Okay, so I know Peter and I aren’t the world’s cheapest parents. We didn’t cloth diaper, we bought brand new nursery furniture and we (a.k.a I, Elise) have been known to splurge on unnecessary kids bed and bathroom decor items on occasion.
However, we did recently have a pretty spectacular cheap parenting moment.
Everyone, I’d like to you meet…
Our new backyard playground! (Deluxe Rainbow play system, this is not.)
When we moved in, this spot in our yard was supposed to be a rain garden. However, the house having been vacant for nearly a year previous to our purchasing it, the rain garden had essentially become a weed garden.
This is a picture from 2010. Lovely, isn’t it?
Anyway, a couple years ago we dug up all of the worthwhile vegetation and planted it elsewhere thinking we’d make this into a fire pit area. The front yard landscaping ended up taking priority though, so we kinda let the fire pit idea go, which might not have been the most brilliant plan, because weedy area, minus the few good plants holding things back, equals SUPER weedy area. So this year before the weeds could get out of hand again, Peter decided to put a tarp down over everything. And since we needed something to hold the tarp in place, we figured we’d use what we already had on hand to make it a little play area, just for this year (hopefully).
And what did we have on hand? Well, that brings us back to our cheap parenting moment. We had a found-by-the-side-of-the-road Little Tykes play structure and an also-found-by-the-side-of-the-road turtle sandbox. Uh, huh, that’s right. Someone actually left this beauty out for the taking.
I’m not exactly sure how the whole cheap-parent point system works. Anyone know if we qualify for some bonus points since our turtle doesn’t even have his eyes anymore?
Naturally, the girls think their new play area is the best thing ever. Alethea is always begging to play in the backyard now. And Lydia? Well, she gets her ‘I’m big stuff’ face every time we help her climb up into the play structure.
I have to admit, seeing grins like that for the price of a tarp and a little manual labor, makes me think I should try the cheap parenting thing more often. Makes me and my checking account feel all warm and fuzzy inside.