The weather this week got me thinking. Most of you will probably not be able to comprehend this, but those who know me extremely well would tell you I'm not exactly the "outdoorsy" type. While I enjoy and sincerely appreciate the beauty of nature, I don't like being uncomfortable in it. I do like putzing around in the garden or landscaping; I enjoy a refreshing walk--especially with a good conversation partner; and I normally wouldn't mind taking a dip in a pool. However, if it's too hot, too cold, too humid, too windy or, above all, too buggy, I'm going to get cranky pretty quickly. Unfortunately, that pretty much takes care of about 95% of the time.
It's also a lot of work to go outside--particularly when it comes to kids. By the time you have them properly dressed, lathered in sunscreen, sprayed with bug repellent and outfitted with appropriate foot attire (not to mention fed, napped and diapered), you (and sometimes they) are almost ready to go back inside. If you do stay outside for any length of time there is bound to be some kind of clean-up operation needed at the end. I liked playing in the wet sand, mud, etc. when I was growing up. It's just a lot more of a hassle to get things cleaned up from the adult standpoint. Also, the older I got, the less I liked the feeling of being dirty. I'm definitely not a germophobe, but I have personal comfort standards.
For example: I have really enjoyed my back deck the last five years--from the comfort of my kitchen table. In my mind why would you haul out a dusty lawn chair that needs to be wiped down and try to concentrate on a book while constantly swatting at bugs and/or trying to keep your hair out of your face when you could sit at a clean kitchen table sipping an iced mocha latte and just enjoy the view through the sliding glass door/screen?
Parks and picnics are okay, but between keeping the hot foods hot, the cold foods cold, the bugs out of the fruit bowl and the wind from blowing it all away, it sometimes just seems easier to eat inside. I suppose I'm just being a party-pooper, but that's coming from the perspective of the person who has to plan it, pack it and put it all away.
Pools are tolerable, but you rarely escape without a painful sunburn on the one spot you missed with the sunscreen (or "sunscream" as Emily calls it). Then you have to deal with all the wet towels and suits and clothes. But I'll take a pool over a lake or a beach. I really don't like being in water where I can't see my whole body at all times. Just thinking about the living things I might step on, bump into or kick gives me the eebie-jeebies. Plus, you can never really get all the sand rinsed off.
And don't even mention camping. Besides pitching an old tent in the backyard a few times as a kid (complete with fans via extension cords from the house), I only remember two camping trips, neither of which were very enjoyable. I like my private bathroom and hot shower that don't require wearing flip-flops at all times, along with a comfortable mattress to sleep on. And did I mention no bugs? A Motel 6 is about as roughing-it as I like to get. I married an Eagle Scout, but luckily, working in the travel industry for 10 years has softened him to the point where he mostly agrees with me. :o) He jokes about getting an RV when we retire and traveling to all the NFL stadiums, but I get claustrophobic and car sick just thinking about it. :op
So before you think I'm just a grouchy hermit crab, you should know that I do attempt to spend time outside. I finally gave in and got out the baby blow-up pool (blown up by me) along with all the toys/accessories only to have Emily absolutely refuse to put on a swimming suit. After wrestling it half on I decided it wasn't worth fighting that battle and will wait out her stubbornness. Attempts to play out on the driveway usually last 15-20 minutes max before Emily is either asking to go back inside or just letting herself back in. That, of course, is after I spent 30-45 minutes trying to get everyone out the door. Did I ruin her that way?!? Even playing in the neighbors' back yards or at the park with our play group doesn't last more than 30 minutes before Emily is begging to go. We did manage to get out for a 45 minute walk/stroller ride outing this morning. The destination?--Kwik Star to cash in a birthday coupon for a free cake donut and fountain drink. (Can you feel the pregnancy pounds melting away?!?) ;o) We also managed to stop at a park for 15 minutes on the way home before Lincoln started getting agitated and needed to be fed and changed. Then we went the neighbor's yard to play for about 30 minutes. Emily was not exactly wearing play clothes (she picked out her own dress and dress sandals this morning) and managed to get her hands completely covered in tree sap from a fresh stump in another neighbor's yard. After three separate scrubbings with dish soap it is still not completely off. I'm just waiting for bath time now. Sigh...
So why do I not enjoy being in the Great Outdoors that much? Maybe I'm a wimp. Or maybe I'm just plain lazy. Whatever the case may be, I admire people who go out and enjoy the world. I'll just grab my iced mocha latte, open a window, put my feet up and blog about it. :o)