Thursday, May 19, 2011

Outdoor Parenting

The warm weather is back!  Hurray.  There was a couple of colder days earlier this week, with rain and wind, but now it is back to sunshiny bliss (though unfortunately the wind is still around).  I am definitely made for the hot days of summer.  I am amazed at how fast my body has adapted to the hotter climate down south.

Abby and Leigh love to play outside.  Absolutely love it.  Leigh will toddle around without a second thought about me, but Abby seems to be happier if I am actually around and watching.  If I am out of sight for more than a couple minutes she usually comes into the house looking for me.  This is where I am not sure exactly what I am supposed to be doing.

Their dad doesn't like me to leave them outside by themselves.  Our neighbour parks his trucks on the street so cars can't see our girls if they happen to step off the driveway.  I get that.  And he's also worried about just the unforseen.  Maybe they might get hurt.  Any number of things could happen.  I can see his points through it all.  But there is another side. 

I don't have a lot of "work" outside.  I could weed my flower bathtub (blech) or I could sweep the driveway (double blech).  I only have garlic planted in my big garden because our landlord will supposedly be putting in a retaining wall, right down the middle of it so there is no point in planting anything since it will be dug up, probably.  The garlic is there because I planted it in the fall.  And according to my husband's calculations it should be within the bounds of the wall, so hopefully I won't have to transplant the poor things.

So sometimes I take some hand sewing/patching outside and sit in the sun mending.  I actually really enjoy it.  Because I enjoy it, I feel like it is just a frivolous waste of time.  I should be doing some work, like vacuuming or cleaning the mold off my bedroom window or picking up the pieces of  'whatever-it-is' that the girls have ripped into tiny, miniscule pieces and thrown down the stairs.  Something that doesn't relax me quite so much.

Therefore I open the windows, at least all the ones that stay up without some kind of support, and I keep the front door wide open.  Every 30 seconds or so I make a trek outside to check on my girls.  This way I can keep working inside, making supper, or doing dishes, or whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing, yet they can play outside and have fun. 

But it does have disadvantages, like I stated above.  So what is the correct choice?  Mark's way or mine?  I don't want to deprive the girls of outdoor play time just because I can't keep up on the house work.  So maybe I just need to be less of a slacker and keep up better so that I have time to stay out there with them.  Because another huge disadvantage of keeping the door open is that we don't have any screen doors.  So all kinds of flies and bees and bugs make their way into our house.  They then proceed to pester us all evening, and possibly into the night.

Is there any winning solution?!


Zombiemommy said... Best Blogger Tips

Great Question.

I do the same... My grandmothers told me about big playpens they would keep in the front yard or in the house to keep the kids corralled.

I am lucky my 4th child is now 6. So he can help. But you are right your n'bor's trucks are not a good combination.

Yesterday my 2nd oldest walked into the street without looking, the nbor was running his strimmer so he didn't hear the car approaching. Fortunately she saw him and stopped.

I try to go outside twice a day. Once in the mornings while the baby is napping with the older ones. And then again after dinner. Sometimes before I start cooking dinner too. Summer is hard, because it stays light you don't want to spoil the fun so early.

Erica said... Best Blogger Tips

Close calls are always scary. After supper is a good idea, especially once it gets hotter.