Being that Juliet is a newborn and I don't want her getting wet, I have to sit out while Charles swims with the kids. Someone has to always be with Caleb and Ashley in the water so I just brought a picnic and happily took pictures. :D Juliet is such a sunshine and my sidekick so we were fine just sitting and watching the kids play.
Getting out doesn't necessarily have to always cost a tons of money, that's why we joined a community center. Usually we are at the YMCA every year but they just didn't have much to offer. It was just a gym and a pool. I'm super excited this place was built because I feel like for such a low monthly fee my large family can just get out and hang out here whenever we want.
|Ivy at the top|
When I was signing up I asked if there were any other large families that come. I love meeting other moms with lots of kids. They said yes and they had just been in the other day. I said I hoped I would run into them sometime. The guy said, "Yeah, they were here. The kids were all over the stairs and being crazy." Hmmmm... that statement was loaded. I got the hint that he was saying the mom couldn't control them but he wasn't really being rude. I think since large families get watched more, there is a bit of a higher standard. You wouldn't notice as much if one or two kids were just going up and down the stairs. Sure they laugh and make some stomping noises but times that by seven or 10 and it can seem really chaotic and out of control. Imagine a small daycare set loose on the stairs. Therefore, I do get on my kids a bit more about setting an example for other kids. "But mom, that kid is doing it!" I know but that doesn't mean it's okay is the same thing I tell them every time. For awhile there we were hardly ever getting out to save money so when I would take the kids out, it was really tough. We've been having to train our kids and remind them again that in a restaurant you can't talk as loud or be as wiggly as you would at our own dining room table. My older three had lots of training because we went out A LOT with them. My younger three had very little training since we rarely were going out so we've been really working with them. Baby Juliet's job is to just be cute. :) We even write the littlest ones a chore card that says "Be cute". Caleb is turning three pretty soon and he'll be getting his first chore. There first chore at three is always to pick up shoes and put in shoe bin.
Do you ever notice when you are in a restaurant and people are just staring? I don't think it's because they are being rude but more that they are just curious how a large family functions. They want to see how you control your kids, what their manners are like, and how everyone interacts. One time we were in a little pizza joint and a lady kept staring at us. I felt a bit uncomfortable but just tried to ignore it. She was alone and dressed very nice. Well, when we went to go pay for our food the waiter said we were paid for. I asked him how that was possible and he said that lady had paid and wanted us to know we had a nice family. I did notice that she had a sad look on her face and was very quiet. Then I wondered what life was like for her. Was she able to have any children? Does she have children but they are grown and raised? Is her family broken? I had no idea but my heart went out to her because she had sad and longing look on her face.