Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Last Weekend of Summer. Or Not.

Today was the first day of school. It was also the day after Labor Day, so that's two indicators that summer is over.

Except, of course, that here in San Diego, September is one of the nicest months. We will almost certainly continue to do summery things, like going to the beach and eating our dinners outside, for at least another month, possibly two. Dinners outside are actually more likely this month, because with Pumpkin at school instead of her summer day camp, my pick up routine is shorter and I'll have more time to set up the outside table.

Still, the long Labor Day weekend felt like a dividing line between "real" summer and San Diego's bonus summer. We didn't really plan it ahead of time, but when Mr. Snarky and I sat down with our beers on Friday night, we realized we had a pretty great plan for a last weekend of summer. We had two parties to go to- a "back to school" pool party hosted by one of Pumpkin's friends and a birthday party for one of Petunia's friends. They fell on Sunday and Monday, so we had Saturday free.

I'd taken Pumpkin back to school shopping the previous weekend. I am not sure whether Petunia was more jealous of the new clothes or the solo time with Mommy, but she was definitely jealous, so I promised I'd take her out shopping this weekend. Luckily, she isn't quite old enough to realize the difference between a trip to Target and the trip to the mall Pumpkin got, and she was thrilled to head to Target with me Saturday morning. We had a special snack of pretzel and Cheetos, and then grabbed a cart and had a surprisingly pleasant time tooling around the store, picking up the items on our list.

Petunia needed new shoes- she has a lot of hand me down clothes in great shape, but the shoes didn't fare so well- so we headed to the shoe aisle and picked out some practical tennis shoes and black mary janes. And then I caved to big, pleading eyes and added these to the cart, too.

She also convinced me to buy her a new pair of boots. I'd bought her a pair of pseudo-cowboy boots (also at Target) last winter, and she loved them. She wore them a lot, including with her sundresses as the weather got warm. But they are too small, and the sole is coming off one of them, so she can't wear them now. As we stood in the shoe aisle, looking for the black mary janes, she spotted some new pseudo-cowboy boots and I decided that if she is going to mostly wear hand me down clothes, she should get to pick her own shoes.

I did, however, prevent her from wearing her new boots this weekend, claiming that I need to waterproof them before she wears them. This is not strictly true, but we're in the midst of what passes for a heat wave here- coastal highs are in the low 80s, and there is noticeable humidity- and thinking of her wearing boots around made me feel hot and cranky, so I just couldn't let her do it.

Mr. Snarky wilts a bit in the heat, so we decided to spend Saturday afternoon somewhere with air conditioning and headed down to Balboa Park to go to The Natural History Museum. As a bonus, this was on our 2013 Family Fun list- Pumpkin loves the NAT, which she calls "the dinosaur museum." They currently have an animatronic dinosaur exhibit that both kids thought was great.

After the museum closed, we took a quick spin on the nearby carousel, and then headed over to my sister's (air conditioned) condo for dinner.

Waving to Mommy

It sounds like we had a packed weekend, but it didn't feel that way. I slept in two of the three days. Mr. Snarky and I sat in our backyard and chatted over drinks two of the three nights. The kids and I spent Sunday morning doing art projects in the backyard while Mr. Snarky laid new sod in a spot in our backyard that used to hold a shed (we bought a new, smaller shed, that fits in a less obtrusive spot). If you think that sounds like a wildly unfair distribution of labor, you have clearly never done art projects with two headstrong children. Or perhaps you are just good at art projects. I am not, and Mr. Snarky took one look at me when he finished with the grass and offered to make lunch.

I also had time to work on my project, albeit it time in a fairly noisy environment, working at the dining room table while the kids played in the living room. Still, I made some great progress- I think I am to the point where I should pick a target "release date" (really, just a date on which to plan to tell you all about it and provide a link to it), but I can't quite bring myself to do that yet. Still, I am gathering momentum, and finding myself choosing the project over other leisure time activities more and more these days. Posting may be light here because of this.

Or maybe it won't. Maybe this weekend was the harbinger of a new phase, in which the kids are old enough that I can work on things while they play and things feel just a little bit easier, until I get used to the small increment in my dose of freedom, and start feeling restless for even more.


  1. Anonymous5:19 AM

    When you mentioned an unfair distribution of labor I was actually thinking the sod sounded like the easy part!

  2. We are just coming into the time dividend of children getting older. My almost-2-year-old can entertain herself for bits of time and it's now possible to sit and think when she's around. Not for long, but it's possible. We've been sleeping in until 7:30 on weekends pretty regularly, too. Glimpses of what's to come!

  3. This sounds great! I often cave on shoes, too, and for the same reason. Baguette isn't a younger child, but the vast majority of her clothes come to us used--including most of her shoes. I wind up buying her one or two new pairs per size on the grounds that, really, we spend very little on her clothes.

  4. Anonymous5:27 AM

    test... tried to comment yesterday but it ate my post

    1. Anonymous5:29 AM

      Agreed with Anonymous.

      Our DC2 is much more likely to be willing to play on her own than DC1 was, but she's also a lot more likely to destroy something or hurt herself, so we have to keep a constant eye on her anyway.

  5. Interesting that you guys think a morning of doing art projects with two young children is harder than a morning of laying sod (during a heat wave!) but then again... the sod doesn't demand to change painting implements every few minutes...

    1. I don't! But then, I love doing art projects with my kids. I'm not a natural at it - I have very little imagination and am much more literal than visual. But I decided I wanted them to a creative outlet, so I spend a lot of time pouring over a&c ideas online, and buying supplies. this weekend we colored in the tops of acorns with marker, then filled them up with glue. When they dried, the color turned these rich, jewel-like tones, so we called them our "treasure". I used to stress over it more, hover and be more controlling, and realized it was diminishing the fun, so now I just let the mess happen. It requires a lot of patience and focus for me, though. It's not relaxing.

  6. I'd say the two activities were pretty equal, sod is obviously physical tougher, but the arts and crafts can get mentally/emotionally hairy (if your kids are in a mood that day...). I love sneaking summer activities into September. Its much better weather, I hate sweltering outside in the heat and humidity of July & August. I grew up in the south, and true summer was for the pool or sitting in the AC. Outdoor activities were for the fall/spring.

  7. I had a business trip to San Diego last week. It completely ruined my adjustment to Texas heat and humidity. Ah, for a cool ocean breeze right now...

  8. "a new phase, in which the kids are old enough that I can work on things while they play and things feel just a little bit easier, until I get used to the small increment in my dose of freedom, and start feeling restless for even more." My kids are nearly exactly the same age as yours (one of several reasons I love your blog) and this happened to me a few months ago. I'm already getting to the second part in which I just want to do my own thing most of the time, already! I think my attention span is about 5-6 years, so I feel like I've learned some things about what children are about (enough to get by, anyway) and now I want to move on to new things (obviously the kids will still be both important, fun to play with, and time consuming, but it seems that they don't require all of my non-work focus and energy, and when I let them be they start to build/draw/do really cool things on their own).

    1. That was funny; apparently to prove my point, while I was checking up on emails and blogs and writing the above comment, my kids spontaneously took a bath, on their own, including washing hair with shampoo, and came out happy as clams with towels on!


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