So That’s Where Summer’s Been: Indoors with the Rest of Us

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, every year I reach my breaking point. When I am just completely out of patience with the heat. By mid to late September every year I find myself thinking “Where in the HELL has summer gone?” as darkness falls earlier every day. But then I quickly realize “Oh wait. It was here.” It’s just that what I think of as summer – a season designed to spend as much time outdoors as possible – stopped by here way back in February or March. Then it just gets too hot to leave the air conditioning.

But finally, things have turned. (Shhhh! I don’t want the sun to hear me and plot its final revenge of the year). This week the highs are below 100 for the first time in months.

Sh*t. I think it did hear me, because as I looked up the forecast to confirm that’s still the case, the weekend highs are over 100, but just barely, so I’m still going to tentatively mark this one in the win column.

Still. Last night, we went for the first of many nightly walks (now that it’s not blisteringly hot), we found that EVERYONE has been going stircrazy with staying indoors. Normally, even once it gets dark, I’ll see AT MOST 2 other people out & about at the park – usually walking their dog quickly before retreating back indoors. But last night, we saw no fewer than 38 people at our humble little neighborhood park. THIRTY EIGHT. A soccer game, a father teaching his son to throw a football, a family throwing a frisbee around, a family grilling some burgers, little ones playing on the playground equipment, and people just out having a nice night. In other words: all the activities I associate with summer, and always will, despite where I happen to live now, where the summer months are associated only with alternating between complaining about the heat and making a game of who can stay indoors more or log more hours floating around endlessly in a pool.

So if you’re looking for me, Baby & I will be in the park. Or out on a walk. Or off on a bike ride. Anything we can do to be outdoors until next summer arrives. Which, I expect to be around next February.

Intense Competition For Such a Young Age

Baby & I went for our nightly walk around the ‘hood last night and, when we got to the park about 7:00, we stopped for a few minutes to watch a girls’ soccer team practice.

This morning, we just got back from our morning walk around the ‘hood and found the exact same soccer team practicing. 13 hours+ later. Same uniforms, same mom cars, same coaches. Wow that is one long practice!

 

Shaking My Fist Skyward

So after this weekend of 105+, I take back pretty much everything I’ve ever said about “So what it’s hot! It’s hot everywhere because it’s summer. Just adjust accordingly!” Fate, you cruel bitch. I surrender.

I attempted to entertain Baby but she got bored (as did I). Here was our itinerary Saturday:

Our afternoon walk around the hood? Too hot, so that’s out. How about playing with your bear? Bored already? Here’s your lamb! Ok, let’s read a book…or 8. Still no good? Let’s listen to music while you crawl around…what’s that noise? Oh Jesus. She’s trying to eat a diaper. Luckily it’s a clean one. Wanna go swing in your…oh, no. it’s too hot out there and your swing is in the sun. You wanna go to…um….hmmm…the mall, I guess? What do you mean people watching doesn’t entertain you longer than 30 minutes? Sigh. Let’s go…um…well….home, I guess.

Remember your bear? Oh, right. You’re bored with him. Well, try it for awhile while I google playgrounds. Oh, City of Tempe, why is your website so anti-informational?! I can see that you have playgrounds but no info about any of them – do they have baby swings or just big kid equipment? Are they shaded?  Let’s just go drive around and see.

Hmmm. No luck but at least you’re down for a nap. Jesus. I’m starving. I could really go for a burrito. Hey! There’s a burrito place on the other end of Kiwanis Park. OMG! It has a drive thru! “Phone pickup orders only?!” Fine. I will pull over, look up your website & phone in my order from 5′ away. Oh, c’mon people. Your menu is a PDF that won’t open on my phone – time for a redesign, seeing as it’s 2012, guys. Forget it.

And that was just Saturday. I googled Saturday night looking for activities in preparation for Sunday. There are indoor playgrounds…at $9 a head and nowhere near me, so that’s out. The children’s museum online reviews say it’s a madhouse on weekends and toddlers beware.

Sunday, I decided to take her swimming. City of Tempe – WTF? The only pool you have open before May is the wave pool, and @ $7, kinda steep for a public pool. At least it’s indoors. But the waves are bigger than I envisioned – way too ‘scary’ for her, when she’s scared of the pool in the first place. Looking online, there is only other public pool open this weekend. Too bad it’s practically in Queen Creek, but hey, we got no other ideas, why not? After a 25 minute drive, it’s a 20 minute line to get in. Once we got in, it’s a f*ckin free for all. Parents not watching their kids who were practically running over Baby and definitely splashing her in the face. Thanks, little Assholes. We left after 15 minutes of ‘fun.’

So, yeah. I surrender. I have no idea wtf to do w/ her this summer. From what I read online, you get the same sort of Lord of the Flies experience at baby splashpads, other pools, & indoor playgrounds. Baby storytime at the public library? Tuesday afternoons in Tempe, Tuesday mornings in Mesa, Tuesday mornings in Chandler, Tuesday mornings in Scottsdale (are we seeing a pattern?) Did you know that more than 73% of moms are working moms? Cuz apparently public libraries don’t. (I realize that work isn’t always M-F but, c’mon).

I give up. This summer is going to be like Groundhog day.

What is this ‘window’?

I used to spend my lunch hour going for walks. I no longer am afforded that luxury because, unless I want to stay 10 hours a day (and I don’t!), I gotta use all my break time for pumping. But today I had to run across campus for something, and it is a spectacularly beautiful day. It may be February elsewhere, but right now it’s a blissful 75 degrees and sunny here. That’s not what I’m here to talk about, though. I would’ve had to forge across campus even if it were cloudy and a brisk 65. In my errand, I walked past the office building across the street and what I saw stopped me dead in my tracks.

They have windows.

That OPEN.

It is absolutely criminal that any of us should have to be inside on a day like today anyway. Especially given that our faces will be melting under the death star very soon. But an office with windows that OPEN?! I have never even conceived of such an enviable fringe benefit before that moment. I mean, anyone can have a window in their office cube. I have even had a window in my office before. Sure, it looked out on a dingy poorly-lit hallway, but still. But a window that functions?

Mind. blown. Then I thought, um, hello? This is not novel. The only thing that made this moment noteworthy whatsoever is that I’m unfortunate enough to work in an environment controlled entirely by someone else. Redoubling my efforts to work on my own business plan.

Walk. Repeat.

I am exhausted. Despite baby sleeping longer and longer at night, I am about to face plant into my keyboard. Baby is super alert during the day, which is not necessarily new or tiring in and of itself, but she also requires something NEW. Every. 10. Minutes. That toy? I’ve played with it before. That cute baby in the mirror? What, like I’ve never seen my reflection before? That book? I’ve CHEWED IT ALREADY. WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

One of the few activities that distracts her from the same old, same old is going for a walk. Maybe it’s because a walk is different every time. Even though I have established markers to hit – the school, the park, the other park, the fancy ‘hood with the horses & ostriches – I just take whatever street suits me, going whichever way something catches my eye as long as it advances us towards one of the markers.  Maybe she, too, notes something different every time we go around the neighborhood even if the highlights are usually the same. The good news is it buys me some time – whatever time is spent walking is time I don’t have to be coming up with some new game, activity, or destination. So we go for walk after walk on the weekends, especially. Certainly it could be worse. It’s beautiful outside. Not too hot, not too cold, and it’s nice to get some fresh air & exercise. Besides, we gotta compress our enjoyment of the outdoors while we can – before long I’ll be bitching about how it’s too goddamned hot to put on pants.

The bad news is it requires me to be both awake and moving. Don’t think I haven’t questioned at least one of those requirements – somehow strapping her stroller to the treadmill and turning it on while I go  take a nap, but I think that kind of “walk” wouldn’t have nearly the same effect on her. So til I figure out a way around the whole awake AND moving at the same time thing means that I am very, very tired.

New Year, New Blog Entry

happy-baby

So I have made it my 2012 resolution to blog as much as possible, getting back in to the habit. My only update for today, though, is that I have the cutest baby on the planet. Not exactly breaking news, I know. After all the hubbub of family in town for the holidays, it was time to just enjoy the day with my girl. Which was incredibly easy, since it is 80 degrees and sunny. Btw, I do feel slightly guilty announcing that, when I know how it is on January 1 almost anywhere else, but it was just contagiously nice. A little alarming given that 2012 is off to such a warm start, but not alarming enough to keep me from enjoying it. So we drank it in, taking 3 walks in between naps.