Saturday, May 1, 2010

Water, water

Today was extremely windy, partly sunny and incredibly warm. Nikko's class was going on a field trip to a local farm. I dressed him in a t-shirt and jeans and hoped that he had a great time. This is day two of Nikko carrying around a little yellow dinosaur, but probably day four of carrying around his Costco card. He was in good spirits when he came home, which is always a plus.

The entire morning I was plotting what I was going to take with us on our outing with Pat & Anna & their kids to the Morton Arboretum. There was a children's garden that was supposed to be interactive that was a big draw. Anna also warned me that there were water features and places to dig in the dirt. I packed two extra changes of clothes for each kid, brought Crocs just in case, hats just in case, diapers and wipes, the food bag with chicken nuggets for a quick, late lunch, and sunscreen. I tried really hard to pace the kids with diaper changes and trying to feed them something quick before leaving, but Ronin & Audrey were sabotaging my efforts by squawking for animal crackers before Nikko came home from school. I was pretty patient in the morning but got antsy and then irritable when we were down to the wire. Had to leave by noon to get to Anna's by 12:15p. And somehow we made it on time, for once. Chinny and Chester were already there, so we left as a caravan.

I don't know what I was thinking when I first decided that sure, I could handle all three kids in an open garden-type setting. I've been handling them at Costco and Meijer, no big deal. Um, WRONG!! Nikko was cemented to the side of a waterfall pond, leaning over and splashing joyfully. He was not a menace to anyone so I let him be. Ronin was running all over the joint and discovered a duo slide with climbing features around it. There were ramps to walk/run and big tree roots to walk under. There was another moving water feature that involved shovelling dirt around but I steered the kids away from that. Audrey didn't sit in her stroller for long. Soon she was toddling over the wood chips and exploring with her fingers. If her pacifier weren't in her mouth, she would have put everything that came across her fingers right between her teeth! It's with mixed feelings that I was glad Nikko was totally into the water. He was stimming off the water, the splashing and putting his face into it. He was also cooling off and enjoying every minute of it. If he were running around exploring as deftly as Ronin was, I would have major difficulty trying to keep track of him. Thank goodness that Chinny and Chester were able to rotate the three kids between us so it was a 1:1 ratio. After I herded the kids to a corner to take a break with some juice and nuggets, Nikko was able to detach from the pond long enough to run around the slide and ramps. I changed Nikko's shirts twice, saving the last dry shirt for the car ride home. The kids had a blast, and all fell asleep on the ride home.


  1. Sounds like the kiddos had a really great time :) See how much joy kids can be when they are having fun! It's all a matter of perspective. The water attraction that Nikko has is a good sign. Sounds like it soothes him as well as stimulates him and his senses. Maybe that can be used as a reward for him?

  2. I love the Arboretum, but it is kind of hard to keep kids together there! Its like herding cats! When it gets hot out, kids are allowed to wade in the pond and thesecret river there and catch tadpoles in paper cups... I bet Nekko will love that!