How I spent my summer vacation

Filed under: Tweens, Activities: Babies

As soon as school ended last June, we put all of our possessions into storage and moved across the country for my husband's new job. Since then, my seven-year-old, my husband, myself, our two cats and the dog have been living in a small apartment with a borrowed television and rented furniture. Because we flew to our new city, we were unable to bring much more than our clothes and a few other personal belongings.

They say that necessity is the mother of invention and that is a fact. With very little in the way of real toys to play with and not a friend in sight, keeping Ellie busy with something other than television and computer games has been a challenge. We do spend lots of time exploring our new town and the surrounding areas, but that still leaves many hours to fill at home. The thrill of lounging by the pool each and every day got old pretty quick and that's when we got creative.

The only things we have actually purchased to amuse ourselves with are pool and beach related items. Who knew that they could be used in so many ways away from the water? We've played baseball with a rolled up beach mat, balled up socks and flip-flop bases. We have used swim noodles as swords and had duels in the living room. We even ring-tossed the dog with an inflatable inner-tube.

We've played Nancy Drew looking for clues when walking the dog and we colored pictures on the backs of paper plates to decorate our temporary home. Ellie has perfected the art of the small-space cartwheel and learned to write her name beautifully in cursive.

If all goes as planned, we will move into our new house next week. The stuff of our lives will be returned to us and things will go back to normal. I would be lying if I said I wanted to remain in this residential limbo a while longer, but I do think I will miss it when it's over. And Ellie would never admit it, but I suspect she will, too. How do you manage to strip away the stuff of life and get that simple, quality time with your child?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.