We make an effort to take the kids on a ‘family surprise field trip’ every weekend now that the weather is warm. It was such a brutal winter that this glorious nice weather feels like a gift. It wouldn’t make sense if we didn’t take advantage of it. Part of our parenting style is positive reinforcement so when the kids, particularly Zoey (Axel is still a tad young) does the things that she’s supposed to; we’ll give her ‘surprises’. Surprises can range from a piece of chocolate, a toy, a new book, cookies, stickers, or field trips. Part of the excitement for Zoey is that she doesn’t know what the surprises are. Sometimes, the reward system backfires because she doesn’t like her surprise. And she’ll make it known. “Mommy, that’s not a good surprise. I want cookies with m&m’s surprise!”
Secretly, the field trips are not really part of her surprises because we would take them anyways but it makes her feel rewarded and excited when we classify them as such. It also motivates her to do well during the week so that on the weekends, we get to go somewhere special. Realistically, it’s more about building sweet childhood memories and tradition for the kiddos.
Being that it’s Memorial weekend, it’s only fitting that our family surprise field trip is to the beach! Zoey has been dying to go to the beach for the longest time. We headed to Plum Island. “An island located off the northeast coast of Massachusetts, north of Cape Ann. The island is named for the wild beach plum shrubs that grow on its dunes.”
Axel is also getting a lot better in the car seat so taking long trips with him gives me much less anxiety. He was never one who enjoys sleeping in the car seat. We used to avoid going to places because the car rides with him were so stressful and painful. Relentless yelling, crying, and screaming. He just despises the car seat!
Before we left to the beach, Zoey said she wanted to pick seashells. Immediately when we got there, that was exactly what she did…
I was so naive to think that we were able to swim in the water. It was ice frigid cold! But Zoey absolutely enjoyed chasing the waves and getting her feet wet. It was very precious and we wanted to capture every moment. It’s almost sad to know that time doesn’t stand still and nothing can be repeated the same exact way twice. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Thankfully, we can record them and relive the memories from photographs and videos.
Below is a tidbit of Z on instagram. Please click on the image to see her in action chasing the waves!
What are you doing with your family, friends, and precious little ones this holiday? Would love to know!