in like a lion and out like an elephant?

we have had the car about a month and a half now, not very long in the grand scheme, and yet sometimes i forget what it was even like before we had it. i can't believe how quickly the progression from refusal to drive, to terrified but out there, to excited at the prospect, to resentful at the chore was. most days it seems like work now, not that i am complaining, i am not, the car has hands down made my life more enjoyable. our mornings are often filled with drop-in gym time at one of four community centres in our area, or science world, and tomorrow morning i think i am even going to go over to the west side family place (as recommended to me by a play gym mom). i have met quite a cross section of women at these places, and have even been accepted into a few groups of regulars. it makes me laugh, seeing myself this way. coffee in hand, kids in tow and a cheery "hello! how was the weekend?" or "how is he making out with the potty training?" so many tips and pieces of advice and knowledge, not just of parenting techniques, but preschools and gymnastics, breakfasts with santas and babysitters. they know the best ones and aren't afraid to share it. my life has opened up to this enormous world of motherhood just by having a car.

i should say that i am not totally open to seeing myself that way yet. you would think that having two kids, and being a stay at home mom would make me firmly grounded in mommy-ness, and yet there is this part of me that resists the identification. i suspect it is more to do with the denial of the other parts, the movie watching, book reading, live music going woman, who has an opinion about lots of things that have nothing to do with children, things that just never seem to come up at play group. still, it is nice to have others around that are going through the same thing. it is also nice to have somewhere to go where i can set the toddler loose and tire him out so that he passes out upon our return home.

one of our favourite community centres has become sunset. it is a beautiful new building with tons of natural light in the gymnasium and unlike some centres, their drop in equipment is always very clean and my kids never get sick. it is here that i think we might sign cohen up for preschool, and it was here that we spent the morning on halloween.

i think it might be the best community centre function we have been to. it was $3 for cohen to get in, and it included a ton of fun things. there was a pirate bouncy castle, and since the party was for preschoolers there was little worry of cohen being pummeled (and only a small worry about him pummeling someone). it had a hug slide you needed to climb bouncy steps up to. it was a dream come true. he would go in the little door and bounce bounce bounce and then up to the slide and weeeeeee. over and over and over. then there was face painting (which we skipped) and a bunch of play equipment (which ada loves), an area where you could decorate a sugar cookie with 5 different coloured icings and a plethora of sprinkles, they even supplied juice boxes to wash the cookie down. there was a crafts table with sparkles and cut outs and markers galore. they even had a table for the adults with free coffee, fruit plates and baked goods, all from desirable bakeries in town. then, to top it off, on our way out they gave cohen a goody bag with some candy, a sticker, and a child's toothbrush.

it was funny to see all the bouncy castle kids in their plush outfits, sweat dripping down their foreheads as they frantically scratched their hot arms and legs. by the end most people had taken the costumes off and there were kids running around in pajamas, or tights, or whatever they had on under there. it was easily the best two hours october had to offer.

i considered staying in at night, having been to the other community centre party last friday as well, but in the end i thought it might be a good opportunity to meet some neighbours and see how they celebrate it here on the south east side. we only went down one block but it was enough for cohen to master the "trick or treat" as well as the "thank you!" which really was music to my ears (thanks for encouraging him grandma). i was worried that he would realize it was candy in his bucket and would pitch a huge fit for it, but he seemed oblivious to what was actually in the bucket, he was far too focused on the other kids costumes and remembering his lines.

the night ended with us eating some pumpkin pie i made from a few sugar pumpkins i roasted, drinking beer and eating candy with a couple of our friends and my mom, while giving out candy and wearing masks for cohen. if you like pie, i highly recommend that recipe, it was the best pumpkin pie i have ever had. honest.

so our first halloween in the house was a success and the masks have finally been put away for another year. now we move on to the raking of the leaves. gulp.


Phototally said...

so cute

cheesefairy said...

Looks like tons of fun.

There is something comforting about just striking up conversations with strangers because you KNOW you have something in common - the shrieking weirdos you call your children. 50% of the time they are the opposite of me in mindset but then sometimes someone else says "Damn! Almost dropped the baby!" and I feel a tug.

Still not at the point where the car is my go-to; it's too much work to get the children in and out of it and then out at the other end and then in and then out...I think I am just lazy and uncommitted to the car lifestyle.

cheesefairy said...

..actually I LOVE the car if it's just me. I am fully committed to the car, but not the car + kids thing. it's better now that they amuse each other back there, though, and now that the baby doesn't scream the whole time I drive.

t said...

i am certain that the car novelty is going to be long over by spring. having never, not ever, had one it is somewhat of a novelty, but i completely agree the getting in and out and in and out is a pain. we went for a long walk yesterday and it felt so good, like the old days when we ran around in the fresh air and took half the day to walk to the store. something to be said about that, no doubt about it.

Randi said...

Sunset looks like a blast! Did you take Cohen by himself when he was a baby? (aka - would I be a weirdo if I took a 6.5 month old to a playgroup like that?)

I love the car for me alone, but almost never take it out with babe. It's too much stuff and get-in/get-out, sleep/ok, wake up now for me. We're well placed for walking down here. We have a two-door 06 civic, and sitting in the front as a passenger with the rear-facing car seat behind means I have to practically eat the dash... Not pleasant for road trips, in other words...

t said...

it wouldn't be weird at all, i don't think. there is an area with baby toys on big mats at most of the ones i go to, and there are several women with just babies that go. i suspect they must have a drop in gym at the roundhouse, i think i remember someone telling me about it, you should check it out! you should also come and visit us sometime and cole can play with ada!

as for the car, i don't take much stuff, i don't even have a diaper bag! in the pouring rain it has been great since we aren't as well located as we used to be (broadway and main). i am fortunate in that our volvo is quite roomy even with the rear facing seat. this week though i have hardly taken it out at all, which is nice as well.

Randi said...

i'll have to check them both out. i've heard lots of good things about the roundhouse in general and yet haven't gone... i'd love to see a couple familiar faces one day - when do you guys drop in on yours?

Randi said...

ps - not that I'm going to stalk you guys over there! :-) haha... email me instead if you like - randi.pajamas@gmail.com.