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Local Treks

Monday, 28 April 2008

To Stroll or Not To Stroll

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So yesterday morning, grandma & grandkid were at point A, and wanted to go to point B, four blocks away.  It was raining.  There was crankiness.  And the stroller was, as it has been for many, many months, stowed in the closet, 40 minutes away.

See, mostly we walk now.  And usually, that's great.  Those extra-super levels of energy known as Three-And-A-Half that inspire her to yell "NO YOU CAN'T COME TO MY BIRTHDAY PARTY MOM!" deserve a little fresh air.  Maybe a lot of fresh air. 

But toddler legs are lame.  They don't go very fast, they're not helpful when running for planes, and their batteries run out in a flash. A stroller would come in handy then - the perfect scoop-and-run save.

On the other hand, even our compacto-MacLaren stroller is about as fun to lug around, when not in use, as… well, as my kid is.

So our current solution - for testing purposes - is to [...]More

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Us & Them

I took some time off to go to a poetry reading and gallery opening for the gobsmackingly good book artist Enid Mark.  I continue to pine for one of her books.  That will be a long time coming.  But that is not the point.  The point is that one of the poets brought her young daughter with her. 

The poet was brilliant in more ways than one.  The room was hushed.  Eyes were closed, people soaked up words and turns of phrase.  And up spoke the toddler.  It was a chirrup.  But the poet/mom smiled, kept her footing, and moved on. Sure, it happened a couple of times.  The toddler was with an older escort, who kept her distracted and moving.  When she became too rowdy, near dinnertime, she was taken on a field trip, outside, before too many heads turned.  No one seemed too bothered.  The other readers were patient and kind.  There was no "Situation."

Still, having been in a couple of situations where even sitting quietly in a [...]More

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Toll-Road Cookies

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[editor's note: Welcome new TWC poster Lisa P! - first up:  a checklist of sorts for long Midwest roadtrips with 1 adult and 2 kids.]

Living in the Midwest means driving. A lot of driving. We used to live in Columbus, OH--a bright, flat city in the center of a wide, fast web of freeways. Visiting our families in Northern Indiana meant jumping into the car and four hours later, pulling in to Nana's house, with barely time for one restroom break.

Now that's all changed. We've moved to Central Wisconsin--which is a lot farther away than the hop and a skip to the in-laws. When you factor in the traffic around Chicago, that translates to a seven to eight hour trip.

If we're lucky. Bad weather plus holiday rush hour traffic can make it ten.

[...]More

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

It's kinetic! (boogie woogie woogie)

It will be interesting, when she's writing her memoirs, to see if the giant pink poodle had the impact I'm afraid it did.fifi9277.jpg

The giant pink poodle escorted by bicyclists in tutus careening its way down a Baltimore street, on its way to the water-test.  Closely followed by a number of other creations, at various levels of coming apart.

Each year, the American Visionary Art Museum throws a huge party on wheels.  The Kinetic Sculpture race.  (This year, May 3).  It is well worth being at the race's start - for all the goofiness that accompanies the event.  Then, move as fast as you can to the water test - which is truly sink or swim.  But if you happen to just be driving along a city street and see them pass by, the whimsy value is way up there.  Especially with an impressionable toddler in the back seat.  But being part of the event is part of the fun.  < [...]More

Tuesday, 08 April 2008

Toddler Bait

Once a year, our local volunteer Fire Department has an open house.  Our son is obsessed with fire trucks, so how could we not go? 

We felt incredibly parental - something that would never have pinged our radar BP (Before Parenthood) was the Must-Do Item of the Week.  The kid got to look at and touch fire trucks and ambulances, see the inside of the station, use a fire house (with help from a fireman), and pet the fire dog.  His favorite thing was “driving” the fire truck - he hopped right in, grabbed the wheel, and starting running down all the idiots who don’t get out of the way of emergency vehicles.

Like everything with my headstrong child though, the brightest light casts the deepest shadow:  When he figured out the truck wasn’t really going to GO anywhere, he got upset.  “I! WANT! TO! DRIVE! THE! TRUCK!!!”   So we left much earlier than we’d planned, with him kicking and screaming, and then settling into his hate-filled Damien glare.  He rallied and was Adore-aboo the rest

[...]More
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