Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Surf: Lost money & found fountains

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaWelcome to the Sunday Surf, a tour of the best blogposts I've read throughout the week.

Mikko had this great idea this past week to go downtown to the fountain in Seattle Center. It's a fun fountain that children can run through and get soaked in the summer. Sam and I both told him it wasn't running, because it was winter, but he insisted it was warm enough that it should be. In other words, he needed to see it for himself.

(Funny story about warmth: It's been in the 50s and sunny. I overheard a girl at the pool tell someone she "only goes to the pool when it's hot out" like this. There's a Seattle kid for you.)

I drove both boys downtown while Sam went off to work. I had gotten a late start so I drove instead of taking the bus. As it was, we were barely going to have an hour at the Pacific Science Center before it closed; that's in the same complex as the fountain and seemed like a good excuse for taking this excursion that I predicted would otherwise prove futile and disappointing. I drove around looking for street parking some distance away, navigating the one-way streets and avoiding all the cars who had a purpose in life beyond seeking out an open parking spot. I found one, finally. I parallel parked. I opened the door to go back to the hatch to pull my wallet out of the diaper bag … and then had a clear vision of that same wallet, at home.

Oh, dear.

Mikko was not thrilled with this change of plans. The change included leaving my hard-won parking spot, battling rush hour freeway traffic to get back home, and all of us being super cranky because now we hadn't eaten in too long. Plus, we hadn't seen the fountain. He kept insisting I could use his tooth fairy money to pay for parking, not understanding that it wasn't a matter of simple transfer of monetary credit but actual lack of any means of payment present.

He cheered up when we ended up at a local cafe for dinner instead and one of his buddies walked in with his mom, to sit with us and play hide-and-seek outside afterwards.

But the next day! The next day was Fountain Day. We were going to figure out the fountain mystery once and for all. Was it on? Or was it not?

I put my wallet in the diaper bag. I made extra sure of that. I drove again (we were late again; we're always late), but we parked in the science center's lot. I knew we'd need several hours total to make this second trip worth it. We got our science on, then ate a quick food-court dinner, and then Mikko led us all into the welcome evening sunlight, toward … the sound of running water.

The fountain was on! Not as gloriously and unpredictably as in the summer, but I was fine with that, considering I hadn't brought him a change of clothes. A group of kids showed up with their parents and began to run back and forth, up the inclines and down. Mikko joined in with glee, as if into a surrogate family. Alrik and I chilled (quite literally) on the bench seats and watched the racing and spinning.




The fountain. Mikko was right, and I was wrong. He was very happy about this, and so was I.

He led us back inside Center House where we could warm up and use the restrooms before our drive back home. I was glad we were getting all the use out of the parking I'd paid for (with the money in my wallet!), and he was glad to get in some more freebie elevator rides. We went upstairs to where the giant floor chess and checkers games live, and random men sit on chairs nearby with backpacks and winter coats strewn around them. I joined the outskirts of that crowd while my boys played chess. And by "played chess," I mean crawled around on the board and knocked into pieces. I had an epiphany about why I'm so terrible at chess (and actually, terribly uninterested in it). I love logic puzzles and games, but I figured out why chess is different: It has a spatial component, where the pieces move in certain definable ways. I have no spatial intelligence. I can't picture in my mind how the pieces move or remember how they go or predict where they should go. It all makes sense now. For no good reason, it's highly reassuring to finally figure out that it's my low intelligence making chess hard for me.

baby on giant chess board
I'm already better than you at chess, Ma!
And then we went home, waving farewell to the parking lot monitor, whom I'd previously taken to be a student hanging out at the entrance, wearing an adorable earflap hat and reading a book and smiling at us as we had driven in. She was still there, but now wandering around making notes about the cars. I felt good about this somehow, that she had a job checking that we were parking correctly, because whenever I pay in an unsupervised lot, I wonder if I'm a sucker.

All in all, a good day. Science, fountain dancing, revelations about chess, and reassurance about the parking lot system.

And if you've read this far, you might as well keep going. Some links!



And this has been around, but it made me smile today, so I offer it for your viewing pleasure:


If I sank that low while wearing a baby, I'd still be on the floor today.

Guest post:

I'm happy to have a guest post about gardening this week over at Anktangle:


Starting Seedlings on the Cheap



Pose with these seeds, kid.

At LaurenWayne.com:

In a series on confusing word pairs, from this former copy editor who just can't help herself:

Welch vs. welsh

Carnival news:
CarNatParWrite for the April Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids & personal care
We'll be putting up our official call for submissions soon, but here's a head start. Tell us how your kids get clean, by April 3.
Is parenting next to cleanliness? Tell us how your kids get clean — for instance, share a recipe for homemade shampoo, give tips on ending bathtime struggles, or offer a hairstyling tutorial. Submission deadline: April 3. Carnival posting: April 10.
From Natural Parents Network:
Visit Natural Parents Network



Giveaways:




Find more giveaways at my Natural parenting giveaways linky! Add your own, and enter some good ones.

Surf with us:

We love following along with fellow Sunday Surfers. If you have your own post of reading links to share, please link up your post on Hobo Mama or on Authentic Parenting. The linky will go live every Sunday, and you can link up any day that week. If Sunday doesn't work for you but you do a links list another day, feel free to play along. You only need to add your post to one of the sites, and the linky will automatically show up on both sites.

You can get the Sunday Surf button by Jenna Designs and some code to add to your post from my Sunday Surf page.

Check out previous editions for good reading, and you can find more shared items during the week at my Tumblr blog, Hobo Mama's Shared Items.

Happy Surfing!

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