My daughter and I got in the car, I buckled her in, and the first thing she said was “Are we going to Aunt Nita’s house?”
For about a month, every time my daughter and I got into the car she has asked if we were going to visit her babysitter. Every time I had to say, “No, baby. We aren’t going today.” Every time my heart broke piece by piece.
Now that we’ve been sheltering in place for about three months, she’s adapted and hasn’t really asked to see her friends or babysitter anymore. She’s been a real trooper despite her schedule has completely been uprooted. She hasn’t seen her favorite people in months. There are no visits to the playground, and she’s probably had more screen time than I’d like to admit. She’s the real superhero!
She’s turned lemons into a perfectly sweet batch of lemonade. She gets up with a smile on her face, a kiss on my cheek ready to start the day. She’s full of joy, but I know she needs more! For right now, we only see our friends on Zoom calls and we talk to my out of town family several times a day on FaceTime.
I want a play date more than she knows, but how can I protect my baby girl when I feel that everywhere I turn, the virus is lurking? What are some ways for our littles to have some face-to-face time with other little humans and be safe?
Here are some ways we’ve remained socially distant, had some face-to-face time with our friends, and some things we plan to try:
- Socially Distant Walks: Mom and baby have on masks and stay a safe distance away from their friends. The kiddos get to see each other and the mamas have some adult time to chat.
- Parades: We’ve had a few celebrations during this time. My daughter loves to participate in the parades. She gets to scream out the car window and play with balloons while we get to see our friends on the sidelines.
- Car Trunk Picnics: Take your favorite to-go meals and head to a local park or your garage to meet up with friends. Everyone brings their lawn chairs or sits in their trunks, eats, and mingles all while staying socially distant.
- Ding-Dong Ditch Gifts: With parents’ help, kiddos make some fabulous treats and then deliver to their friends’ doorsteps. Ring the doorbell and wave hello when your friends pick up their goodies.
- Front Yard Movie Theater: A neighbor who has an outdoor projector hangs a sheet or purchases a screen for a movie night. Everyone brings their own snacks, lawn chairs, and watches a movie on their front lawn. It’s a great way to spend time together and stay safe.
Mamas, I hope your summer plans will include some of these cool ideas where your littles can have more than the four walls of your home. It’s been a long three months and the future is so uncertain, but look into those little eyes. I’m sure you’ll see the joy you thought you couldn’t find. Stay well. Stay safe.