Backyard Games and Busy Kids

The new play ground addition was put to the kid test today as some very good friends and their children joined us for this incredibly hot Father’s Day. It seemed to be a winner. However, there’s a lot of hard to play.

So we made a Quidditch pitch and some huge croquet wickets. It was fun for me at least. 

Our days with friends have a set rhythm these days. The morning starts with the oldest being too exited to sit down or be quiet. Breakfast is gobbled down between “are they here yets”. Once the friends arrive, the two oldest sons run to the basement and explore the various toy drawers in our IKEA shelves that were nearly destroyed when being put together.

They play for a time, adults take in some much needed adult conversation out of earshot of the little ones so we can say curse words while discussing our employment or stupid things that have happened since our last meeting.

Once the adults have chatted it up we head outside and hope none of the children are too seriously mamed in the process of play.

The children run until lunch. Not an exaggeration. They run for hours. Causing much exhaustion.

My oldest son is not yet ready for nap free days, but on Friend Sundays all bets are off. His mother and I regret this philosophy. After lunch we take the kids for quiet time. Today it was watching Harry Potter for about twenty minutes before they all decided that toys are far superior to movies. I cannot blame them for this belief, but come on! Sleep!  At least pause.

An hour after quiet time my oldest has a mental break and falls apart. Every. Single. Visit. And we forget about this for some reason. He gets some time apart from friends, but by golly can they still hear him. He quite disagrees with this separation.

Half an hour later he can rejoin the group and we resume play. He still doesn’t share and is emotionally fragile, but at this point in the day he isn’t willing to test his mother. One good mental break and he’s usually fine afterward though. Complete angel the rest of the day. Hopefully, some new structure tools, books on dealing with all these eemmoooottions and a new day care will help him figure out how to process things a little better.  Or maybe he just needs more PB&J in his life, I’m really not that good at this stuff.

Our friends’ kids are crazy adorable too, so my guy being a tired four year old is quite bearable.

So the day eventually led to a Quidditch pitch and pool noodle wickets.  I got to hang with my dad friend and build stuff with pvc and duct tape.  #Winning.

The Quidditch stuff was a process.  The hula hoops we picked up had water in them for reasons unknown.  Putting a screw them them and a balancing piece of 1×1 board made sense, but the sudden appearance of water was troubling.  The kids gathered round and watched two dads try not to put a drill through our hands.  Then the duct tape.  My friend called it a “proof of concept”, but this is probably the final product.

Now before you go saying that two Quidditch goals is so not canon, know that the third one was a structura failure beyond what duct tape in 100 degree heat could fix. It will be mended and added at a later date. For brooms the wee ones rode around on lacrosse sticks and tossed big bouncy balls through the hoops.

There was some interest at first. But with wood and duct tape swords being plentiful at this house, something so simple as ball through hoop was set aside in favor of piracy and swashbuckling.

Pool noodle wickets are all over Pinterest and for good reason.  These are awesome.  One of the youngsters opted to run into the archways.  Pool noodles held to the ground with garden stakes.  Not exactly safe should the noodle fling off the stake, or worse yet take the stake with it; but totally fun.  There will likely be more of these in the near future.  Fun for kicking soccer balls through.  Again, swords were present so the kids were not entirely impressed with this option, but one day….one day.




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