Monday, July 15, 2013

Creativity is only fun if you're not the one cleaning things up

Anyone who's raised or babysat young children know that it's very important to think out of the box. This is because toddlers are not known to have a "box" to think inside of, or if they have a box they are likely to either be eating the flaps or pooping inside of it.

Today was one of those days where it was hot, we don't have a playground or pool nearby, and while we totally have a car with lovely air conditioning I could drive somewhere, that requires me to have enough energy to get us fed, dressed, diaper bag packed with diapers and snacks and etc. in an apartment without air conditioning. Also, we already ran errands this morning and one errand run per day is about all I can handle. 

So Ms. Toddler (whom I think I shall call Lainey on this blog, because it's kind of a derivative of her nickname which is good enough for me) woke up from her nap, ate lunch, then, uh-oh--boredom started to set in. Want to draw? No. Read a book? Kind of, but sitting in Mama's lap is too hot. Play-Dough? She hates play-dough. Do you want SECOND LUNCH...? Yeah no, Mama, your desperation is starting to show. 

That's when my gaze fell on the brand new tent sitting by the door we haven't had a chance to use or even open yet. Ah-HA, think I, I can kill two birds with one stone (even though that sounds quite violent and not good behavior to model to a 1 year old) by setting up the tent so I know all the parts are there and not broken AND Lainey has something new to play with. Genius! Right? 

This is not a review for a Coleman Instant Tent. However, I will say that any tent that a pregnant person with wicked carpel tunnel can manage to mostly set up in a cramped apartment in less than fifteen minutes with a shrieking 1 year old trying to help is designed fairly well.  Of course the real test is replicating this success at an actual campsite.
Pros to this idea:
1. Lainey happily danced around for half an hour inside the tent

Cons to this idea:

1. I lost the use of my entire living room
2. Taking down the tent in a living room with no space is much harder than setting it up
3. I lost the use of my entire living room. And the rest of the apartment, really, since the damn tent blocked off all access to the kitchen, bedrooms, and bathroom. 

It doesn't help that 1 year olds have little patience, so when Lainey was done with the tent she wanted to do something else RIGHT THEN but I had to squint at the instructions and try to disassemble it as fast as possible so we could access the rest of our lives, and seriously "reverse setup steps" is kind of the least helpful disassembling instructions ever, with Lainey stamping her tiny feet in frustration and trying to crawl over me. 

Basically, the lesson I learned today was don't set up a freaking 6 person tent inside a tiny apartment living room. Sometimes creativity is overrated.

On the other hand, after the tent was put away she decided Second Lunch was a good idea after all. 

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