Recipe for Exhausting One Small Boy (And One Bigger Girl)


1 hot sunny day
1 picnic lunch (peanut butter and jelly with fruit and crackers recommended)
1 cargo bike with seats for all
Bathing suits and towels
1 playground with splash pad (preferable a working splash pad)

Miscellaneous Items:

Wet Wipes
Extra diaper(s)


Load up bike with picnic lunch, miscellaneous supplies, and as many children as it can hold (or however many you have hanging around).


The Crew

Pedal to the park, being sure to take your time and enjoy the scenery. Save the zoom button in order to get some exercise. When you arrive express disappointment that the playground water feature is not turned on. Call the park office to inquire about said water feature (after all, it is 80 degrees at 11 a.m. Water would be good). Distract children from water feature by letting them run wild on the playground. Steal a few minutes to yourself with your Kindle while Big pushes Little on the swing.

Rest time for momma

Try to ignore how hot you all are and don’t bemoan the lack of water feature too much. Distract them from the heat by bribing them with lunch.

Lunch at the park

While you are eating lunch observe people messing in the splash pad building. Cross fingers the water will turn on.


After lunch (still no water) let them run wild on playground again. Give them five-minute warning and mourn lack of water play.


Exactly four minutes after five minute warning observe water starting to come from splash pad area. Cheer and groan simultaneously because this means staying longer and nap time will be very late.


Quickly change Little into swim outfit while Big (already in her bathing suit) gallops toward the water shrieking with delight and getting just wet enough to be happy. Realize water is turning off just as Little is changed, all ready to get soaked.


Sigh. Groan. Cross fingers some more. Have parience. Wait. Wait. Wait.

Is there water?

Send kids to play on playground again. Hope Little doesn’t pee through his swim diaper all over the slides.


Wait. Wait. Wait. Finally, give another five-minute warning. Prepare self for Little’s inevitable screams of “WAWA! NO! WAWA!”


Four minutes after five-minute warning realize the water is finally turning back on again. Curse water for toying with you and race with children to water feature, knowing that even if it shuts off again, at least now they have both gotten water dumped over their heads so hopefully tantrums upon transition will be minimal.


Let children play for long enough to get soaked and stoked.

Perhaps even let them play long enough to get a little chilly.


Give them the last “I mean it this time” five-minute warning, after which spend 10 minutes (minimum) getting changed into dry clothes and actually leaving the playground.


Head to grocery store for pick up of two unexpected items. Also pick up some little ice cream bars. Eat ice cream bars out front of store. Note that you pedaled to earn the ice cream treat and you brought extra wet wipes. Wish the camera hadn’t run out of batteries because the gorgeous sunny day and lighting is making the eyes of your children look incredibly beautiful.


Load children onto bike with strict instructions to Little: “No sleeping until we are home in bed”. Zoom home as fast as possible.


Arrive home to find Little sleeping on bike.

Hope for a nice transition to bed because otherwise the scheme to tire out children in order to have an afternoon rest yourself will be all for naught.*



*He did transition nicely into his bed because he was so worn out. Hopefully his diaper doesn’t leak all over his bed since I didn’t get to change it. Big almost always does a good job transitioning to rest time lately and she was tired too.