Because I have a nine year old and a two year old, this summer we have often found ourselves spending countless hours seeking family activites that will be fun for everyone.
This is a lot harder than it sounds.
Usually my husband and I will talk about it the night before, and all will hinge on how the two year old sleeps. Or doesn’t.
If things are going reasonably well when we all wake up in the morning, my husband and I will again debate the merits of the chosen activity, by which I mean we discuss the length of the car trip to get there, the price of admission, will there be something there to interest almost all parties.
Twice in the last week we decided to take some fairly involved trips with a specific pricey destination.
Bad, bad idea.
When at the aquarium, my daughter could have cared less about ANY of the varied animals. She didn’t even care when a lorikeet landed right on my shoulder, right there for her to observe. She was momentarily entranced by the luminous jellyfish, but her interest in that waned sooner rather than later. She was upset when we decided to move back inside the aquarium after spending quite a bit of time in an outdoor play area. She was upset when I stood in line for us to touch some starfish, and she was upset when I left the line.
Let me also tell you that she was upset when everyone took turns with bathroom breaks, and as I was trying to physically contain a screeching, bucking child who was crying “Ouch, ouch!” even though nothing was hurting her whatsoever, a male passerby clucked his tongue and said, “Oh, poor thing.’
Um, hi, you mean me, right?
But in short, she acted like a typical two year old.
Of course I knew going into the trips that we could encounter problems, but we really wanted to see how much our daughter could handle.
Turns out, not too much.
Next time we will just have to split up, with one of us taking the older child to the “event” and the other one just taking the toddler to a park.
Just think of the money we’ll save!