Puddle Jumping at Paloma Creek Park, Atascadero (seasonal)

 

 

During the start of the rainy season, we did a different kind of adventure — puddle jumping! It was about two hours of fun with a tantrum during cleanup. Worth it? In any case, this is a versatile outdoor activity that you can do almost anywhere during the rainy season.

This is the aftermath of puddle jumping, but I’m showing it now just so you can see what we brought. Sand toys for scooping water, a trash bag to collect wet muddy clothes, a towel and a spare outfit. I brought jammies for my 3 year old because she’s still napping and I didn’t want to change her again after we got home.

Oh, and of course our BFF, The Trunk Potty. We love him. He goes with us everywhere. (Seriously, have you tried wrangling a baby and a toddler in most of these park bathrooms? Gross.)

You’ll also want to bring those new shiny rain boots your kid got for Christmas. …..Only for your kid to immediately take them off. WHATEVER. Not perfect, but the puddle was clean (you could see the bottom) and it was bumpy asphalt so it’s not like she was going to slip and slide. Well, not too much anyway.

Plus the rain boots came in handy for scooping and pouring 😂 . Why wear those shiny new shoes when you can play with them?

You know you’re the crazy mom of toddlers when kid logic is your new norm.

Our friends joined us and this adventure pretty great for a good chunk of time. It kept the kids’ attention and the moms could actually chat with one another while looking on. Boom. Kid time and mom time. Done.

Until, of course, they found a big stretch of sand to play in.

And pretty soon my child was just absolutely covered in wet sand (so, so different than mud) so I started really dreading that whole trash bag changing in the car plan.

But luckily, with puddles, you can wash off and generally be dirt-free once again. I knew the plan was sound! Also, I should note here that we did have two in tow but my son stayed in the Ergo. He wasn’t walking all that great yet and I didn’t want to deal with a wet baby, too. Maybe next time, buddy.

So we washed off our sandy hands in the puddle and headed back to the car with only a few complaints and everything was dandy.  Then my daughter found a crazy muddy puddle on the way to the parking lot. But that’s ok, I thought, we were changing our anyway clothes, right?

So she’s running along and I’m clicking away taking pics for the blog when all of a sudden …

… she totally biffs on a huge slick of mud. And I captured it on camera!!!! Like, by accident, because I was just continually taking pictures. Aaand then I feel like the worst mom EVER.

Side note: Is it just me or is there always like a 10-minute grace period of happy perfection during activities that involve children before you realize you’ve ultimately pushed it a smidge too long and everything gets real? It happens to us Every. Time.

Puddle jumping aftermath after kid falls down

So then I shove my phone away and try to go help her with my huge son in the Ergo and she’s crying and he’s crying and I have to carry them both in a 50-lb heap out of the park. By the time we got back to the parking lot I had peeled my daughter’s muddy jacket off, she lost a boot, had ouchies on her hands and one muddy sock on. Mom of the year, right here! And the baby is still crying through all of this, by the way. Because awesome.

… That’s it! Happy puddle jumping! Be safe out there. I hope your ending is better than ours. But if not, at least you got out of the house.

About Tonya Strickland

Tonya Strickland is an award-winning journalist and Instagram influencer in the family and travel niche. A former Tribune news reporter, Tonya shares unfiltered #momlife content about places to go with kids. Her family moved from California's Central Coast to Washington state in August 2020. Their adventures now continue in the Pacific Northwest.

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