June 19, 2003

Nature Walks and other backyard adventures... On Wensday this week we had a more truncated day together than usual. I had a three hour phone training session and the kids had a "mother's helper" come and play with them. This girl is WONDERFUL with them, they played games, read, and just enjoyed themselves, they did not want her to leave. They were even able to co-exist in the same house with me and not talk to me for almost three hours - I have to admit I was amazed. I also got quite a bit out of the training, I will be a volunteer on a new advertising PSA campaign coming out on National Breastfeeding Awareness. So after the training, naps and lunch we had just a few hours together. So we lathered on the sunscreen and sadly the bug spray and headed out the doors into the big world of our backyard. I had hoped for some pool time for them and some nice calm sitting time for me - they of course had other ideas. We were to go on an adventure hike, through our backyard, our neighbor's yard, the big field behind us and the little trail that is nearby that winds through some trees and goes the length of maybe 4 of our neighbor's houses, but to them it was exploration and it was a good time.

It ended up being one of those moments where I was dragged into doing something I didn't want to and couldn't imagine anything having been more fun afterwards and I asked myself, why didn't I want to do that again? We watched bugs pollinate, and fly all around, we picked wildflowers, blew some dandellions, felt tree bark and learned about how trees grow and why they are so rough, looked for birds and tried to catch a dragonfly. The kids took turn walking their balance beam of a fallen tree only to jump off again and start it all over. We ran in the field (ok they ran I watched and encouraged them to run back towards me again), found walking sticks, and found an old swing (really a round piece of wood hanging on a long rope) and swung on it. We talked to the neighborhood dogs, waved at neighbors, and kept each other good company. We returned from our adventure and ate some dinner.

Then off to a local children's supply shop that the kids and mom both like. There they played with a really nice wooden kitchen set - making me eggs and pizza and tea while I browsed the store for some supplies. Then they cleaned up and started playing with the cash register and cleaning supplies. Soon they were sitting on some beanbags reading each other books while I finished up - they didn't want to leave when it came time to. Then home for some stories and sleep. When the kids drifted off and Serona returned home we continued work on our file folder games (they really turned out nice).

In reality a day I was dreading (a three hour training session with my kids???) turned into a fabulous day full of fun activities and passive learning. I'm so glad that the kids dragged me outside and made me enjoy myself even when I seemed almost determined not to.


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