How to beat an Irish Summer

img_2626How to beat an Irish Summer. ( Or how we did )

God knows we have had our fair share of rain this summer. I really can’t remember a wetter one. If I have found it incredibly frustrating you can only imagine how the kids felt. ” Dad can we go out?” “Sure, hang on while I open the door”. And just like that the heavens opened. This was a regular occurrence this summer. So much so that the kids would wait by the door to go out in between the showers. I even went and purchased rain trousers for the kids so we could head off no matter what. It wasn’t only showers this summer, we had torrential downfalls for hours on end. And for those days it was time to get creative with activities to do inside. It’s too easy to babysit the kids with a smart TV. Two months of this was definitely not happening.
Soft play areas were out of the question because every other parent would have the same idea. On a wet day crowded play areas are an audible nightmare, full of cabin fever kids of all ages running around burning off all that frustrated energy. And not a helmet in sight. On my day off I don’t much fancy nursing multiple little concussions. The cinema is not much of an option either, it’s an expensive two hours and a lot of the current kids movies contain very dark scenes from rabid animals to dogs being abducted and fed to a viper. Not the ideal viewing for a 3 and 4 year old . Having night terrors is not included in the price. Picture painting is fun for all of five minutes until Malcolm lashes a random blue splash across the girls pictures resulting in a burst of syncronised screams. Some might say this is how modern art masterpieces are achieved but believe me it’s not worth the ear torture. Play dough wasn’t much better as it resulted in a possible case of constipation. I have to say though some of the colours of play dough today are quite tasty looking.
This summer we even created a Spotify playlist of rain songs to play in the background while we were kept under house arrest.

So how did we beat the summer? We got cooking. We emptied the larder and got cooking. We picked recipes where the kids could get involved in the preparation. We made our own tomato sauce  from our homegrown tomatoes. We then made our own pasta to go with this. You can take as long as you like making this, let’s not get this made too quick or else you have the remainder of the day to fill. We made cookies of all sizes and flavours. We also made miniature slider burgers. Each one of these recipes allows the kids to get stuck in the ingredients up to their elbows. As each recipe comes together the sense of achievement each child feels is amazing. It’s one thing watching how much salt and sugar you put into your kids meals but allowing them to help teaches them the right proportion that goes in. Another important part of this hands on approach is portion size. A kids hands are only so big and they can help with the size of the burgers for instance, obviously a quarter pounder isn’t an ideal portion size for 3 year old.
This approach is great fun but it is very messy. The latest IKEA advertisement shows just how messy it can get. Is it me or is the IKEA Grandad terrifying?

At times I feel I harp on a lot about the weather on this blog. Evelyn Cusack and Jean Byrne from Met Eireann must feel like the Oncologists giving the same bad news to the Irish public all summer. In time though, when my grandkids get to read our posts, they will get a real feel for the Irish weather, summers in particular.
I hope this post has been helpful and inspirational to you. Remember if all of the above fails to beat your weather blues, get saving now and book a two week break in Tenerife where you will be guaranteed to get the sun and vitamin D you require.
Please forward on to any parent who needs the help. Thanks.

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