It’s been foggy, rainy and steamy in NJ for the past two days. Every, single mom I saw yesterday, whether friend (or random mom in a store) looked like they were going to pull their hair out and I totally got it. The past two days reminded me of the bitter cold winter we had this year. It is so hard to stimulate your child, keep them busy and happy when you can’t play outdoors (especially when you’re a single mom and this is your duty from the moment your kid wakes up until they go to sleep). I worked from home yesterday and hoped to go swimming with JD in our pool, but when I woke up and looked out the window it was white everywhere. I swear if I opened the window of our third floor condo I could have washed my face in a cloud of fog. It was humid and misting—so not a pool day. JD was up now and dumped a big basket of Matchbox cars on the floor and was frantically searching for a pink Cadillac. There was no way I was going to survive the day indoors…(I’m not the only one either. One random mom I saw yesterday confided. My child has been having tantrums for two days. I want to jump out of the window. This actually made me feel GOOD, because sometimes I feel so defeated, but ALL moms do!)
I decided to take JD to an indoor playground. I packed lunch and we drove the fifteen-minutes. We’d spend a good two hours there. When we got there it was closed, even though the website said it was open. Surprisingly, JD didn’t freak out. But, in my head, I saw myself kicking the door and calling it a “f*cker.” We walked back to the car and drove away. I didn’t want to go home, couldn’t, but I honestly didn’t have anywhere to go. We had groceries. Didn’t have any banking to do. Didn’t feel like spending money on lunch, since I was driving around with prepared lunch we planned to eat at the indoor playground…So, I made the best of it.
Here’s how we combated the rainy day:
1. We stopped at the local library. JD played blocks in the children’s section, we colored, read a dinosaur book and played a Blue’s Clues computer game. Took out a book I'll forget to return.
2. We went to the local craft store. I let JD pick out a wood item to paint. He chose a rocket ship. When we got home, he spent nearly a ½ hour painting.
3. We ate the prepared lunch, while playing a riveting game of I spy. I spy something green! "A pickle," JD said. Right, now eat it.
4. JD watched a 20-minute cartoon while I cleaned up lunch. Do you let your kids watch adult programming? Join the discussion.
5. JD napped for an hour-and-a-half, closer to 2 hours. I checked emails and did research for a column I’m writing.
6. When he woke up it was still murky, but not raining, so we met friends at the park for two hours and let the kids get messy and eat crackers. There were a lot of moms and kids at the park. Everyone NEEDED to get out.
7. I heated up leftover spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. JD popped 10 black olives on his fingers and ate them one-by-one. Fine.
8. Bath. JD took all of his Cars cars into the tub to wash. Fine.
9. Dora. Say map.
10. Books. He only wanted one. It was a Cars 2 book. Goodnight, I love you, best friends.
11. Bed. He was asleep within 10-minutes—must have been the park trip.
12. I watched the Casey Anthony trial recap on HLN while drinking a beer. Alone. In the dark.
Rain, rain, go away! I’m over you.
How do you keep busy on rainy days? Do you ever feel like you’re going to lose it, if you don’t find something to do, or get out? It’s OK…please share.