Monday, January 21, 2008

rainy day things to do

Long weekend, made longer by it raining nearly all day today. While John planned to work I planned on taking all of the girls to the nearest elementary school so Erin could practice bike riding on the large playground and the twins could play on the structures. Erin is really timid on her bike. She still has training wheels and John took her out to ride on saturday and he said she just goes so slow that she is nowhere near ready to take the training wheels off. I took her out to ride yesterday and she did start out very slowly, as in my normal walking pace was much faster than her riding pace, but then she did pick it up a little:

And a little while later she was going considerably faster. I think the problem is we don't take her out riding enough and she can't just hop on her bike and ride out front anytime she wants because our street is too busy. I don't know quite when things got so structured. Going out and riding their bikes (without helmets!) used to be something that kids just did. But somehow the idea of Erin just going on front and playing on her own sounds like a completely irresponsible thing to let her do, even though I used to do it (at age 5) and so did all of the other neighbor kids, and so did John.

So if we can get our act together and make opportunities for Erin to ride consistently I suspect the training wheels can come off soon.

But then John woke up this morning with a fever and it was pouring, so everyone's plans got scrapped.

It's not easy keeping the girls away from John so I decided to find something indoors but outside our doors and Chuck E Cheese is just a few blocks away. I suspected that every other parent in town would be there with their cabin feverish kids on this school holiday, but I couldn't come up with any better ideas. And I thought that if the whole town did turn up there then I'd at least run into someone(s) we know either from the twins' daycare, or Erin's school, or our playgroup.

Well, we didn't recognize anyone and it dawned on me later that everyone that I know is far too intelligent to go to C.E.C. on a rainy day off from school. It was crowded, really crowded, and very loud. And we had to wait to play any game or do any ride. And the line to tally up tickets and redeem prizes was crazy.

At this point I don't feel the need to watch Erin's every move and she doesn't feel the need to watch me. This CEC is one level and pretty small compared to others, so I gave her a cup with only a few tokens and showed her our table and told her to come find me when she needs more. She'd leave for 10 or 15 mins at a time and then return and that system was working out fine. Good thing, as it was a really, really full-time and tough job keeping track of Kate and Allison. One would dash off to this or that and I'd loose sight of them, instantly, in the crowd, and I made my way in the direction they ran while dragging a protesting twin in the other hand, who inevitably, always, wanted to go in the opposite direction.

When we got home K&A needed a nap, and so did I.

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