May 25, 2011

The May Long Weekend

The Victoria Day Weekend--or "The May Long Weekend" as it is more commonly called--is the traditional start of Spring up here in the frozen North. The weather finally warms up to a balmy 70 degrees (20 C), and we can finally start planting out our gardens, grilling, and sitting out on the deck in the evenings with a tall cold one. It's a three-day weekend that everyone looks forward to--everyone, that is, except parents of young children. To us, a three-day weekend just means three whole days without childcare--and that can be a very long weekend, indeed. You can just think again if you think your toddler (or your newborn) is going to let you get any gardening done or even just sit down and relax with a tall cold one.

This past weekend, Kevin and I had one goal and one goal only: to keep Colin entertained while hopefully not exhausting ourselves. We watched movies, rode our tricycle dozens of times, and went on a picnic and outings to the bookstore, the flower nursery, and Fort Edmonton Park. All ended with us fleeing the scene with one--or both--children in tears. Outings for a family of four are proving to be much more difficult than for a family of three.

Our only real success this weekend was the trip to Fort Edmonton, where we just turn Colin loose for two-and-a-half hours. You want to run in the street? Sure, the choo-choo trains here generally stop for children. You want to skip lunch and eat chocolate chip cookies? Why not? You want to touch the horses, the chickens, the pigs and goats? You bet! You want to walk into strangers' houses and play with their toys? Mi casa es su casa. Turns out, the secret to success on an outing with a toddler is to find someplace where the word "no" doesn't exist for a few hours. I guess it's time we bought that Fort Edmonton family pass.

Scenes from our very long weekend:

Kevin pretends to enjoy our very windy picnic.

Colin doesn't even pretend--he just pouts under a chokecherry tree.

Our trip to the flower nursery ended when Colin pretended to be a "little worm" and started inching across the ground on his belly.

At least the tulips I planted last Fall were in bloom.

But at Fort Edmonton, Colin could ride the horse-drawn buggy ...

... and play with some other child's toys ...

... and pet the goats ...

... and chase the chickens.

And Ian Archer could enjoy it all from the comfort of his cozy sling. Thank God, for tiny blessings.

What did you do with your long weekend?

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