An overcast threatening-rain morning seemed the perfect time to take our young kids to the wading pool- perfect for avoiding crowds that is. Within an hour of our return home from the pool I had ordered water toys and a soaker sprinkler…we’ll avoid the wading pool for now.
From the mom who emptied her dog’s dish to let her son use it as a bucket in the water, to the swarms of screaming children-my COVID safety vision meant it was a short dip for our kiddos.
I’ve always tried to reign in the amount of toys in our small home by not buying things readily available in the community . After all, we chose our neighbourhood precisely because we live a 5-minute walk from the library and four parks -one with a huge pirate ship themed splash pad and outdoor pool.
Why amass a huge toddler book collection when, thanks to the library, we only need to have those ‘please read it again’ winners on our bookshelves? Similarly the free early years drop-in program up the road means I don’t need to personally store a race car track for the kids- the centre has that pleasure.
And then along came COVID and I have since been unable to close my recycling bin lid due to all the shipping packaging.
We are in the privileged position of having a backyard and two incomes unaffected by the pandemic. So while splash pads and pools are now reopened we can choose to avoid those crowds by ordering our own sprinklers, kiddie pool and water toys.
Likewise, the library is now offering online ordering but unfortunately baby board books aren’t well categorized so I’ll need to order the black and white high contrast books for our newborn if we’d like those in the house.
COVID has taught my four and two-year old (and me) a lot about entertaining ourselves without the usual distractions of playgrounds, play dates and community programming. I love our daily walks by the lake and the fact that both kids can now easily identify red wing blackbirds, gros-becs, and cormorants.
I am also grateful that I can choose to buy those items we can no longer easily access even though it has meant stepping away from my minimalist values. I only wish I’d come to peace with owning more playground equipment when trampolines were still in stock.