Generally speaking this is everyday for me. Everyday is spent with my toddlers. We do however try do actual things, playgroups, parks, dance classes and alike. What we also try to do most weeks is have a day out somewhere. Truthfully this is as much for me as it is for them. We go to Thomas Land, a lot. The zoo, country parks etc etc. I often go with my Brummie Bestie and our children have started to interact together as opposed to just be in the same place at the same time. So that’s nice. Sometimes however I go it alone. I fly solo with my two toddlers and embark on our day out. This is notably harder. I am not sure why as my friend isn’t there to parent my children, yet that extra set of eyes clearly does help.
So through much experience here are a few things I have learnt from our toddler days out. Here is all you need to know.
- You will have a crick in your neck. If you opt to take the buggy with you. In my case this is usually for storage more than transport, as neither child will sit in it. You will spend most of the day pushing said buggy while your toddler(s) wonder aimlessly behind you. Therefore you day is spent facing forward, yet constantly turning your head to look back at your wayward slow moving offspring, tailing in your wake. Half of your day will be spent walking to get anywhere, because toddlers move at a snails pace and stop to look at EVERYTHING…ooohh something shiny…ooohh a blade of grass…and off their gaze goes.
- They still put things in their mouth.My boy puts everything in his mouth. Everything. Recently we were on one of our weekly days out to Thomas Land when my girls shouted ‘MUMMY, TOBY’. I could see out the corner of my eye he has picked something up and put it in his mouth, something black. ‘That’s strange I thought, he hasn’t had his raisins yet. Nope but what he had had was a bee. A BEE!. He had picked up an actual bee, could of been wasp I am not sure, and put it in his mouth. I opened his mouth to see said bee upside down with its legs kicking on his tongue. Sheer panic hit has I whipped it off onto the floor. The only reason it didn’t sting him must have been because it was upside down and there was nothing to sting. But just imagine if it had, his tongue or throat could of swollen, ugh it makes me feel sick just thinking about it. Somebody tell me the obsession with things in mouths end soon, he’s nearly two, I thought this was baby territory.
- The buggy isn’t always necessary. See point 1. I usually opt for the buggy/buggy board combo, however if the older child is on foot you can be damn sure the younger child wants to be too. This also makes napping particularly difficult. See below. So I basically end up spending my day pushing an empty buggy trying to keep eyes on two small people, often resorting to leaving said buggy unattended while I go rescue one or both from something inevitably dangerous.
- A picnic is always in order.Truth be told, this is probably my favourite part of the day out. Chance to sit for 5 minutes and eat, my two favourite things. MY children quite like doing this too so that helps. We have a pretty handy picnic blanket from Minene that comes in it own little bag so this is a must.
- Anxiety will reach new heights. You are on high alert all day. You are making sure neither of your children run off, are safe, are nice to other people, have sun scream on, have food, a drink, not doing anything dangerous. Ok I know I touched on safety there twice but it is a big part of the day. It is all consuming to be at such a high level of awareness all day. People wonder why mums harp on about their 7pm glass of wine…
- Naps and sleep times will dictate (or ruin) your day. Now my eldest, who is a few months off 3 doesn’t nap and hasn’t for a long time. My youngest, a few month off two still likes a snooze. He will not however sleep in the buggy for very long, neither will he go into said buggy without a fight especially if everybody else is roaming free. So at best he will have a 30 minute nap on said days out. Failing which, if it is a drive of more than 15 minutes home you can rest assured he will fall asleep circa 4pm. As will his darling sister if it has been a particularly tiresome day. Now we all know the consequences of a 4pm nap…
- You will be exhausted. Totally and utterly. As will your children. It will be a weary few hours of dinner bath and bed but the you will feel marginally less guilty about allowing them screen time as you have been out and about parenting the sh*t out of the day, ensuring that fun is had by all.
So there you have it a quick run down of just what a day out with toddlers entails, it is busy and full on but I would take being out and about any day over being stuck indoors. In fact I rather like them. In truth I love these days with my little people.