel the nice breeze and glory in the abundant sunshine!"... and don't get me wrong, I totally love both, but it also means my kids are outside way more often. With that comes the outside dirt. Especially with Sarah. Sometimes I wonder if she just rolls in it or if Hannah and Caleb are aiding and abetting her by squooshing the dirt into places she just couldn't reach herself. She tracks in more sand than the Sahara after just 10 minutes in the sandbox, and has now developed a disturbing affinity for those teeny little gravel rocks in the runoff ditches at the sides of the street. I found a handful in each pocket of her jacket today, and they keep migrating out onto my floor where, OUCH... you get it!? My feet have them permanently stuck in the callouses, which were previously at least smooth callouses. There are loads upon loads of laundry now in my house of clothes covered in sidewalk chalk, and this is just the first warm week since winter set in. My washer and dryer may never recover from this spring/summer, what with camping, outdoor fun, and three fully mobile mess-makers full of (bad) inventive ideas related to how to use dirt more creatively.
2. I LIKE my down time- Summer means my down time each day will vanish. What I mean is, now I get a little extra time in the week for blogging, etc. that is "me" time. Summer and spring mean that time is spent mowing lawns and watering gardens, etc. All nice pursuits, but I'll miss this time.
3. SUNSCREEN- the dread word. Any and all outings in summer that involve exposure in the 10am-3pm time slots involves a lengthy sunscreening session beforehand because I will not, I repeat, will NOT have them blaming me for premature aging someday :). They can blame me for LOADS of other parenting fails, but they will have skin like angels when the rest of the world has wrinkles, as least as long as I can control it, anyway. Sunscreening can take up to 30 minutes of our time or more each outing before we can even leave the house, and don't even get me started on what sunscreen handprints look like on furniture or glass doors. Lets just say they are impossible to clean without significant delayed onset muscles soreness the day after, and leave it at that.
On the upside, I can't wait to get these three out camping, swimming, and fishing this spring and summer. I adore seeing them out in the yard having water fights and drawing elaborate pictures in chalk on EVERYTHING outside (they're like tiny gang-taggers... you never can really decipher what they've drawn, but it's sorta pretty and really hard to wash off). Caleb is so excited about the oncoming adventures that he keeps trying to dive underwater in the tub to practice swimming like his sisters, and I know I'll have to watch him like a hawk this year, because he knows no fear or limitation... as long as the girls can do it, he thinks he can, too (and he may well yet show me he's correct). This year, he's gonna need a fishing pole, a big-boy swing, and a new life vest because he will no longer settle for string tied to a stick, baby swings, or baby life jackets (sniff sniff.... stop growing, I tell you!). And the girls... well lets just remember their 5th birthday is right around the corner, and I'm hoping this spring they'll finally turn the corner to start riding their bikes without training wheels. I say hoping because I tried them both out this morning without the training wheels, and they were AWFUL. Falling over like poorly-balanced stone statues, even WITH me holding them the whole time. Please tell me that's normal, and that I don't have balance-stunted little non-bike-riding peeps here?! But anyway, I'm determined they're gonna get it, just like I was determined they were going to learn to read last summer, so we will soldier on- I think I'm gonna have to stock up on princess band-aids though. :)