One of the great things about living in a small town in the Midwest is that it's definitely a make-your-own-fun kind of place. We have a post office, Dollar General, library, and a Subway restaurant, and that's about it. Oh, and two Casey's gas stations. I'm not really sure why we need two; probably something to do with the fact that Casey's headquarters are about fifteen miles down the highway from us.
So unless you want to get in your car for at least fifteen minutes, you're going to have to rely on your own creativity for entertainment.
Yesterday, we went to the beach. And by "beach," I mean "abandoned sand volleyball court."
Our little town hosts a small festival every August, and one of the activities is sand volleyball. This lonely patch of sand stands dormant the rest of the year, and just happens to sit across the street from the bus stop. Yesterday, I lost my mind for about ten minutes and suggested we go play in it when Adelaide got off the bus. Yes, I knew that sand was a little messy, but I'm trying to be more of a fun, in-the-moment kind of mom and less of a downer, that's-going-to-make-such-a-mess kind of a mom.
All three kiddos had a great time, which I had to keep reminding myself when we got home and I spent the next hour sweeping and vacuuming the floors, couch, and almost every other piece of furniture we own until they were satisfactorily sand-free, then sweeping and vacuuming all over again when I realized that Caedmon had a veritable sand dune hidden in his diaper and was hemorrhaging sand with each step he took, bathing the kids, then sweeping again when I discovered that I, too, was leaking sand from my own jeans.
Parents who live on the coast- how do you do it?
Our trip to the beach also served to cheer Adelaide up from her first grade blues- with the exception of one little interaction between the two of us. About ten minutes after we had parked ourselves in the sand, she came running up to me with a big hunk of some kind of hardened sand/mud conglomerate and brandished it at me, saying, "Mom, look! A dinosaur bone! I found a dinosaur bone and I'm going to be the first kid and non-paleontologist to have found a dinosaur bone ever!"
"I don't think that's a dinosaur bone, Adelaide."
"That's just because I haven't cleaned it up yet." She then proceeded to chip away at it, and upon finding a small rock in the middle said, "See! It is a dinosaur bone!"
"Honey, that's not a dinosaur bone. It's a rock."
"Yes, it is!"
"Fine. If you want to think of it as a dinosaur bone, go ahead."
This was apparently the wrong thing to say as her response was a withering glare and the announcement, "You are a Killer of Dreams."
Then she stalked away.
That whole episode obviously wasn't too scarring, however; she and both her brothers have already asked if we could return to play in the sand this afternoon. Sadly, the weather has turned on us; yesterday our high was in the lower 80's, today it's in the lower 50's. It was probably our last warm day for a long time, so we won't be able to go play in the sand again for quite a while, and I won't get to clean sand out of the crevices of our floors, couch, chairs, and children.