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99 Ways Moms REALLY Spend Time At a National Park

Last week, I got an email letting me know that the National Park Service is turning 99 years old on August 25 (look at that, 'Merica - we're getting all grown up!) and to celebrate, they're waiving entrance fees at all their parks on their birthday. They also sent me a list of 99 ways to #FindYourPark, including items like "Make a memory."

Or, be seen yelling, "HEY, WAIT UP GUYS, WHERE THE %$&@* DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING?"
Oh, we parents are sure to make a memory almost every time we take our kids anywhere, but probably not exactly the ones we hoped we'd make. So, to give myself an excuse to tell you to GET OUT TO YOUR NEAREST NATIONAL PARK and enjoy time with your children, while simultaneously reminding you why you never bother taking your children anywhere, I wrote a 99-item list too!

99 THINGS PARENTS ARE GUARANTEED TO DO AT A NATIONAL PARK:

1) Take pictures of your kids next to unusually large trees.

2) Tell them to get down out of unusually large trees (but make sure to take a photo first).

3) Share those photos on Facebook to prove what an outdoorsy mom you are.

4) Yell, “BE CAREFUL!” every time your child gets close to the edge of a stream or the top of a steep incline.

5) Mentally calculate how many wine calories this hike adds up to.

6) Try desperately to remember what poison ivy looks like.

7) And is that poison oak over there?

8) Encourage your kids to listen for their echo in a canyon, hoping they’ll be tired of yelling by the time you get home.

9) Herd children to ensure they’re 75 feet away from the safety railings at all times.

10) Talk to your kids about how much you love nature.

11) Then pretend not to be squeamish when your child tries to show you a snake or large insect.

12) Apply copious amounts of bug spray.

13) Determine which of your children might be able to suck venom out of a snake bite, NOT THAT YOU’RE STILL THINKING ABOUT SNAKES.

14) Or West Nile virus.

15) Reapply bug spray.

16) Look at a sculpture in an urban park; congratulate yourself for doing something educational with the children.

17) Pretend it isn’t funny when the kids laugh at a tree knot that looks like a butt.

18) Rent a boat on a pristine lake.

19) Yell, “BE CAREFUL!” every time child gets close to the side of the boat.

20) Tell them you know the life vest isn’t very comfortable, but IT’S FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY SO STOP MESSING WITH THE BUCKLES ALREADY.

See what I mean? As we parents know, it only gets more ridiculous (and funny) from here — so read the full list of 99 (all-too-realistic) ways parents spend their time at National Parks in my post over on Mommy Shorts!

99 things parents are guaranteed to do in a National Park by Robyn Welling @RobynHTV



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