It’s lovely outside. Spring is just starting to break through, while winter stubbornly holds on. This week the weather is supposed to warm up to the 60s, warm enough to play outside and enjoy the season. But not us. Nope. We’re being hermits.
This week, our local schools are on spring break. And before I offend anyone – I have no issues with public school kids. My kids happily play with public school kids. No, the problem is that there are so many people!
During the summer, people are lazier. They are relaxed, they have fun, and they play. For spring break it’s hectic and rushed. Hurry hurry hurry have fun before school goes back into session! There are people EVERYWHERE! And I, being the introverted mess that I am, feel like one of these penguins.
So we’re not doing field trips. We’re not visiting the science center or the library. Nope, we’re staying home. Sorry kids, no playground this week. It’s just too much.
This time last year, I lost my toddler at the super playground twice because there were so many people and I couldn’t physically keep an eye on all three kids. I was panicking, and perilously close to calling the police. Twice! Because once I found him and glued myself to his side, he disappeared again while I went around the slide to meet him on the other side. I still have nightmares about that day.
I would never survive if we lived in the city proper. Too many people. I need room – elbow space.
All of our favorite places are overrun with people. Packed. Humming with busyness, loud voices, and assorted noises. The indoor playground is jammed with kids. The museum is wall-to-wall people. It’s rough.
My kids notice too. They react, even though they may not be able to explain it. There’s one certain corridor in the mall that I hate because of the way the sound echoes. When we emerge, the kids instantly calm down. It’s a sensory trigger.
It took me a long time to realize that I have these definite limits. Learning about my kids’ sensory issues certainly helped explain it – if I cross those limits I pay for it physically. It’s exhausting. Now that I understand a little more, I know not to put my kids into that kind of situation for long. Like me, they can tolerate a little. Once they hit their limit the fun is over and the meltdowns begin.
I don’t begrudge the public school kids, of course. They’re free from routine, they’re having fun, and they’re excited. I just don’t want to deal with it. My kids don’t want to deal with it. Call me a hermit, call me a grump – whatever you want.
I know our limits.