Dollar Diet: Week 49, free fun and slowing down

The second week of the school holidays has whizzed by.  My tots and I have enjoyed several playdates with friends, and have either mooched about at home, visited playgrounds and headed for the beach.  I’ve managed to get through this week without spending a cent on kid-related activity (other than a bit of petrol).

Ah, home sweet home

Ah, home sweet home

The glorious weather (seriously, I’ve been swanning around in a t-shirt in October) has made it easier for us to stay at home, because our backyard is so wonderful.  At the moment Chip is greatly entertained by the garden hose, eating grapefruit that’s fallen from the tree, playing in a dirt pile left by D when he put the gate in, and trying to put everything he can in his mouth.  Sausage loves to help me put out the washing, which is quite a fun, educational experience for her.  I ask her for certain numbers of pegs – which she methodically counts out for me – or I ask her for pegs of a particular colour, or to give me a certain item of clothing.  She has even created her own washing line by clipping pegs to a nearby flax bush.

I have certainly been more productive this week.  My house is a bit cleaner, the laundry under control, and our mornings less frantic as we don’t have to rush out the door to our various play groups.  It has got me wondering if I need to scale back our play group involvement, at least until next winter.  It’s actually a tricky decision for me because I have good friends at each group, and as an extrovert I need quite a bit of face-time with people who don’t pepper me with a zillion questions before my brain has had a chance to wake up in the morning, or smear the remnants of morning tea into my cardi.  On the other hand, one of the things I adore about being a stay-at-home parent is that I can say ‘by heck it’s a sunny day…BEACH!’ and just go. [Edit: of course, when I say ‘just go’ this means conduct military-like operation to pack a bag with snacks, hats, sunscreen, towels and the kitchen sink, wrestle children into the car, and THEN go.]

It’s amazing how much my tots have made me slow down.  I used to live life at a break-neck pace until I burnt-out badly.  Even after I recovered, I was still fairly busy going out to events and seeing my friends.  Now if I have more than one event on during a weekend, that feels a bit much for me!  But when you have kids who see magic and wonder in light fittings and dirt, you realise it doesn’t take much to make them happy.  Play groups are wonderful, but so is being at home or getting out into nature.

Here’s to summer!

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