Yesterday brought a new venue for adventuring, as we headed off to our local skating rink for a nifty little gathering called Stroll and Roll that takes place there on Wednesday mornings. Since a couple other members of our playgroup were also interested in checking it out, and Nonno and Deedaw were interested in bringing Dubs (their grandson, my nephew, and no, that’s not his real name) to play with a passel of pipsqueaks, we knew we would be in good company regardless of what we found there.
As it happened, what we found there was a whole lot of fun. A couple dozen preschoolers, toddlers, and babies shared several riding toys, bunches of balls, and possibly the best kid Habitrail I’ve ever seen.
Rather than try to fit the pictures to the story, I’ll just show you a quick gallery of the better pictures. My camera flash wasn’t being terribly cooperative, but I think the pictures convey the terrific time had by the tribe.
Each child, of course, had a favorite thing about this thoroughly enjoyable playdate.
Among the toys provided for the enjoyment of the tiny people were scooters. Bugaboo has seen some recently, and developed an interest in learning to ride one — to the point that she requested one for her birthday. When she saw them scattered about the skating rink, she looked curiously at them for a while, until she saw a girl of about her own age riding one proficiently. After a few moments of careful observation, she snagged one and imitated what she saw; her peer noticed, slowed to a stop near her, and gave her a little coaching until Bugaboo, too, was zipping around the floor, dodging play balls and toddlers.
Beanie, meanwhile, found a large rocking puppy, and had a delightful time figuring out exactly how hard she could rock on it without flipping it over. There were several times I thought she would end her impromptu physics lesson in the ER with a concussion, but she did manage to keep her cranium from contacting the floor. When she tired of rocking, she was delighted to discover that the rink offered her enough level space to run as fast as she could, which happiness was only increased when she realized that other children would join her if she giggled while running.
Mr. Man loved the shopping cart and the water fountain in nearly equal measures; his shirt was completely soaked by the time we left. While normally the most generous of little boys, I had a bit of a time getting him to understand that the water fountain was not among the intended entertainments offered by the kind people at Cavalier, and that he absolutely had to let the other children drink from it. Having been separated from his fascinating new discovery, he set about pushing a shopping cart around the rink, exchanging one ball for another in his basket. Of our four little blessings, he was the only one who didn’t really play much with the other children, except for a brief stint of “bowling” with his wee friend Vee and her Wela. Of course, his normal lunchtime is about an hour into the time of the play session, so he was a little out of sorts. I suspect that if I bring a snack for him on our next visit, he will be in a much better mood throughout!
Baby Guy loved the bowling pins, the balls, being able to crawl all over the place, and what must have seemed an infinite number of people telling him what an adorable little fatness he is. I was a little surprised by the number of kids his size who were there; he was still, I believe, the youngest whose mommy would allow him into the field of play. He was all smiles and giggle until he wore out.
After the first half hour or so, Bugaboo and Beanie disappeared into the Play Zone and made mayhem with the rest of the preschool crowd. Beanie returned to the skating floor to check out the scooters after about half an hour more, but Bugaboo would still be in there if I hadn’t told her we had to come home. I mean that rather literally — when she came out the first time to tell me all the wonders she had found, she pointed out to me that if she had brought her sleeping bag, she could camp out amongst the cargo nets.
I loved meeting the general manager of the place and finding out that she, too, is a homeschooling mom. We had an enjoyable chat about birthdays, roller skates for toddlers, and the challenges of fulfilling the homeschool PE requirement.
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for new opportunities and new friends, and for the infinite diversity of both You provide for us if we approach each day with open hearts and minds. Your Spirit is with us always when we see new friends with eyes that see You in each face, and will bring us “charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, forbearance, meekness, faith, modesty, abstinence, chastity (Gal 5:22-23)” if we let You guide even the chancest of meetings. Thank You for the joy and laughter we shared, for the fellowship Your blessings found, and for the practical lessons You taught me about how to best care for Your smallest blessings. Please help me bear in mind that even the most enjoyable day can be ruined by neglecting to make wise provisions for the needs of a little child.