Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Wanes

We got up and out this morning to meet Cheryl and her kids at the North Park Village Nature Center. When we arrived in the center at 10 a.m., the guide asked us if we were there for the preschool program. We weren't--I did not know there was such a thing--but we decided to join anyway. I wish I had known about it earlier! Sean, the guide, was really good at both engaging and controlling about 15 kids aged 3-6. We read a book about water (The Water Dance) and then went outside to experiment with water and a trough of sand. The Girl was especially entranced by Sean and the outside activity, but The Boy got into it, too.

After about 1/2 an hour, I went back to find Cheryl and her kids in the discovery room. Her son joined in the river fun. Then we all went on a nature walk on the main loop. The Tot fell asleep in the sling during the walk. Around noon, we were all hungry, so we headed back to the parking lot.

I took the kids to Target for lunch and a few odds and ends. Afterwards, we stopped at a small grocery store on Peterson and Lincoln that I imagined was going to be like the Family Fruit Market. It was similar, but much smaller. At first, I thought it would be carry a lot of kosher products, given the number of Orthodox Jews I observed exiting the store, but it turns out that the specialty is Greek. We got some yummy, hand-formed Challah bread, bananas, rice milk, grape tomatoes, cauliflower, and fresh mozzarella cheese.

I took Jersey Avenue south to get home, mistakenly thinking it would turn into Kimball Avenue. Instead, it turned into Kedzie Avenue. The Boy said, "Hey, that's where S. lives!" so we turned down her street and ended up having an impromptu playdate with S., F., G., and their mother. On the way home, we stopped for another unplanned side trip: the gas station and car wash. The Girl has been begging me to go through the car wash every time she sees one or thinks about it, so I took The Great White Moose in for a bath after filling up her tank with gas. The Tot seems to have recovered from his fear of the car wash; he was wide-eyed and curious about it the trailer took us through the automatic car wash, but he did not once cry.

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