(Click here for part one)
Okay, so as I was saying, The day wasn't totally shot. We would still have a great time, even if it killed us, because I have already gone through a lot of work doggone it! :0) I set out my perfect-for-outside blanket and piled on all the good stuff. I handed out lunches to the kids (cheerios on the baby walker for my littlest tot) and I got out my tuna sandwich. Ah...time to relax and enjoy the great outdoors...oh wait, there are bugs outside. Preston did NOT like that! Okay, there are lids to your lunch containers, so we'll just cover their lunches up between bites, to ensure that bugs don't get to our food before we do. Wait, not just ants, but mosquitoes too! Turns out we needed bug spray way more than all the sunscreen I used on the kids. Okay, so all the kids wanted to eat from their lunches was a few grapes and the two oreos I gave each of them."That's fine," I thought, "I didn't like my tuna sandwich anyway," so I ate Keely's bologna sandwich. Truly, we're still having a good time at this point. I did not yell at my kids for just eating the cookies. I didn't want to fight that battle today...my "perfect mom" day. :) I would not be yelling at the kids today, besides look at how cute they are...I busted out the inflatable "kiddy pool" and filled it up. Preston and Keely were all about sticking their feet in the thing. They did not complain even once about the ridiculousness of the size of the "pool" I got them; which is one of the things I LOVE about this age. I let them get their feet wet, literally, while I tried to hook up the sprinkler to the hose.
***(Sidenote: Turns out this is a great way to rinse off the feet of your children before they come inside the house, since they will inevitablly have grass all over their feet, and Chadwick suggested that they are great for when you are serving drinks that you want to keep cold. Pop a little ice in there and you've got yourself a little cooler) I turned on our hose, and the hose connector popped off spraying water all over our house. (I won't elaborate on this one, but just know that it was a lot of me getting wet while trying to figure out how to get it reattached and stay attached.) When I was done with my escapades, the sprinkler was working, but with little pressure. My four year old was quick to announce that he did not want this sprinkler-- he wanted the "big one", which really meant he wanted more pressure so it would shoot up higher. "Whatever, just enjoy the one we have," I told him. And they did.
While the two older ones played in the sprinkler, I gave the itty bitty his turn in the "pool". He liked it. I decided I didn't like the kids in the grass because of the mosquitoes. I don't think they got bit, but I did, and I didn't want to chance it. We went inside. I got Kipton down for a nap and cleared off the floor of the kitchen.
Did I mention that I have a point? I do. :)
I moved the table and the chairs to the living room, all the toys to the toy box, all the magnets back on the fridge, the trash in the trash can, etc. What's funny, is that the point of this whole story is what I am just about to share with you...a fun way to MOP your kitchen with the kids still in the house, and then an encouraging word! So, now we have come full circle. We're back in the kitchen. The kids were already in their swimsuits, and our floor was sticky in some areas, and needed to be mopped really, really bad. I decided to try a mopping secret I read in a parenting magazine before. I poured water on the floor and got out a towel for each kid and told them to "slip and slide", and showed them how to "mop" the floor with their towel. I joined them in the fun, making sure to get right up against the cupboards, and such. When we were done, I tossed the drenched towels in the washing machine, and got out the wet swiffer. I gave each of them a turn at using the swiffer, and then I went over the whole kitchen one more time. WALAH!!! My kitchen floor has not been this clean since we moved in...and the kids helped, which they loved! I would say that this whole mopping with the towel on your feet idea would probably be the most fun for kids between the ages of 4-9...just my guess.
Okay, so now for your encouraging word. One of my older mom friends offered me this insight one day, when I was feeling like a failure, and I have felt to relay her message on multiple occassions, because it meant so much to me. Here it is:
As a mom, you feel all of the ups and downs of your day. You know what you had hoped for and are discouraged, frustrated, and sometimes even mad when things don't work out like you planned. Kids aren't like that though. They remember the tiny pool that was so perfect for their baby brother, the picnic where they got to eat the oreos and mom did not make them eat the sandwich, and a sprinkler that felt perfect on a warm day. They remember coming in and sliding all over the wide open, kitchen floor and having a great time. Fond memories. I share this message, because I am one of those moms who is always putting too much weight in the things of the day that I considered to be failures. If you are also one of those moms, take heart. Your children won't remember it like you did. It was a GREAT day for them, and they would do it over and over again if we let them. (but I would rather never do this day again, I need a nap) :0) Love you mommas! Be encouraged.