The boys had the day off from preschool yesterday, but the schools in our area did not (they took Friday off instead), so the places we went and the activities we did were blissfully free of other families. It’s not that I mind other families – not at all. It’s more that I note the abundance of everyone and their dog taking advantage of the lovely weather we’ve been having after school is out for the afternoon and I hesitate to try to parent at a crowded playground. I’m sure that the parks were jam-packed on Friday and we got to avoid that, all because the holiday we observed was different than the one observed by the rest of the children in the Northwest.
After making a brief stop at the office, where the boys knocked over papers, stapled everything they could get their hands on, and thoroughly distracted all of the employees who chose not to take the day off, we indulged in some hot chocolate and donut holes at the local Starbucks (well, one of them anyway) and then packed the dog in the car to head to Lake Padden.
We played at the playground for awhile and then met up with a friend and proceeded to walk the 2.6 miles around the lake. Charles has been asking for awhile to go on a hike (though his new obsession with hiking came up after hiking season, so we haven’t gone yet) and I tried to convince him that this was a hike. He then insisted that he needed hiking sticks. Instead, he got to walk the dog all the way around.
Yesterday was the perfect October day in the Pacific Northwest.
It’s going to places like Lake Padden that remind me just how much has changed in a few short years. I used to, on any bright and ambitious-feeling Saturday, drive my butt over to Lake Padden and run around it. Twice. Now, my Saturdays are an endless train of activities and events, all aimed at exhausting the kids (with a corollary effect of exhausting me). But the occasional Monday holiday? A bright and ambitious-feeling Monday holiday? That is for enjoying in a much less frantic (though no less exhausting) way.
Jamie didn’t nap yesterday. There was too much to do, too much to see.
When we got home, the kids played quietly for awhile. Charles wanted to do his “homework” (one of those Pre-K workbooks) and Jamie read to himself in his room (“Bown bear, bown bear, uuht ooo see?”). Then they played outside for all of ten minutes before Jamie started throwing things at Charles. Consequences of no nap and also of a real penchant for mischief: that kid loves to torment his older brother. And he gets such a rise out of Charles, too. I moved them both to the front yard and they ran up and down the street with the neighbor kids until Tony got home with pizza at 6:30.
They had a bath (during which there was only one meltdown) and went promptly to bed. They both fell right asleep… probably the first time in weeks that we haven’t heard a peep from Charles or had to march Jamie back to bed several times post-lights-out.
I was just doing my job, really: wearing the kids out before bedtime. Here’s hoping I meet with as much success each night for the next week; Tony’s going out of town on a real hiking trip and if I’m to keep my sanity, those kids will need to go to sleep early. The ice cream in my freezer will not eat itself, after all.