Friday, August 06, 2010


The day after we got back from Winnipeg, we decided to go check out PlayEscapes, a city of Regina drop-in program for kids (almost) 5 to 11. You're always gung-ho to try new things so by 3 p.m., we were finally ready to leave the house. The PlayEscapes location closest to us is at a leisure centre and spray park, so off we went. You were extremely shy when we got there, so you asked if I'd stay. An hour later, you were playing games with the rest of the kids in the gym while I was feeding Finn in the lobby area.

One our way home, you said, "I think I've got the hang of it now. You don't have to stay tomorrow."

So, the next day you went for the afternoon. The next three days you went for at least the morning. You brought home crafts, made cupcakes on cooking day and learned new games on pirate day. At the end of that week, Dad took the afternoon off and took you to the spray park, their regular Friday activity.

While you didn't seem to have any reservations about PlayEscapes, I did. And it wasn't the program or the leaders or the activities. I was having a hard time letting you go, letting you find your way around with these kids who seemed so much bigger than you. It wasn't easy for you to make friends and that was hard for me to watch. Every time I picked you up, I asked how it was, making sure I wasn't just taking you there because I was in pain, but because it was something you wanted to do. You were always so happy, saying "it was awesome!"

I was thankful having gotten through that first real week of summer vacation without you resenting me or Finn. The second week, though, would prove to be even more jam-packed than the first. I'd enrolled you at gymnastics camp for the entire week, hoping you'd appreciate the structure of gymnastics and water fun and crafts, oh my! This time it was from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the theme of the week was "Happily ever after" and you needed two snacks and a packed lunch for each day.

You're a dodgy eater at the best of times so it was a challenge to keep your lunches and snacks interesting enough. My masterpiece of the week was a blueberry pancake sandwich with strawberry cream cheese and sliced strawberries inside. Yum! And every day you came home with an almost empty princess lunch kit and some fantastic craft. By Wednesday, though, the cracks were showing through and you were getting pretty pooped from those full days. Just two more days, I told myself, again feeling bad for shipping you off...even if you were having fun. But Friday proved to be great all over again because it was Fun Friday, complete with a hot dog lunch. All in all, it was a great week, but I wouldn't put you in for an entire week again. More likely five days over two weeks.

The next morning, we headed up to Grandma and Grandpa's lake so that Finn could finally meet Uncle Ryan, Auntie Leslie, Uncle Jared and Andrea – and for a full weekend of lake swimming, the park, water trampolining, sea-dooing and tubing for you. Unfortunately we don't have any pictures because I was sick and tired, literally. Oh, and the camera I brought had no memory card because Dad's eBay addiction had him photographing stuff to sell and forgetting to put the card back in...

Upon returning home, Dad and I cracked down and got your birthday invitations designed, printed and mounted so that you could deliver them to all your little friends. With it being summer and all, we weren't sure how great a turnout we'd get, but it looks like all but one girl can come. The rest of the week was spent planning and making decorations...for me. When you and Nana went to deliver one to the neighbour, Carly, whom you'd never played with and had only seen in passing, you learned that her mom and dad were off that week to pour their driveway. You guys played back and forth at our houses the rest of the week. And you played good together, despite a year difference in age – and her being the third of four kids and you being the oldest (and almost only) child for five years.

After a whole week of Carly playdates, you had Brynn over for a whole afternoon of ice cream cones, sprinkler trampolining and other fun on the weekend.

The following week you welcomed a nice, slow pace at home with Finn and me. But by Thursday, the playdates with Carly were back on, then you and Nana hit the pool with her family that Friday afternoon. And then another weekend playdate over at Brynn's for supper – where you ate cucumbers.

This week, beginning Tuesday, you started swimming lessons. Sunfish. How great it is to live a block from the pool (and the elementary school and the high school), so every morning we take our time getting ready, then saunter over to the pool at 11 for your 11:15 swim class. On Wednesday, the class was cancelled because someone puked or pooped in the pool – depending on who you talked to – so you and Nana went shopping all afternoon for last-minute party decorations. Then yesterday, Dad took off the afternoon and we all headed to the Queen City Ex, formerly Buffalo Days. Best part was that with your sandals, you were 42" which meant you could go on grown-up rides!!! The Starship (Gravitron), Crazy Mouse coaster, Fun House and more!

And today, we just got your zucchini chocolate cake into the oven. Last year I didn't dare tell you there was zucchini in it for fear of revolt, but this year, I told you it was the secret ingredient so SHHHH, don't tell anyone why it tastes so good.

I've been working on this post for over a week here and there. Once I see it all down, I don't worry so much about you not keeping busy enough. Looks like you're plenty busy. Maybe we'll slow down just a bit after this weekend and savour the summer because your first day of school is August 30th...

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