I’m not letting ticks ruin our summer

At a certain point of my tick-research, I think I have become so pissed at these ticks that I just decided to started living.

I’m not letting ticks ruin our summer


They are about the size of a pinhead, yet they have taken up so much space in my brain this summer. Having a newly minted toddler last summer there were a host of worries (none of which came to fruition, thankfully)—running into the ocean without any fear, jumping off the ottoman for the tenth time and cracking her head open, eating the bubble mix, or chalk, choking on a popsicle.

The list goes on...ya feel me?

But this summer, I’ve been thinking—this is our year!

With my daughter’s gait totally perfected, her refreshing fear of the ocean (no pun intended!), and my choking-fear-levels slightly less elevated...we were going to have more fun and more popsicles.


But then the headlines began.

In crisp APRIL. “Be on the look out!” “More ticks this year than ever before! In the history of the universe!” “Powassan Virus!” Even reputable doctors from highly regarded institutions were voicing their concern on blogs and in news stories. I paid little attention until June rolled around, as did my daughter.

As in, rolled around in the grass. A lot.

It is scary to think that such a small little bug can bring so very much harm—I realized this once I started researching.

I called pest control companies to see what they recommended (“We will spray 10 times a summer” the tune of around 150 dollars per spray...). I considered mosquito netting my daughter permanently, or like, maybe a cute beekeeper outfit? Maybe those are “in” now? Or we would just avoid the outdoors entirely.

However, none of these options seemed sustainable. And more importantly, all of the options took the fun out of our summer. Which was problematic.

And this is what’s tricky about information overdrive.

I actually really appreciate the education that is provided with 24/7 coverage of every little thing that happens in our society. It is our media who alerts us to the most important issues happening today, and without the media there would be no voice for those who think that the world has forgotten, or worse, that the world doesn’t even know their story. But being a mom today in this world of ticks and far, far worse can be incredibly daunting. And tiring!

So what do we do about ticks?

Well, I check my sweet little frolicking two-year-old for ticks every day. We avoid tall grass. We use bug spray (which is all natural and so, according to the experts, is less effective). We avoid super buggy situations (which is not a huge problem for me anyways...)

Mostly, at a certain point of my tick-research, I think I have become so pissed at these ticks that I just decided to started living. Yes, I still have my daughter lift her armpits each night or painstakingly comb through her hair, but it doesn’t diminish the giggles we had as we jumped through the ocean or ran through the grass.

So, if balance is what ticks have taught me, then I guess there is still something to be learned every day.

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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