just a couple of homebodies looking for some adventure

I've noticed a weird change in myself this summer. If I stay home too much, I start to feel, for lack of a better word, depressed. I'm a homebody to the core. When it's so humid outside you need gills to breathe, I want to hunker down in the air conditioning, lick a popsicle, and sprawl out in front of the fan wearing a shirt that says something along the lines of "Do Not Disturb Until Fall." I think we had been home just a little too much, because we had a very bad day on Monday. I decided we would go out and explore the next day. It was so hot and muggy I felt like I was immersed in a hot tub. We went to the park of roses. It's a local botanical garden that looks like the Midwestern version of how I imagine the grounds of Pemberley would've looked. I've always enjoyed flowers, but I've fallen in love with them lately. I want to be surrounded by beautiful flowers at all times. I was in heaven. Gracie only had eyes for the giant fountain. It's surrounded by a little fence, and she cried and cried to touch the water. Sometimes rules just need to be broken, so I hopped the fence with her and stuck her in the fountain while no one was paying attention.

The trip overall was a success and worth drowning in my own sweat and the residual allergy-induced sore throat. After nap time, we went to Target on the hunt for blackout curtains for her room. Hers are sheer, and I've been wondering if that's been partially responsible for the nightly singing of Daniel Tiger jingles two hours after she's been put to bed. I don't know if it was running around the park in the heat or a dark, cool room, but she went right to sleep.

Yesterday's adventure was story time. I know I said I was going to go back last summer after our less than stellar experience, but we never did, though we did try the disastrous story time at the bakery. I woke up yesterday morning and decided to give it another shot. Gracie started crying as soon as we walked in. The librarian was taken aback when she didn't want a purple S stamped on her hand. She clung to me and scowled at the other kids running and screaming. The rude mom from last summer walked in after us. I recognized her immediately. True to form, she was bragging to another mom about her son's lengthy daycare naps. The librarian shushed everyone using her magic wand or whatever contraption it was, and everyone stopped talking except Rude Mom. She kept talking and talking and talking. As a vehement rule follower (other than the fountain incident), I wanted to kick her. She's still at the top of my list of people I could probably never be friends with.

Gracie sat on my lap and clutched her paper about the letter S. Every time there was singing and hand motions, she burrowed into me and scowled. As much as I wanted her to participate and have fun, I felt like I was reliving my childhood and completely understood. I hate any and everything that requires group participation. It's how I'm wired, it's in my DNA. I would get actual tears in my eyes in high school and even college when we were told to split into groups. Granted, we weren't splitting into groups (I would've walked out!), but I still have memories of hating being forced to do hand motions or participate with everyone else. I would feel ridiculous and wanted to hide in the corner with a book. And that's exactly what Gracie and I did. She ignored the singing, cried when I tried to help her do the motions, and she grabbed a book off a shelf and nestled back in my lap. A boy ran past me wearing Paw Patrol sandals, and I spent the rest of the half hour thinking about how strange children's clothing can be. I'm not a fan of character clothes on kids because I'm a kill-joy, but what if adults walked around with ruffled bloomers with their name embroidered on the back? Or sandals covered with the face of Don Draper or the cast of Downtown Abbey? I'm not saying I hate the idea, I just find it funny.

I think it's time to own up to the fact that we just might not be storytime people. That feels sacrilegious to admit as lovers of the library and voracious readers, but a room full of screaming kids and annoying songs is not fun for either of us. Books are meant to be enjoyed in silence, preferably with coffee and chocolate. I rewarded her with a trip to the park to "play swing" afterwards, and that thrilled her to her very core.

Summer is my least favorite season, but I'm trying very hard to enjoy it. So far, it hasn't been so bad. I'm trying not to think about the upcoming fall, but just enjoy the fact that I don't have to wrestle G in and out of a coat 17 times to get her out the door, in the carseat, in a building, etc. I'm loving the afternoon thunderstorms, evening walks with podcasts, mornings at the pool, watermelon with every meal, wildflowers and bright green leaves and grass, playdates, my tomato plant that's nearly as tall as I am, playing on the playground, and popsicles every night before bed. The summer I was pregnant was the hardest season of my entire life, and it wasn't until just now that I could think about heat and humidity without immediately thinking of crippling nausea and emergency room IVs. This summer I'm spending time cleaning and organizing, reading old, classic literature, and listening to good music. It's making all the difference.

I'm hoping my adventuring mood lasts. There are parks and splash pads and nature trails to visit. This morning our very exciting adventure was the grocery store. We got caught in a severe thunderstorm, Gracie was in a very bad mood and throwing fits, and I was scared our groceries were going to go bad since we had to wait for the constant lightening to pass before we could leave the store and then the car once we got home. Maybe I don't need to leave the house as much as I thought.

It seems we've come full circle.


  1. I totally hear you about library story time! Before I had kids, I was a nanny and we got kicked out of storytime for being too loud! I have never once been back since its still the same library lady. I'm pretty sure she hates me! We love books, but avoid storytime like the plague.

    1. I'm so glad it's not just me! I can't believe you were kicked out! She would've hated our storytime. There was a persistent dull roar of toddlers and occasional chatty moms.

  2. I'm not a summer person either. Sometimes I feel guilty about not being outside all the time "enjoying the weather" but when I'm sweaty and sunburned, I remember that I just do *not* enjoy summer weather.

    I'm really sad that both of your story time experiences have been less than stellar. I've never been, but apparently the library near me does a great story time--most of my students go and talk about it all the time.

  3. That garden looks gorgeous!!!!! I recently read a memoir written by the head gardener of Versailles, and now I'm totally itching to visit a gorgeous garden, but I haven't done it yet. I really need to do this.

    Since we just moved into a house walking distance from a library, we've been attending the toddler events twice a week (because I need some people interaction and I need my little guy to make a mess in a play space that isn't our house lol), and I kept thinking about your experiences the first time we went, wondering if it'd be like that. Thankfully, our library has a session at 9 and 10, and while the 10 a.m. one is a madhouse (one week, there were 60 people there, when you counted up the kids and adults!), the 9 a.m. usually has 3-8 toddlers, and most of the moms seem pretty chill. My little guy crawls around the whole time, but the librarians, thankfully, are super encouraging and always telling me things like, "this is just what he needs to be doing, because he has to move and he's still listening!" and none of the moms seems to care, so it's pretty nice.

  4. Those flowers are beautiful! That garden looks like something out of a fairy tale! What I don't understand about kid clothes is why there are SO many clothes for little boys that say "ladies man" and "i'm single" and other things along those lines. Could you imagine a baby girl in a onesie that says "hey man, i'm single?" That is so weird to me!!

    I hear you on flashbacks of traumatic childhood experiences. Some nights I walk at the park in our neighborhood and if there is a little league team or soccer practice I physically feel anxious on behalf of those kids! Give me a solitary activity any old time but do not put me on a field with a team.

  5. That garden is gorgeous! And I love that you two were rebels and hopped the fountain fence, hahahah.

    Kudos to you both for attempting storytime again. I'm with you though - group activities are the worst. Group activities with people like Rude Mom? Forget about it. There's always one in every group, too.

    Send me some heat and I'll send you some summer rain! Yesterday was the first time since the baby was born that it was nice enough to venture out for a walk. And of course she screamed in her stroller the entire time and Isaiah ended up just carrying her. Drama queen.

  6. I'm not a summer person either. I try to find positives but dang... it's tough. K is playing two different outdoor gigs tonight (he's a drummer) and I am p.r.a.y.i.n.g. that the temperature drops to like 60* by 6pm. Not gonna happen, but a girl can dream.
    Also, I love that you and Gracie rebelled and scaled the fountain fence!

  7. Stop it. It's like you're talking right to me. I should take my kiss on more adventures, it's just so easy to stay home. I bet we'd all be happier going for more walks, visiting more parks, and hitting up more spray pads.

    I've noticed that Parker's a lot like me, too. It really is just in their DNA. He gets really reserved in new situations and takes a long time to warm up. We sat in on a music class one day and he refused to participate but screamed when I tried to get him to do something else.

    Seriously. I feel like you're convicting me so much today to just have more fun with my toddler. Thank you for that reminder.

  8. I wouldn't like story time either. Don't they know that a good book goes with some nice and quiet time?! Goodness!

    I love that you let Gracie hop the fence. She will forever remember adventures with mommy 💖

    1. I knew you would understand!

      Oh I hope so!

  9. we are not library storytime people. sometimes grandma can get the kids to story time at a little book store in the city, but I have kids who are playtime kids. oh well!


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