It starts with mud. It’s caked three inches thick under your children’s rubber boots and all over their good shoes too. And they will fall in a pile of it at least once.
Then it’s the battle of the sand. You contend with sandy shoes, socks and toes. You try to add a foot bath to the bedtime routine but usually forget and shrug it off.
Grass stain removal re-enters your laundry routine.
The kids want to be outside all the time and really so do you. You let them stay up later hoping that the fresh air and exercise will knock ‘em out at bedtime.
The robins are waking your children up at the crack of dawn (which is getting earlier and earlier) and you don’t want to start your day any sooner than necessary. You consider white noise machines, switching bedrooms and hacking bushes outside your house. You wonder if a fake owl or hawk would do the trick.
You’re sick of homework. You have been diligent with the school routine for six months and you’re about ready to break some rules. Instead of haranguing your children into completing their homework, you just do it for them (with sloppy printing) and let them loose in the backyard.
A few months ago you signed up your children for outdoor sports thinking of how good it would be for them. But now you realized you paid hundreds of dollars to hustle double-time during the week and get eaten alive by mosquitoes.
Dandelion bouquets once again brighten your kitchen table.
You think they termed spring cleaning wrong. Spring cleaning is not onetime overhaul. Oh, no. It is a daily chore with mud in your entrances and dry grass sprinkled throughout your house like New Year’s confetti.
When your children show an interest in plants and gardening you want to cultivate their curiosity so you plant some indoor seedlings. You do your best remember to water them once in a while. But they die. When it’s time to plant them in the garden you have to borrow from Grandma’s hearty stock. Thank goodness Grandmas share.
You have to remind your kids of forgotten house rules: no soccer balls in the living room, no bugs in the bedrooms and no rock collections in the kitchen (even if they are really, really pretty).
Spring doesn’t require warm comfort food. In fact, you look forward to serving quick and simple dinners. Hello submarine sandwiches with veggie sticks. Goodbye stew and shepherd’s pie.
There is both winter gear and summer gear in your closet because the weather changes more often than a 3-year-old girl. You have to be prepared for anything during this seasonal transition. One week the kids need hats and mitts in the morning and the next they get a sunburn. You just can’t win.
And that’s not all. Your children will soon need summer clothes. You tally your options: go shopping, let skinny pants become skinny capris, or grab the scissors and transform the all pants into shorts.
Those robins are singing earlier now! Just because the days are longer doesn’t mean your family can function with less sleep. You wonder if it’s humane to scare robins with a sling shot. Should you research this, or just make your call?