Surviving the Summer Heat.. With Children

Today is my Eight Years of Living in Texas anniversary.

From May 10th through June 6th 2003: my husband graduated college, we got married, we honeymooned in Jamaica, we packed up my house (thankfully with the help of packers), movers took our things, we drove to Texas with our two cats, we closed on our new home in Texas, and I unpacked (although the last thing took about three months to fully complete).

One of these days I’ll write about the insanity of it in more detail.

It took me two seconds to adapt to a Texas “winter”. I never want to feel below zero again.

I’m still acclimating to Texas summer.

My children, particularly Lil Diva, get angry when told, “Sorry sweetie, we can’t go outside. It’s way too hot out.”

I imagine this is what “northern” parents face during subzero temperatures (waves to my Canadians in frozen tundra who are finally living it up while I roast).

In Texas, when the five months of summer hit, there are really only 3 things you can do with young  children:

  1.  Hide in the air conditioning: You resort to every possible mode of entertainment, from board games, to reading, to movies. The biggest drawback is eventually the kids will be climbing the walls to escape. Then you brave the heat to haul the kids to libraries, book stores, even Target in a desperate attempt to be anywhere other than home.
  2. Visit indoor play places: We’re lucky to have multiple indoor bouncy places – it just adds up to expensive and is less viable the more kids you have. During desperate times we’ve hit Burger King, McDonald’s, and Chik-Fil-A to let the kids burn off steam. It’s that or lock myself in a closet.
  3. Get wet:  This is more difficult to embrace with multiple offspring to track, but the option I fully intend to exploit during summer. Sprinkler parks and the pool are vital to the survival of my sanity. They also have the double benefit of exhausting the children.

Memorial Weekend was hot. 100 degree plus type hot. And crazy windy.

So we got wet. 

The Tackler had a swim lesson on Saturday – he swam in the pool afterward too.

Monday night he to make-up another lesson, so we trekked the entire family to the pool beforehand.

They had a blast and The Tackler did awesome in his lesson.

But the true fun was Saturday and Sunday night.

The kids were bouncing off the walls. So we ventured to a new (to me) sprinkler park about twenty minutes away.

It was a huge hit.


Lil Diva fell in love with the water sprinklers immediately.

This sprinkler park had what all the other ones I’ve found lack: a fully enclosed fence for escape artists.

Saturday the Tackler actually passed out on the drive there – it was about 5:30 PM. The earlier pool visit caught up with him.

Since CG was with me, I took the rare opportunity to bring in my camera for a bit. The lighting wasn’t the best – I had to shoot into the sun because on the opposite side the wind blew water onto the lens – but I still captured the pure, simple joy.

A favorite was the set of three buckets that filled with water….

The anticipation builds.... as they wait.

Lil Diva vanishes as the full waterfall slams into her.

She highly approves.

It was so fun The Tackler chose the sprinkler park over going to the pool on Sunday night.

Very happy children.

We might have created a new addiction.

What do you do during the months you’re “trapped” by weather (cold or warm) with your children?


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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23 Responses to Surviving the Summer Heat.. With Children

  1. Your summer sounds like my winter (minus the splash pad/sprinkler park). Believe it or not it actually gets pretty hot up here in the tundra (especially because of the humidity in my part of Canada). Many days there are heat alerts and the children can’t play outside during the school day (our kids go to school until the end of June). We also most often keep our kids inside from 11am-3pm when it’s super hot unless we’re at the beach, the pool or of course the “splash pad” (which I think you call sprinkler park. I’d still opt for the Texas summer to avoid the Canadian winter!

  2. mairedubhtx says:

    A sprinkler park! What a great idea! We should have one in San Antonio where it is hotter than hell–again. No rain in sight. Terrible drought. We keep cool just as you do, but some of those mean you have to get into a hot car which, unless your a/c is top notch, is not pleasant.

    • San Antonio surely has to have one… somewhere.

      I know of at least two sprinkler parks in north Austin and a few splash pads elsewhere.

      Maybe they feel it would be silly to have such a thing when you have Schlitterbahn so close. Or the Sea World and Six Flags water parks. 🙂

  3. mamamash says:

    I traded Texas summers for Kansas City winters, and yeah, they both suck! But you’re right on track – water, water, AC, water! Love the thighs on Lil Diva.

    • I find myself giggling.

      Kansas City typically is at least 5-20 degrees warmer on any given day than Iowa – the Siberian air often doesn’t make it QUITE that far.

      I know.

      Of course, everything is cold now compared to here.

      My blood has thinned.

  4. Jess says:

    Aw, how awesome! We haven’t had those sorts of things over here in Australia for quite a while due to the drought. We’re not allowed to wash cars with hoses or water the garden in the middle of the day. Apparently the drought has ‘broken’ but most people are stuck in water-saving mode, I think.

    It’s Winter over here so I’m always hanging out for Mothers Group to get my kid out of the house! 😀

  5. educlaytion says:

    Look at those chubby legs! I got a niece with those same trunks. Great pics.

  6. It sounds like Canadian winter: find indoor activities to do on the very cold days. Love those kiddie pics. Scrumptious!

  7. Yee ha! Do you wear ten gallon hats while you do everything? Cuz that would be excellent. 😉

  8. Erica M says:

    Great photos! What camera and lens are you using? Your children are adorable.

    • To prove my complete lack of skill in photography, I must say I don’t know. Let me look….

      Does the description: Canon Ultrasonic, 28-135mm make sense to you?

      Because other than “Canon” I’m lost. 🙂

      I love this lens. The extra zoom is a necessity with my kids.. especially when water is involved.

  9. Your kids must have had a blast. I love sprinklers. But unfortunately they use a lot of water and living on an island teaches you very fast not to consume too much of it, because if no rain comes (like right now), water restriction will happen and finally there is no water. But we go splashing in the ocean instead. 🙂
    Coming from Fledgling Friday.

    • I suppose using salt water in pipes would ruin them.

      I had to share the photos – I could use words, but the joy on their faces as the water sprays.. I just love it.

      Do you have any idea how much I would LOVE to have the ocean by my playground?!?! I have been fascinated by it for years.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

  10. Kid Id says:

    Sounds exactly like North Carolina and exactly what we do. This year, I decided to invest in multiple watering options (sprinklers, water table, wading pool, etc.) so I wouldn’t even have to go anywhere or drag them into our 150 degree car!!

    • I like how you think.

      There is one flaw with this in my house: the original owners put in white carpet.

      There is no tub/shower downstairs.

      It means muddy/sandy/wet kids over white carpet.

      So we go elsewhere. Luckily my gym has an awesome pool. And showers. And they provide towels which saves on laundry.

      My biggest issues with sprinklers in our yard is fire ants. That was not issue in my former state of Iowa. It’s why we go to the sprinkler parks instead. Usually.

  11. I spend a lot of time hiding in closets while letting the kids play games. We have a (different) closet full of board games. We have a basement play room that I set up into sections (soccer net/sporty area, shelves for figures, Legos, books, tables with coloring stuff.
    Plus we house-hop with friends so the kids always feel like they are playing somewhere new.
    I also record movies on TV and save them for days when we’re in total lockdown.

  12. jessicaanne says:

    I definitely relate to this post. I grew up in Minnesota and always think what they do during the winter with the kids indoors all the time, and then summer hits here in California, and we’re trapped inside. Luckily, it’s only a few weeks that it’s too hot here. Love the sprinkler parks, wish we had some around here. We do the same as you, find indoor play places, run errands in air conditioned places, and eat lots of popsicels.

  13. Kisatrtle says:

    Last winter we had more than five feet of snow in one week in PA. We were litterally trapped in our house for more than a week. I started to understand why animals eat their young. We watched a lot of movies, played every board game we own, put puzzles together…and drank…well i did not so much the kids. lOL

  14. I LOVE our sprinkler parks (they are Splash Pads here).
    The kids go insane in them and they’re a great way to cool off AND burn some energy. 🙂

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