A Weeknight Picnic

I have already forgotten what life was like when I had to entertain two kids with the sky turning dark at 5:00pm! But I can guess that it was not easy. I am loving all this sunshine, especially because I know that in no time at all, it is going to get too hot to do anything outside until 8:00pm. Welcome to North Carolina! My hair just can’t wait for the summer weather!

It’s already May and I can’t believe how this year is flying by. In two short months I am going to have a third kid (!!). I am so good at forgetting the hard parts of parenting that I am still just completely euphoric and in absolute denial of how my life is going back to 2 hours of sleep a day!

Until the heat, humidity, and the newborn though, I am grateful for all this wonderful weather that has allowed me to spend a ton of time outside with the kids. I have also learned that taking them to a 3rd place after school to is an amazing little trick to get them to eat well and burn off all their remaining energy. And the hidden OCD in me also loves that the house remains clean!

***I packed a picnic of leftover Indian food which included lentils and rice, with grilled cheese spinach paratha sandwiches. For dessert, I had grapes, papaya, and dates. It all nicely fit into this blue to-go lunch containers that we received as freebies from Dev’s work. Come to think of it, it’s the first freebie that I would have actually paid for since it is so useful and practical!

***The deal was for them to finish dinner and then run around and play in the water fountains. Well of course it didn’t work. Given that I didn’t want them to use their hands to eat food after touching that water, I ended up feeding them as they ran around. It was all good though. No permanent harm done! I am sure they still remember how to sit down and use a spoon.

***I love this spot at the North Carolina Museum of Arts. It has shade, tables and chairs, and is hardly ever crowded during the weekdays. They are also the only fountains I know of in the area where kids can play in the water. I am not quite sure if the museum encourages this per say, but they’ve never stopped us from having some fun!

It really was a perfect evening and a perfect spot to have some fun before heading home. I do have to mention though that all things fell apart in the last 10 minutes of our adventure when both kids were completely soaked and tired and yet refused to leave. Trying to guide them to go in one direction without a stroller was rather impossible. Then Asha fell and scraped her knee pretty badly but since I was carrying Arjun to keep him from running away, I had to make her walk all the way back to the car as tears and blood came streaming down.

In other words, the day ended with EXACTLY what parenting is all about – a lot of fun mixed in with some tears, sweat, and blood!

If you are ever in the area and need a place to hang out to read a book or have a picnic, check out the NCMA. They also have an extensive Greenway lined with sculptors that makes for a great walk or a run! Until next time … toodles!

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer based in Raleigh, NC. She writes about everything from travel, food, books, and family. Her current project includes a series of children's books to teach Hindi. She is a native Tar Heel who has also lived in Washington DC and Chicago.

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