A Little ‘Crazy’ Doesn’t Hurt

I’m sure you’ve all seen those spouting water fountains where kids love to play. We have a popular one here at our local outdoor mall and my son has always wanted to join in and splash around with the other kiddos. But since I’m a self-accepted germophobe, I’ve NEVER let my son play in that water because I always thought the water was not clean. Who wants to play in recycled water?!?

Even when Evan would plead with those adorable eyes and respectfully ask me, “Peas, Mama, wata peas!”, I always stood firm and told him that he couldn’t play in the water fountain and explained to him that the water was dirty. It broke his heart every time.

But I did something crazy recently. Something totally out of character. Frankly, I don’t even know who that mother is in the picture above, who seems to be having a BLAST playing in that same “dirty recycled water”. Who is that crazy woman?!?

Oh, that’s me : )

When we arrived at the mall that day, my son already knew where he wanted to go. He led me by the hand to the water fountain area where sure enough, there were already a dozen kids playing and having a blast. Evan of course begged me to let him go in. I was feeling especially generous on that beautiful warm day so I thought, okay, a little “toe dip” would be fine.

But as soon as I let Evan’s feet touch the mini water geyser, that was it. I had lost my battle against avoiding that darn dirty water fountain. Of course, some of the water sprayed onto me too and before I knew it, I was in on the water fountain party. Evan was soaked, I was soaked, and we were running rampantly all over that water fountain. We went under the shooting water, over it, through it, around it… and my goodness, playing in that recycled water turned out to be so much fun!

While all the other (responsible and prepared) mothers were sitting on the side, shaded under the tables with umbrellas, prepped with sunblock, towels, change of clothes and sunhats, I on the other hand was running around with my son and playing IN the water fountain with all the other kids.

Even though Evan had a change of clothes and a fresh diaper handy, I myself had no change of clothes. I had to recruit my cousin (Thank you Ninang Mo) to go to Macy’s and find us a towel to dry off. Then I had to quickly shop at H&M completely soaked and dripping wet to buy new and dry clothes. I’m sure just like the moms who were leering at me at the sidelines, the other shoppers and workers at H&M probably thought I was crazy too.

But you know what? I did have a moment of temporary insanity there. But that’s alright, yeah it was crazy, and I’m glad it happened because my son had so much fun and I’m so happy I was able to give him that gift. I learned that day that sometimes it’s okay to be unrestrained, it’s good to be spontaneous. It reminded me how important it is to have fun WITH Evan.

Being a stay at home mom doesn’t always have to be about complying to the daily routine and tedious schedule of cleaning, cooking, laundering, etc… I can’t forget that while cleanliness is important, creating fun memories with my son is more valuable and meaningful in building a close relationship with him.

I love seeing my son’s face when it’s filled with complete joy. But I love it even more, when I have the same look on my face because we’re experiencing that same thrilling moment together.

So mommies, I encourage you next time you schedule a fun activity for your kids, get your hands dirty and join in on the action. I assure you, you won’t regret it : )

DISCUSSION

  • What was a spontaneous and fun memory you had with your child(ren)?

Share your story, your story matters.

Have Fun Instead

Saturday was supposed to be laundry day.

As soon as I woke up on Saturday morning, I was already consumed with having to figure out the logistics of how I was going to do laundry by myself at the laundrymat. My husband had to work so I was left to my own devices to figure out how I was going to haul my heavy hampers into our Jeep, then wash and dry and fold 6 loads of laundry – all with a very energetic toddler in tow. It was certainly gonna be a long, arduous and challenging day. But I’ve grown to accept that laundry days are always tough, especially with having to wrangle my very adventurous son at the same time.

Saturday was supposed to be laundry day.

At least, I thought so….

I was sipping my morning coffee, obsessing over my laundry logistics for the day, when I saw Evan’s tiny fingers slowly open our bedroom door. Then I heard his toddler footsteps running towards me. As soon as he saw me, his sleepy eyes smiled and his entire face glowed. He opened his arms, invited an embrace and said, “Huck Mommy, Huck”. I hugged him warmly and kissed his sweet smelling hair. Then, he took my face, placed both his hands on each of my cheek and kissed me. After, he tucked his head inside my neck, in that perfect space between my jaw and shoulder, and there he rested peacefully for five long blissful minutes.

At that moment, Saturday was no longer laundry day.

I quickly abandoned my obsessions with getting laundry done that day, along with all the other chore-related items on my to-do-list.

I told Evan, “Son, we’re going to have a lot of FUN today.”

Evan woke up so sweetly that I thought, why should I dampen this beautiful sunny day with doing laundry?!? Having clean clothes is nice, but having fun with my son is more important.

So instead of a surely stressful day at the laundrymat, here’s what we did:

  • I took Evan to his cousins’ house for a play date.
  • We took a long morning walk around my in-laws’ serene neighborhood.
  • We browsed through yard sales.
  • Evan rode on the back of his cousin’s tricycle.
  • We ran around at the park.
  • We sat by the water and watched ducks, turtles and geese.
  • Evan went on the swings and said “weeee!” every time I pushed him : )
  • Evan romped all over the playground.
  • We ate noodles, salad and chips for lunch.
  • We visited my Aunt.
  • Evan napped for 2 hours.
  • We ate chocolate oatmeal cookies for our afternoon snack.
  • We had a veggie pizza for dinner.
  • We watched the Laker game with Daddy.

So it wasn’t laundry day after all. It was a full day, a spontaneous day, a perfectly fun day. We didn’t even plan any of these activities. We just set out with the promise that no matter what we ended up doing, we were going to have a FUN day.

I learned over the weekend that sometimes, it’s okay to not have the laundry done as scheduled. It’s okay to abandon chores for the sake of having quality time with my son. I shouldn’t always obsess over having a neat and tidy house. Taking care of chores is important, but having fun-filled days with Evan is definitely more important.

DISCUSSION:

  • What fun activities did you and your family enjoy over the weekend?

Share your story, your story matters.