Sunday, July 26, 2009

Socialization Saturday

This morning we raced out the door to get down to the Hinsdale Fil-Am Church for their Sabbath School. Denis thought this would be a good idea to expose the kids to some socialization. Indeed, their children's program is very involved. There were a lot of little kids running amok in the church because they are a close community. Everyone knows everyone else. We are infrequent visitors because we live up in Mount Prospect and it's a 45 minute drive to Hinsdale. It's also harder to get out the door on time with the three little ones. I have to tack on an hour before I go somewhere, and make it 1.5 hours if it includes a mealtime. We started out in a classroom that had kids under 3. The church members were also the teachers and someone was leading the activities which were pretty interactive. Plastic tools came out of a toolbox to simulate building a temple, then musical instruments came out for song time. Crayons and paper came out for another activity. Ronin wasn't pleased to be cooped up in the room at all and expressed his disdain. Nikko was ok with his surroundings and even found a foam crown with a pipe cleaner ban that he tried to wear. It was too small for his head but he decided that he wanted it. And he kept it for the entire day until he lost it outside later in the evening. Audrey was a very good baby today. She was curious about the room and the other babies, who were all around her age. Audrey was the fairest of them all! Literally! I'm really glad that her skin was free of any eczema or blemishes from baby food today. She was also very good with my MIL when she came to take her and carry her around, probably to display Audrey to her friends in the other part of the church. Audrey went without a fight. That left us to deal with the boys, which were a handful already. Somehow Nikko and I ended up in another room where they were doing crafts, and later joined by Denis and Ronin. The subject was tracing butterflies and flower and suspending them with string. Nikko wasn't interested in the craft but didn't mind fiddling with the construction paper. He was content to wear the crown. Nikko sat/crouched in his chair but was observing the other kids too. He got up and stood in the middle of a crowd that was doing an imitative dance (like the electric slide except to a bible song) and didn't mind being surrounded by other kids. I guess the socialization aspect was a very good thing for him, as I concluded that it was probably a good idea from Shelly for Nikko to be involved with the playgroup on Mondays even if he didn't directly interact with the other kids. By the time church was over the halls were filled with people. We had to wait for my MIL to get the house keys and the boys were both trying to escape my grasp so they could go outside. I tried to distract with songs in the beginning but in the end I think I must have looked harried to the other churchgoers. Finally we left and had lunch at my in-law's house. Nikko must have been really hungry because he ate the chicken nuggets we put in front of him without an argument. I brought shell mac & cheese just in case I'd have to cook it, but he surprised me. We got home some time after 3pm and chilled out for a bit. Denis talked to the Creens and told me that we were going to meet them at the Mount Prospect Block Party in downtown Mount Prospect. It was another opportunity to socialize so I mentioned it to Pat in case they didn't have anything going on. While at home, Nikko was walking around with that red sleeved shirt around his waist, but I somehow dug up the rest of a Superman costume I had, the cape and the yellow buckled red belt. I showed it to Nikko, tied the belt around his waist and the cape around his neck. He was intrigued. Nikko flitted in front of the mirror and fiddled with the cape, but before we left the house I noticed that he ditched the cape and only wore the belt. He got really attached to the belt, and I don't know why. We got to downtown Mount Prospect past 6:30 and it was jam packed with people, kids, baby strollers, tents of food, bands playing music blasting over the loudspeakers, and an area of kids' activities like balloon animals, an air bouncer, a huge inflated slide, a mini-ferris wheel, a spinning strawberry ride, pony rides, racing car rink, and a mini-train that could ride a few families twice around the parking lot. Pat, Anna and Jovy met up with us and it was nice to hang out with the kids while eating. Jovy got a new purse and she was proud to show it off. Ronin and Jovy seemed to click together, making faces at each other and laughing at nothing in particular, bopping around the sidewalk and ending up on their bottoms. I unleashed Nikko so he could eat some pizza, and when he was done he was zipping up and down the sidewalk. I kept an eye on him the entire time because I didn't want him to venture too far down the sidewalk. He challenged me at times by going quite a distance, maybe 60 yards in either direction, but he didn't stray out of my sight and stayed on the sidewalk. I worried a bit later because he wasn't looking where he was running and was weaving between people who were walking on the sidewalk. Nikko was a pretty happy guy, so he must not have been thinking when he put his arms out and possibly grabbed the butt of a lady walking by. She gasped unexpectedly and looked down at Nikko. I was embarrassed and ran over to reign him in, but she was friendly and said, "Oh MY!" The Creens met up with us while we ate and after the food was ingested we walked toward the rides just to watch. Nikko was still very much interested in his surroundings and didn't try to escape the stroller. Ronin was visibly tired, so as it got darker and windier, we decided to go home. Nikko insisted on wearing the belt to bed, which I tied around his waist. The fact that Nikko is becoming more open to wearing hats (er, crowns) or other costume items could mean that his imagination is beginning to build. That's what Denis speculated, and I would agree. Ronin could not keep his eyes open during prayers and so he went to bed zonked out. A rather successful day, I'd say.

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