I hate the park.

There, I said it.  I’m a stay-at-home mom to an almost 3-year-old boy, and I hate going to the park.  It could be that this germophobic mom can’t handle the dirt… or that the trouble to slather sunscreen on this fair-skinned family isn’t worth the struggle… or that splintery “tan bark” invariably ends up as make-believe spaghetti or cookies to fake-eat (yuck)… or that it’s unfathomable to keep up with my adventurous preschooler on the playground while keeping the 4-month-old safe (ding! ding! ding!).  Whatever the reason, when we need a quick cost-effective outing, going to the park is at the bottom of my list.

Without the park as a standby, we need to be creative about other cheap (free) outings that are close to home and require a minimum of preparation.  The outing should allow us to get the wiggles out, keep both kids safe and happy — and ideally educated and germ-free — and still be home in time for dinner.  And let’s be honest, it should not make me want to scream or cry of frustration or boredom; I scream and cry enough as it is.

I wrote down a list of my favorite quick-outing destinations:

  • Public library
  • Starbucks
  • Target (clearly I really dislike the park if I’d rather wrangle two kids in Target)
  • Downtown (bookstore/local bakery/ice cream shop)
  • Grandma & Grandpa’s house

Is that all?  Really?  My poor kids.

Then I wrote down a few more ideas that might be farther afield or require a bit of advance planning:

  • Zoo
  • IKEA
  • Gymboree/My Gym/Little Gym free-play time
  • Local beach

These would have been great when BB was an only child, but I get a little twitchy thinking about trying these with LB along.  No wonder I’m having trouble keeping BB entertained.

Then last week I stumbled across www.rookiemoms.com.  Moms who have a book and a website about what to do with your kids to keep everyone from going stir-crazy!  What a revelation!  What’s sad is that I own The Rookie Mom’s Handbook, even met the authors at a local baby boutique!, but I haven’t once used them as a resource.  So, here’s my goal this week: try 3 activity suggestions from the Rookie Moms and report back on how it went.

Have any parents out there figured out how to entertain a preschooler with an infant in tow?  Without going to the park?!  Please chime in!

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5 Responses to I hate the park.

  1. Love it. I could have written this. I don’t know why, but I hate the park! In fact, I’m only recently coming to terms with it.

    Try the pet store for a slightly more manageable zoo-like experience and your other favorite picks from our website. We can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  2. I too hate the park. Could be, like you said, the dirt. The having to practically vacuum clean my kids before allowing them to get into my car. Could be the fact that every person looks a like a sex offender to me so forget about relaxing or reading that book at the park.

  3. sunshine says:

    how about insects that are attracted to repellent and bite anyway

  4. Pingback: Report: Activities from the Rookie Moms | decafmom

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