The days are just packed

Relaxing with the kids is exhausting!

Grocery store helpers

Camp Mummy feels like it’s been packed with activities the past two days, starting with grocery shopping on Monday morning. Surprisingly, we all piled into the minivan without incident or much nagging. I think Emma is often a calming influence on the younger two.

The kids were even helpful in the store, loading milk into the bottom of the cart (as pictured here), putting groceries on the conveyer belt, and carrying the milk inside the house.When it came time to choosing only two flavors of ice cream (only 2! but there are 3 of them!) they came to a mutual agreement rapidly and peacefully.

The produce area went as expected, with repeated weighing of fruits and vegetables and frequent admonitions from me not to bruise it and handle it carefully. “These apples are $2 a pound. Be gentle with them!”

We discovered, to our horror, that the 5-lb bag of organic carrots weighed in at only 4lbs 11oz. But I was beyond the point of getting them to calculate the cost of each of our selections. They did notice, at least, that we bought 9lbs of apples. We eat a lot of apples.

They were rewarded with a treat, which was actually deserved as there was little whining and misbehaving. Well, if you don’t count Berry poking at every package of hamburger buns in the bread aisle before I noticed what she was doing. And it doubled as lunch for Emma (bagel with cream cheese) and Berry (giant chocolate chocolate chip muffin – yes, I let her eat a chocolate muffin and called it lunch).

After Emma and Sam’s mom picked them up after lunch, Duncan, Berry and I had some club time, as we sat outside and read a few chapters of “The Tornado Book.”

Duncan and Berry finally got into the exciting adventures of whatever the main characters’ names are (I need to do better than this to quiz them for OBOB competitions). Emma seems to have given up on The Ruins of Gorlan, but I’ll work on her again this weekend.



Today felt really busy.

We started off slowly, finally leaving the house after 10 o’clock for a fun trip to the bank. Perhaps I was tense about our impending banking (which involved several transactions, all involving weird paperwork) but getting small bodies through the process of dressing and putting on shoes and out the door took more patience than I possessed. By the time they were in the minivan, I’d revoked the potential treat of stopping at Yogurt Extreme afterward.

The kids were great at the bank itself, glued to their books. Then their elementary school to say hello to the secretary and principal who are still hard at work through the end of this week. Berry had promised she would on the last day of school and the kids made drawings to wish them a great summer.

Then there was playing on the playground and tending to the school garden. Duncan enjoyed eating kale — he’ll eat it growing out of the ground, but not on his dinner plate. Whatever. Eat the kale, kid. Berry weeded while I watered.

On the way home, we stopped by Cheese park to check out the summer free lunch program. Alas, we arrived too late and found only two chocolate milks and one whole wheat bun left. The kids drank milk and split the bun as we headed home to forage for food. Apparently the bun was delicious.

I have slight guilt about taking advantage of a free food program as we technically don’t need it. But people have encouraged me to use it, with the argument that if the food isn’t eaten it goes to waste, and if not enough people use it, then the city won’t keep funding it. I’m not entirely sure where I stand on that, but I also like the idea of not having to come with lunch every day. So perhaps we’ll try again tomorrow.

After a mild feeding frenzy at home, we trotted back to the park to enjoy the play n spray for a while. Walking behind the two of them, their pale little sunscreen-covered bodies gleaming in the sun, tushies wiggling down the road, I began to relax into summer.

I found a shady spot to sit and knit and eavesdrop on a couple of mom friends with their kids nearby. They ran around and played together. At times they drive each other crazy. And then others they play together so well.

At one point, Duncan bonked his head and they both came running over to me, his face red with pain, hers frowning in concern. We comforted him together, and then they were off again.

After a while, we walked a mile or so to the downtown library for a Magic Science Show. I’m not sure where the science was, but it was fun and the kids really enjoyed it.

Somehow, watching an adult make a fool of himself through misunderstanding and misdirection is really funny. Maybe kids are just giant goofbutts and like it when we are, too.

We finally made it home a bit before 5 p.m. and I put on the sprinklers for our poor lawn, letting Berry run through them with an umbrella. Then I sent the kids to the basement to watch TV so I could get some work done. I don’t have much ambition for this summer — I have one client whose social media and website needs attention that I’m committed to. And then there’s my book to finish writing.

But these moments – even the tough getting-out-of-the-house stop-giving-me-your-attitude-and-just-put-on-some-clothes ones – these are precious, exhausting days.