I haven’t been posting as regularly as I thought I would. Lots going on and not much time to “play” online. But, since it’s Tuesday again, I thought I would take a time out to reflect on the week gone by, focusing on those large chunks of time that we remembered to just relax and enjoy… Well, I am happy to say that almost the entire weekend comes to mind!
First off, on Saturday, despite the fact that Mike had drill, I decided to take the kids to another Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic. Granted, I was a little worried about the prospect of two kids, two hammers and lots of nails with just one potentially harried parent, but I could not resist trying. The kids have been thoroughly enamored with tools lately, especially since our recent multi-weekend saga of realizing neither Mike nor I are DYI plumbers. Indeed, while Mike and I spent far too much time under the bathroom sink, Luke and Nina absconded with whatever tools they could knick in order to work on their play kitchen. They have also been using play tools to make all kinds of constructions and have been thoroughly enjoying hammering golf tees into foam blocks and play dough. Who am I, then, not to follow their interests by bringing them to the clinic, however challenging it might be for me as a “single parent” for the weekend?
So, off to Lowe’s the three of dashed last drizzly Saturday morning to capitalize on the kids’ apparant DYI interests. Good move! Luke and Nina thoroughly enjoyed building their little wooden drums, and, surprisingly, they were very patient and cooperative as I worked with each one of them individually. Sometimes, they “helped” with each other’s projects. At other times, they busied themselves with their own activities. For example, Nina alternated between simply watching Luke and I work on Luke’s drum and making up her own fine-motor pegging activity by trying to put the tiny nails from her kit into the equally tiny pre-drilled holes, And, Luke was happy to march about the workshop room — Winnie-the-Pooh parade style — banging on his new drum, while I finished up with Nina. Truly, the two amazed me with their cooperative, patient spirit, making the event enjoyable even for Mommy!
Four hours later, we left Cirelli’s, soaking wet, but full of smiles. Intermittent downpours kept many folks away from the event, which meant Luke and Nina had nearly free reign of the bounce house, not having to wait in lines to get in each time they wanted to. Thus, they jumped the afternoon away to their heart’s content, only setting their feet back on stable ground when I was able to lure them out of the bounce house for bites to eat, visits with Violet the Clown and a meet-and-greet with a couple Patriot’s cheerleaders. (In all actuality, Luke came out to meet the cheerleaders, but was not patient enough to wait in the short line to do so, choosing to run back to the bounce house instead. Nina – exhausted from all her bouncing and dancing – there was a DJ spinning oldies near the bounce house – stayed in line, getting a half-mast eyelid picture with the gals as well as a signed poster for Daddy asking who the Steelers were!)
By the time the event’s DJ was winding down and a band was blasting its first few notes, Luke and Nina had filled their bellies with all sorts of usually forbidden foods – fried dough, ice cream, cookies, even burgers . Likewise, I had stockpiled a tray full of pulled pork, burgers, sausage, meatballs, clam chowder, beans and similar treats from generous vendors with which to welcome Mike home from drill. And, so, with a final piece of fried dough hanging from each their mouths, Luke and Nina climbed up into our minivan, eager to meet Daddy at home and to tell him all about their building, bouncy day…
(Okay, truth be told, the kids were so tired and wired from the weekend, that Mike ended up spending a large portion of Mass trying to quell Nina’s loud, singing renditions of “Hail Mary… Alleluia, Praise the Lord” in the pew while I took an ill-behaved Luke to the back of the church, where he discovered a small room with four almost life-sized statues of saints. There, my attempt at getting Luke to at least focus on some semblance of Mass by kneeling and praying in front of the statues turned into him prostrating himself in front of each statue in rotation saying “Please help me…” Oh my!)
And so, not mere moments, but full hours of our weekend were marched to the beat of a child-centered, family-friendly drummer. Alleluia. Praise the Lord! Such time outs are true blessings!