A (not so typical) day in our lives

A few people have asked me to write a post about a typical day in our life. What our routine is like, how we manage our household chores and still give the kids some new experiences, and so on. So I actually started out the day today planning to document a typical routine. It didn’t quite work out that way, but i have realised that there really is no such thing as a typical day. Every day is an adventure if you let yourself really experience it and see where it takes you.

Today was one of those great weather days and we just couldn’t bear to be inside for long. After the Husband left for work I think we lasted about fifteen minutes before we all needed to get out of the house. I threw some grapes and cheese in a bag, and out we went.

Pippin bravely conquering her fear of heights
Pippin bravely conquering her fear of heights

We went to a new park that our neighbour told us about but it wasn’t what I had hoped for. It’s a nice little parkette that the kids can easily walk to without needing a stroller or baby carrier, but there’s not a lot to do there. There are two swings but only one that’s usable by kids Merry and Pippin’s ages. There’s also a seesaw that Pippin can get on but Merry needs help with. And there’s a climbing gym which is too big for both kids right now but hopefully they’ll grow into it soon. The only thing they can really do on their own is use the slide.

I just want a park where I can let them loose while I sit on a bench and watch. They spend enough time needing help with day to day tasks, I really don’t want them to need help with playing in a park as well. Their play should be theirs, they shouldn’t be reliant on me or someone else to help them explore and have fun.

I actually saw firsthand today that my kids got bored of sliding down the same slide over and over, and waiting for me to come lift them onto the swing, and they moved themselves to the little patch of grass on the side of the playground instead. They both picked dandelions and found other wildflowers, and looked out the park fence at other houses’ gardens and dogs going for walks. I think they spent five minutes in the actual playground and the rest of the hour playing in the grass. I love that my kids are able to find their own entertainment just by being in a natural environment. They both found interesting things in the grass and I’m sure they learned so much more than they would have if they stayed on the playground.

After the park, Pippin asked if we could find a park that has two swings so that she and Merry could swing together. I was planning on heading home after the park, but was nearly noon (nap time) by that time so I thought they might fall asleep in the stroller if I walked a bit, and they did… if only I knew what I was getting into when I started walking…

I walked to a trail about fifteen minutes away that I had seen while driving. I didn’t know where the trail went, but it looked like a park trail, so I thought, maybe there’s a park — logical, right?

When we went in, we were greeted by the beautiful sound of nature: warblers singing, frogs croaking, the wind rustling leaves in a surprisingly dense forest (I would never have guessed that there was an actual forest in the middle of our residential area). I couldn’t see anything on either side of the trail except trees and wildflowers, and overhead at least four hawks were soaring. It was so peaceful that both girls fell asleep quickly.

However, it was short-lived. The “nature” part of the trail lasted about five minutes and then the forest cleared and I found myself in a large sports-focused park. There were lots of soccer fields and baseball diamonds, but no swings in sight. I went to turn back but a large truck had entered behind me and was completely blocking that trail off. So I continued the trail to try and find another exit.

The trail then forked into three. I took the right most trail and after a few minutes the trail stopped abruptly. So we turned around. We tried the centre trail — that one just wound around sports fields for what seemed like hours but I couldn’t find a way to actually get out. Finally I came back to the left most trail. It also wound around a few fields, and I actually texted the Husband that I might be stuck in the park forever, but eventually found a way to reach a main road. There was a closed gate blocking off the exit but I was able to get around it by cutting through some grass. I’m still not sure how I was meant to get out of that park.

So now I was at a main road but had no idea what road it was. In the bright side, I saw a Starbucks on the horizon ahead of me. I seriously considered that it might be a mirage. It was great weather when we left home, but after walking for an hour in an abaya, it was seriously hot. It was about 1pm now. And did I mention I’m already a furnace due to being five months pregnant?

I promise there's a coyote here. Side note: if anyone would like to donate to the Suhaila-needs-a-better-camera fund...
I promise there’s a coyote here. Side note: if anyone would like to donate to the Suhaila-needs-a-better-camera fund…

So on I walked, hoping to reach that Starbucks and find it not a mirage, and hopefully find a street sign along the way. I did find a street sign, so I knew how to get back. But as soon as I got to the point where I could see the actual Starbucks building ahead, the sidewalk ended and there was no way I could safely continue on that road with a stroller. On the bright side, while I stopped to look I happened to glance at this patch of conservation land on my left, and I saw a coyote! Totally worth it.

Anyway, so I turned onto a side street that I knew would eventually lead me back home. I had somehow walked to an intersection I never considered “walking distance” so now I guess my “walking distance” definition has to be revised. I managed to find a way through to the back of that Starbucks. I got my frappuccino and headed home. We reached home at 1:45.

I quickly gave lunch and water to the kids, who had been woken up by the loud Starbucks staff, and then we headed out to the library to hopefully catch the end of the kids’ play and story time. Pippin rode her bike. I learned today that if I tell her we’re in a rush, she will only go slower. We made it just in time for the very last bit, picked up a few books, saw some friends, and got back home at 5.

At this point, I was mentally fighting to keep myself from freaking out that i haven’t even started dinner, the kids are upset because they want to go back outside, and I have hifdh class at 6:20. So in went the DVD we borrowed from the library (Pippin wanted to learn about farms today). Unfortunately the Husband changed the password his computer that I was using to play the DVD so I had to message him to ask for it, and his phone isn’t working, so by the time I actually got the DVD playing it was 5:45. I left Merry in the playroom to go cook. Merry didn’t stay in the playroom for long so she munched on whatever vegetables I was chopping for fried rice. I managed to get dinner done by 6:15! Personal record!

After hifdh class, we noticed the neighbour’s sprinkler was on so Pippin and I ran out to play in the water. Pippin has never seen a sprinkler before so she was cautious and just wanted to watch. I sat on our porch steps while she picked some flowers and pulled some weeds, and then she joined me the steps when the sprinkler stopped. We played I spy and watched the sun set before heading inside for bedtime.

All in all, it was a great day but my feet are sore. Maybe I’ll write another “day in the life” post in the future and see if the day is as eventful as today was.

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