With some focused effort to ease up a bit on planned activities, the kids and I have enjoyed some impromptu (but still kind of planned) adventures.
On Monday morning I felt like going to a park. One of my favorites that we have enjoyed since the kids were tiny is just a five-minute drive up the road from our new house. It's the park I think of when we read Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy as it has lots of climbing "castles" and a "mean robot" (tire swing). It even has a little creek where the kids like to play Pooh Sticks and a long trail where we take walks and sometimes bring the balance bikes to make up for not having sidewalks in our neighborhood. I felt like going there on Monday morning, and the kids are always up for a park, so we did. The glory of that kind of "planning" is exactly why I want to keep a bunch of summer days open for spontaneity.
We went shopping with my mom on Tuesday morning (skipped Tunes--the performers scheduled were not our favorite), and did gymnastics and visited a garage sale on Wednesday morning. While drinking my morning coffee on Wednesday, I also saw a reminder email for a Detroit Public Television event that I had decided to skip when I saw the first email. But as I thought about it that morning, envisioning our third afternoon at home in a row, I made another spontaneous plan. We bought tickets and arranged to meet Mike after work at the Royal Oak Farmer's Market to hang out with Curious George, The Cat in the Hat, and Clifford, and see a performance by Barney.
Michael and Sophie enjoyed story time.
What does a sheep say? "Baaaaaah."
They picked out their own balloons. I love Michael's turtle but tried to steer Sophie toward a flower for her wrist rather than a (dopey looking) hat. But my goodness, the gorgeous child even pulls that off. We're thinking of keeping the hat to help us teach the kids about the female reproductive system in the future.
The line behind the kids above was to meet one of the many PBS Kids characters, but these two still will have nothing to do with that kind of thing. There will be no hugs for Santa, the Easter Bunny, nor for George/Super Why/Clifford from Michael and Sophie. I regret not yet going to Disney World less and less knowing Mickey would still make these two scream in terror.
I was a little worried when we couldn't find seats for Barney's performance as showtime neared, but sitting on the ground worked out great. Michael and Sophie got really into dancing to the songs and had space to do so. I have to admit that I got a little star struck. I wish I was kidding. I even teared up a little singing the songs I have sung to the kids since before they could understand me, and we were singing them with Barney. It was an embarrassingly special experience for this dork of a mom, not unlike the sentimental sappiness I go through at Sesame Street Live.
Before leaving for dinner the kids took part in a couple of crafts. They glued on Barney's tummy and colored him (they both wrote their names--all the letters are there anyway). They also colored Elmo's fishbowl and stuck on fish stickers.
On the way out Sophie said she wanted a Barney "snuggle buddy," and as a rare treat we simply said sure. Another $10 toward public television is a good thing, right?
The Barneys even joined us for dinner and are the current bedtime snuggle buddies of choice.
I think I'm getting the hang of planning/not planning again and am finding our summer groove.