We've been going non-stop, round-the-year to soccer and music class on Saturday mornings. It eats them up. And it's not so bad because the kids love it. Soccer times rotate (so games start anywhere from 8:00 am to 11:00 am), but music is always at 10:15 am.
Until two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, when we celebrated Casey's 6th birthday with his classmates and friends, was our last soccer/music Saturday. Not forever. Maybe not even for this full 8-week session. But for now. It wasn't an accident, but it wasn't actually planned either. We couldn't decide what to do with Casey's soccer experience (bump him up a level, leave it alone, continue coaching or not), and music class had become too crowded, too rowdy and a little unpredictable because we could never be sure if Casey was going to make it around his soccer schedule, but we had to pay in advance anyway. So we stopped.
I fully intended on signing up Marcie for a dance class or gymnastics now that she's three and I don't have to participate with her. But I haven't gotten around to it. I had a bad cold two weeks ago when sign-ups were happening. And now I have one again (I know, I know-- it's not normal to get colds every couple weeks as an adult who has taught especially-- but here I am anyway).
But this doesn't mean we've really taken a hiatus from kids' activities. Just the pre-planned, pre-scheduled ones. Instead, we're doing our own thing.
Last week we took the trolley downtown and walked over to the Children's Museum for a few hours on Saturday. Sunday we had a picnic in our backyard. I'm not sure we've done anything on the grass since we put it in this past summer. It was a beautiful day. I even read outside. Alone.
This weekend it's raining. But that hasn't stopped our weekend activities. On Saturday we headed for the library. I wanted some books, but I didn't want to pay for anything. We got there about 30 minutes after opening and snagged the last spot in the lot. Who knew the library was so popular? We aimed right for the Children's section, where we spent an hour or so-- and the thing we noticed was how loud the library is! People talking on cell phones, no one using library voices, kids reading to therapy dogs (okay, that last thing didn't really bother me)-- it was strange. But good for the kids to get to the library and pick out some books. Casey bought a book at the book faire at school Friday-- then he proceeded to check out the same book at the library. We had a good laugh about it when we realized what he'd done, after we got home.
I had to bully a little kid at the mall, too. After we ate lunch, we let the kids go run around in the little play area in our local, indoor mall. And this one kids was literally beating up on his brother. He had him in a headlock and was just punching him in the side of the head. I watched for a couple seconds, expecting their chaperone to do something-- but they were behind a barrier (I don't know why they have such a tall structure parents cannot see around-- there is no spot where you can see everyone in the play area). And finally I just said, "Hey! Hey! Hey! We don't punch." He dropped his brother, who crawled off, kind of shocked and said, "You're not the boss of me!" To which I responded, "Apparently I am." And I walked away.
Last night was the highlight, though. The local high school spring musical is this weekend and next and we promised the kids we'd take them. The thing about these sorts of shows is that you have to be ready to make a clean getaway at any time, so you can't personally become too invested in the activity. Like over the holidays when the Chinese show was in town and Marcie begged us to go even though she was technically too young (you have to be 4). We knew she wouldn't last-- and we left at intermission. It kills us a little because we paid for the whole thing. But then we think that we have to do these things in little spurts-- and sort of build up.
So that was our attitude about the play. We actually brought Marcie's MP3 player and headset figuring she could listen to the Wiggles if she got bored (and she did for a while), but we fully expected the kids to want to go home and go to bed at intermission. After all, the play started at 7pm (there was no matinee) and intermission wasn't until almost 8:30 pm. But at intermission, Casey wanted to stay. And he stayed awake for the whole show. I've never seen Guys & Dolls before, and I'm pretty sure Casey didn't understand a thing that was going on-- I could barely understand what was happening -- but he loved it anyway. The funniest thing was our attempt at explaining that it was a high school musical, not the High School Musical. Finally I tried to say it was a musical at a high school, but he kept talking about the Eastside Wildcats or Bobcats or whatever they are in the Disney movie. And finally I just gave up. He didn't seem to mind once the show started.
So there we have it. Two action-packed weekends during our activity-hiatus. Oh. And this morning we're headed off to the Wild Animal Park. I guess we aren't really slowing down any time soon . . .