Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Thing #1: Spencer Smith Park

As the Black Eyed Peas once said, "let's get it started"!

I've always thought that if you are going to start something, go big. Or, do something that requires you to pack a diaper bag, change the kids into appropriate clothing, pack backup clothing and towels, rub them down with sunscreen, load the double stroller into the back of the car, chase the dog back into the house and break his heart that he's not coming, and realize you have to change diapers again before you even leave the house.

Our One New Thing for today was a trip to the splashpad at Spencer Smith Park. It was a hot and windy day with clouds chasing each other all over the sky. It was the kind of day that was too windy to have fun in the backyard but just perfect for running through fountains of water outside. Although Daddy & I had taken LP1 there last summer, both kids hadn't been. I figured that even if we just went for an hour we would have fun and see something other than the jungle we call our backyard.

Spencer Smith Park is in Burlington, Ontario and it is a beautiful green space tucked up beside Lake Ontario. There is a wide promenade between the water and the park. In recent years a large playground and splashpad have been added. It is a magnet for young children, families, dogs, couples, geese and the odd random lunatic. We went mid-afternoon and the place was not swarming with children, much to my intense relief.

                        The playground at Spencer Smith Park. Note to 
                        self: do not park near it unless have backup to help
                        watch LP2 while LP1 attempts to climb on everything.

                        The aforementioned splashpad. Note the absence of
                        8 billion screaming childen. This is why it is good to
                        go on a weekday.

We found a shady umbrella, kicked off our shoes and headed over to the water. I realized that I had forgotten LP2's sunhat. Judging by the looks I got from the other mothers there, this was tantamount to child abuse and I began to nervously scan the parking lot for the Children's Aid van I was sure was coming to snatch up my children and haul me off to jail for Failure to Provide the Necessities of Life. Fortunately I do have a big head and by leaning forward while I was holding him, I was able to provide the same shade as a mighty oak tree. In case you are concerned, let me reassure you that he did not get sunburnt. In fact, no children of mine were sunburnt in the execution of this one new thing.

The kids LOVED the water. At first they were unsure but it took LP1 all of about 45 seconds before she was darting in and out of the jets, splashing and making footprints on the concrete. LP2 was happy to have his feet in the water and get the occasional spray. He wasn't too sure what to make of it. I would like to thank the judgmental mothers who sat and watched the edge of my skirt trail into the water as I knelt to help LP2. There is nothing more pleasant than realizing half your skirt is soaking wet. I'm telling myself maybe they didn't know how to say "excuse me, your skirt is getting wet" in English because I'm trying to think more positively about people these days. But as it was a hot and windy day, skirt dried in no time flat.

                                     Hopefully LP1 didn't inherit my big feet!

We left the splashpad once the kids were soaking wet but before they could melt down over it. Once dried, changed and returned to the stroller we headed over to The Bite for some ice cream. I don't think The Bite has the best ice cream ever but it does make amazing quinoa burgers. I mention it because places that offer a vegetarian option are dear to my heart. LP1 and I shared the ice cream while LP2 dined on baby cookies. Once the ice cream and cookies had vanished, we headed out on a walk. The walk was going well until LP1 spotted some geese and announced that they scared her and LP2 decided to start crying for no apparent reason. We changed direction and stopped to take in the view.

I decided it was time to leave on a high note. We headed for the car and took the long way home, LP1 talking to me the whole way about playing in the water, eating ice cream and seeing other kids. LP2 discovered he could put his legs as high as his head in his carseat so he wasn't saying much. I think our first new thing was a success...we will definitely be back!

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