We joined the gym and it has saved everyone’s sanity. Two kids is a lot for anyone to handle and there was a mad scramble every afternoon at 3 to see who could do the preschool pick up and watch the kids after the babysitter left at 4. I get home a little after 6 and those couple of hours were tough on everyone. Garret’s boss wanted him to work later, Garret wanted to fit in a bike ride, my mom wanted to be running errands or hanging out with Charlotte, Eleanor was just a mess at that magic witching hour everyday, and I felt bad that I couldn’t leave work earlier to help. Enter our savior, the gym.
We have been members of this gym before and liked it well enough. Garret used it for the treadmills and I enjoyed the steam room and sauna. It’s really nice and has a lot of amenities, including 2.5 hours of childcare each day for a family membership. Now that we have two kids, that seems like the deal of the century and we signed up again. Now Garret goes into work super early (boss happy, check), my mom picks up C from preschool (C and Mimi quality time, check), Garret comes home when the babysitter leaves and takes one or both kids to the gym (Garret gets exercise, the teenagers that work in the kids center lavish attention on the kids, and my mom has the option to hang out with C… check check, check). If Garret is too busy at work, he can bring his laptop to the reading area and keep working while the girls are at the kids center.
Garret even has a little ritual of sharing a treat with Charlotte at the snack bar before they come home.
I still never go, but joining the gym is really working out. “Working out”… get it :)
Charlotte was fascinated by other kids riding bikes at the park and made a bee-line for them at every play date, so she seemed ready for her first bike. I was so excited for this milestone event of getting her first bike. Never one to ignore a child-sized fad (I needed a mama roo, lust over freshly picked moccasins, and still suffer from stroller envy), I focused on balance bikes. Balance bikes are huge in our neighborhood and I see our local munchkins riding them daily. I spoke to a few friends who all verified that balance bikes are the way to go, because kids learn to balance, can control with their feet, won’t ever need training wheels, and on and on. So I started methodically researching balance bikes for toddlers, figuring out what size bike to get, reading about the weight and material of the different brands and obsessively reading every review ever written on amazon… as you do. I searched for neutral basic colored bikes in a sea of garish colors. I thought about adorable wooden bikes, and bikes that are adjustable. After building up a little anticipation, my mom, brother, and I took her down to the local bike store to pick out the monumental first bike. She took a seat on a balance bike, proclaimed it “too woggely” (wiggley and wobbly, obviously) and made straight for the training wheels. She tried them all, weaving up and down the carpeted aisles, loving the training wheels that I thought were definitely not for us.
So which one did C come home with after all of my hours of research? The pink sparkly bike with streamers, a basket, and training wheels. We went home with the bike that looks like barbie herself designed it, of course.
No little girl has ever loved a bike so much. Her wonderful uncle made a gift of it and we spent the rest of the afternoon sitting on the patio while she played “delivery”, loading up little toys in her basket and delivering them to us.
Today we tried to go to Millie’s for breakfast, but there were so many people on the porch waiting that we bagged it and headed elsewhere. Wiggly toddler + newborn + long wait for food = disaster. So we ended up at Emil Villa’s in Walnut Creek, where my mom hoped that the fresh peach pie season hadn’t ended yet. It isn’t as cute or close as Millie’s and the clientele has definitely been retired for a few decades, but the wait was short and everyone was just the friendliest. We were given a giant booth and at least ten people stopped by to check out the kids, comment on their cuteness, and tell us about their own grandchildren. It was really lovely… and a total mood booster being told that your kids are adorable over and over. I mean I always thought that they were adorable, but now strangers have verified that they are the cutest. Oh and peach pie was still in season, so a good time was had by all.