The two year drought that Georgia is experiencing apparently means more than using recycled water to keep my container plants alive, turning the faucet off while doing dishes or brushing my teeth, dead grass in my lawn and struggling hydrangeas in my borders. It means I don’t know what to do trapped in my house with a two-year old.
With the remnants of Fay dropping much needed rain on our region, we have been driven in doors. I honestly can’t remember the last time we were not able to play outside. We play at the playground across the street from our house every day. We feed the ducks and play at another local park at least twice a week. We’re at the pool. We draw on the sidewalks with chalk. We play in the sand and water table on the back patio. If it’s really hot, we’re out early in the morning. In the winter, as long as it’s above freezing, we can go outside. And we do.
We are outside. Every day.
And we’re a better family for it. Peanut loves being outside. Even as a newborn, just swaying on the front porch in the fresh air would calm down any crying jag. As an infant, we’d sit on the porch waiting for the hubby to come home from work and I’d count the cars for peanut and he’d smile. Dinner prep always goes more smoothly if we’ve been outside at some point during the day. Nearly any tantrum can be stopped, any attitude turned around (at least for a half-hour) with a quick trip to the swings or the backyard.
We work out twice a week at an outdoor park and have not had a class canceled due to rain since March. Since MARCH. And now, it’s been raining since yesterday. We’ve finger painted. We made cookies. We made a fort in the closet this morning (although that was because of the tornado warning that popped up all of a sudden during our breakfast routine). We made block towers. We’ve read stories. We made a trip to the post office in a brief break in the deluge.
I feel totally guilty that I’m stressing out about what to do with my kid inside all day. But I’m running out of ideas. A day inside isn’t inherently a bad thing, it’s the pressure of knowing that if we have a major meltdown later, I don’t have an attitude escape plan.
But as I type this, the sun is starting to break through. I see a patch of blue sky. Ah, sunny salvation! Move over Milli Vanilli, Annie’s got a new song for this mama.