Tuesday, December 22, 2009

12/22/09 Park Day

What, me take kids to the park? That's what Moms are supposed to do, right? I haven't done it in ages. But even working moms do it a lot, I hear.

I'm OK with park-hanging if I have other moms to chat with, or something to do, like sports stuff with the kids. And I've always had other grownups to chat with, thanks to my mom's groups and park playdates. We used to go to the park a lot, but in retrospect, I didn't take them to parks very often by myself. Incredibly, I get bored.

Today there was a bitter wind and it was cold, so without some grownup company, I'd never have gone. But I'm really glad we did; it's always good to get out, and the kids really needed that sort of stretch-your-leg outdoor time today.

Swings are always a big attraction. I'm SO done with standing and pushing kids on swings. Gabriel finally learned today how to pump himself. Julian tried half-heartedly, but gave up easily.

Meantime Dylan and Katrina played on the slide together happily.

Then on the airplane together, less happily. Dylan takes (or better yet, ignores) Katrina's bossy orders good-naturedly.

Somehow the littler boys got up here too, it's about a 4-foot sheer wall to climb to get to the top of this shed. Betsy saw the older kids pull Dylan up, which must explain how Julian got up there too. We put the kibosh on this; if it were just Gina and Gabriel, fine, but too many kids up there is asking for trouble. But not before I got a photo.

Then the little kids found the little swings.

Did I say I was done with pushing swings??

Katrina loved the swing this time; last time I tried it with her she was much younger and cried right away, unlike her older older brother who always loved swings. But exactly like her older older brother, she threw a big tantrum about having to get out of the swing, reminding me of yet another reason why swings, along with balloons and lollipops, are on my hitlist of classic childhood favorites.

I relished watching the boys run as hard as they could for a long time, and it paid off. When we got home, Gabriel was pooped, for a while. Katrina was a nightmare, fussing and tantruming at just about everything, even things I had nothing to do with ("I don't WANT my puppet!"). I had really had it with her -- I'm DONE with swings and carrying toddlers and REALLY done with tantrums!! -- and put her in her room for a nap. Incredibly, she took one.

Gabriel bugged me all afternoon to learn about computers. This got started last night when he asked me what a "router" was, remembering our hours spent troubleshooting our home network. He wanted to look at the circuitry of a screen, still not completely understanding that except for laptops, computers are separate from the screens. I kept having to put him off (Katrina), but he wouldn't let up. He wanted to take something apart and see the "ICs" (integrated circuits). I don't know if we have anything around here he can safely take apart, but fortunately Santa has an electronics kit in mind, if Gabriel can wait that long. I know some engineers who are engineers not just by training, but by nature...I wonder if this is what it looks like when they're almost 8.

Some Christmas cheer tonight: we got caroled! I answered the door to a group of about 20 people singing, just as Gabriel was running out of the bathroom buck-nekkid after a bath. I shoo'd him upstairs, then the other two came down, curious. Julian was scared at first and wouldn't come out, but Katrina came to the door and listened to the carolers. It was really nice, I loved it.

The kids were all just done with their bath, early, because I was about to take them to a great Christmas lights display in Sunnyvale that is coordinated with music that they broadcast over the radio.

The boys loved it; though typically Katrina found fault with just about everything. Julian liked the music and watched intently in silence. Gabriel wanted to know all about how they transmitted the music over the radio and wanted to see all the circuitry that controlled the lights, and really wants us to do something like that too. And, maybe he will.


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