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MANN: The pitfalls of summertime and kids

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June 28, 2018 - 12:00 PM

OPINION


I’m a big proponent of getting outside. Although I can’t say I was always SO enthusiastic.

But now, even in the middle of winter you will find me shuttling my kids to the local park to dig in the snow and breathe in that cold, frosty air. A lot of the times we are the only people there. 

It is no different in the summer, as I do my best to get them outside as often as possible. There is so much to do in the summertime, and so many places to explore.

As I mentioned a few columns ago, my husband and I fully intend to visit 20 lakes this summer. We are on number six…I think.

And our kiddos are part of the adventure too. In fact, it is even more exciting watching life unfold through their eyes. My husband and I always joke about life before kids. It was fun…but this is better.

But back to getting outside.

I have two kiddos on the go now, and although it is great to see them out and about in the summer, there are definitely some complications in the great outdoors when dealing with kids.

1. Mosquito bites: I don’t know if it is just this year, or if they have always been bad, but this year has been a particularily lousy year for mosquito bites. I’ve never seen so many tots looking like they’ve been in a fight. Their faces so puffy, eyes swollen shut and their bodies covered in itchy red spots. I don't blame them. I find myself fighting the blood suckers off left, right and centre. I KNOW they must be good for something (the mosquitos that is), but I haven't figured that part out yet. 

2. Flowers: I know what you are thinking, what is complicated about flowers? It’s not so much the flowers, as explaining to you little ones they can’t just pick any flowers they please. My daughter loves flowers. She loves smelling them, admiring them and collecting them. But what she doesn’t ALWAYS understand is that not every flower belongs to her. The concept of ‘theirs’ and ‘ours’ can be a struggle, but in a really adorable way. Sometimes we have a slip up and I find myself watching for the flower police.

3. Water: Water is definitely a concern in the summertime. More specifically, bodies of water that little folks can fall into. The great thing about living in the Thompson–Okanagan is we are surrounded by lakes, rivers and creeks….oh and lots of neighbourhood pools. But with each unique body of water comes a never-ending list of 'what ifs.' I have to remember to educate my children on water safety and how to avoid being carried away by a river current. But let’s face it, most kids are drawn to water in some capacity, and avoiding it altogether is nearly impossible. I’m finding it particularly complicated because I have two children who like to wander in different directions.

Now that summer is officially here I am having some serious fear of missing out moments, racing to pack in as much as I can and pretty much trying to stay outside from dusk till dawn. But in the midst of all the excitement, there are some serious complications to enjoying summer with the kiddos — but nothing that can't be overcome. 

— Becky Mann is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her family and saving time by reading while walking, She knows there is so much more to come and is looking forward to the continued adventure.


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