Archive for January 19th, 2010

Staycation – Weekend 2

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Saturday was an exciting day for us for a number of reasons. Amanda came with us to watch Reid at hockey – her first-ever spectator who didn’t live with her. Reid was very pleased and seemed to work a bit harder to make it worth Amanda’s having to get up earlier than on a work day. I’d mentioned to one of Reid’s coaches that he should feel free to hurry he along; Reid tends to be pretty casual in the drills that seem to require speed. She told us in the dressing room that the coach helped her remember to go fast if she forget. We took Ken home and then just us ladies went out to Cora’s for breakfast. A number of people on Twitter were lamenting not going out for brunch very often since they have kids. I think that the main issue must be kids in the plural since Reid and I do brunch quite often, mostly by ourselves. Once brunch was finished, we all went to the bridal store to choose a flower girl dress for Reid to wear in Amanda and Nam’s wedding. Let me tell you that Reid is not one of those hockey players who is afraid to enjoy her feminine side! She loved the twirly dress and looking at herself in the mirror. Even better, Reid and Amanda both preferred the same dress of the two Amanda had chosen for trying on. We hurried across town to return Amanda to her neighbourhood, but not house, because we didn’t have the time.

We got to Kindermusik with one minute to spare – not ideal but better than some weeks. M had handed out the glockenspiels last week (Reid is sort of repeating this session as it turns out that her last teacher didn’t follow the curriculum.) and the kids did a lovely job on their first couple of songs. I love, love, love the sound of the glockenspiels. Their sounds are quintessentially children’s music for me.M had made a musical staff on the floor and the kids laid plates in the appropiate space to make the C note. Once Reid masters this note, she’ll know how to read music better than I do. We went right home after Kindermusik, visited with Ken a bit since even guys who are preparing for major tests deserve a break. Reid invited him to colour with her in her big Tinkerbell colouring book that she received at Christmas. It’s a good size fo two people to colour on the same picture but the pictures don’t lend themselves to lots of colours. I’d give it one thumb down but they seemed okay with it.

I was hoping that Reid would let me take her to the library, a destination that she and Ken go to often but I wasn’t successful. I let her take more books out then him, even. Le sigh. We went to the Splash Wave pool instead. It’s a funny place in terms of pricing. Kids are $5.35 and adults are $7.55 but family admission is $5.35 per person. So glad I read all the way down the price list and introduced us as a two-person family. Thinking about it now, I wish I’d sung, “We are fam-i-ly.” I know it’ll be in my head for days, I should have shared it with others. ;+) I decided that we should stay for a minimum of 107.5 minutes since that seeemed a good way to get value for money for our outing. I think Poppa Howard would have been proud of this train of thought. We spent only 20 minutes in the waves. Reid was, for the first time, tall enough to go down the big slide (from the 2nd story) and she wanted to make up for all of the times that she has asked to go but wasn’t allowed. I went down each time, too. Some parents waited at the end of the landing pool but Reid and I have fun standing in line, too. Reid took pity on me and took me to the “hot” pools – which are warm at best – a couple of times as well. Not that I whined to go to them. I’m not like that. After 111 minutes in the pools, we scurried back to our locker to get dressed and then pick up a rotisserie chicken for supper.

Sunday was a day that more deserved the “staycation” appellation since we went to the Museum of Science and Technology in the morning and Cosmic Adventures in the afternoon. We met a friend, Annie, and her two kids at the Science and Tech museum. I’d read about the new exhibit – Hungry Planet  – and was keen to see it. It turned out to be very large photographs, maybe 4 feet by 6 feet in size, of what each of the 25 families in 21 countries ate in a week. The sheer amount of food in the western countries versus other countries was striking as were the differences between the countries where packaged and processed foods dominated rather than those where grains and legumes were common. The kids were less interested in the pictures than I was, but they were able to notice the differences when we mentioned what to look for. After the Hungry Planet, we went to see the area with flashing lights. I think it might be about telecommunications but we were there for the flashing lights, slide and buttons that could be pushed. We made our way to the Crazy Kitchen, because the kids love it. Not me. I don’t like feeling queasy or like I’m going to fall over. Annie had brought some cookies to share for snack that were sugar- and gluten-free (except for the chocolate chips) and they were yummy! We wrapped up our visit with a walk-through of the train hall. I managed to restrain myself from pointing out the clock that used to be in Tilbury but I thought of it and it made me feel a bit homesick for southwestern Ontario.

We got home in time to eat our lunch and prepare for a visit from M, one of Reid’s school friends. M’s mom said that she’d drop by between 1 and 1:30 but didn’t arrive until 2:00. Reid did a pretty good job of waiting, considering that she is 5.5 years old. She dug out a clock for learning to tell time and we used it to help with her expectations. I bundled the girls up and we went straight to Cosmic Adventures. I’d been so excited to take my laptop but the wifi wouldn’t work for me. I restarted my computer a couple of times, which usually solves that problem, but was too embarassed at my lack of geekiness to ask for help. Next time I will. I had time to start writing this story, though, and time to wonder if there is there anything more pointless than responding to a kid calling, “Mommy!” in an indoor playground the size of Cosmic Adventures? Reid usually calls me “Mama” and that isn’t quite so common but with all of the francophone kids yelling “Maman!” it’s not unique enough that I don’t look up when I’m not being called.

M’s mom had sent some money and said the M would want a drink and something to eat. We usually treat Reid to a slushie to share with her buddy but not food. Since M had heard her mom, though, I decided I’d best pony up for a snack. The girls decided on a plate of nachos. I still made them share the slushie and paid a bit more than $10. I guess I’m cheap but that seems extreme when admission is $14.69 per kid after tax. We didn’t even stay 146 minutes! The girls were hanging out at my table after only an hour and a half. I made them run another 15 minutes and then we came back home to play with Reid’s doll house. They ended up colouring and it was a quiet way to end a playdate that started in a very loud environment.

And, now, it’s done. Or almost. Ken has his oral interaction test on Tuesday at 11:00. You’ll all want to send positive, French vibes his way at that time. We won’t know the results for a few days. I’m sure the days will seem to Ken to last 33 hours or so. Waiting is even harder than studying in some ways, since everything is out of your hands. So, if you want to wish him well, feel free but please don’t ask how he did. It makes the waiting worse.