Thursday Aidan had his first swim lesson at the YMCA. Cost about $5 for 20 minutes with an instructor and one other child. He was a bit timid and the other little 3 year old boy very confident. The instructor was excellent. A couple times Aidan indicated that he wanted to get out but she deftly drew him back into their activities. He ended up looking forward to going back next week for another lesson and also to showing Daddy what he learned on the weekend. They have a toddler pool – probably 30” deep across so Aidan can stand with head above water (just). They have lined it with bars on the sides and ends so that the kids can hang on – in Aidan’s class they pretended to be monkeys and scooted along it. She finally got Aidan to put his mouth underwater and blow bubbles too. We returned this weekend. There were a couple of other families in the water. Aidan’s confidence had clearly increased and he was quite willing to blow bubbles and attempt his “starfish” float position. He slipped underwater a few times when rough housing with Daddy. Upset him but didn’t stop him. Quincy was a little boy possessed. Pete is thinking natural born swimmer. Little arms and legs just a churning and splashing up all sorts of water on his and our faces with no concern. I just need to stay with it with him. Aidan used to be very happy too in the water until I took almost a year off.
We hurried back after swim class to the Puzzle/Video Library for this week’s picks. I really appreciate having it available. Aidan is also into playing games since we arrived (and I purchased some). I believe I mentioned our One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Go Fish. I also picked up some rhyming cards (A Fish – On a Dish, a Duck – in a Truck) which he likes although I am a bit disappointed in – he insisted that the Ox is a Cow which rather ruins the rhyme (with a Fox which he also likes to think is a Wolf). Today I picked up some Dinosaur Dominoes. We played Insect Dominoes at a Visitor Centre this weekend and he really got it so I thought it would be fun to add to our repertoire. I think it taps into some of the same skills as puzzling (looking for pieces etc) but is a nice change of pace. I am always amazed when I realize that I have nice lunches out with a 2 ½ year old and now am playing games with him. Of course at times he is clearly only 2 ½ - and the insta-tears come quickly when something isn’t going his way or he wants my attention.
Friday was a very rainy day. I asked Aidan what he wanted to do. “Go to Jordan’s house” (not an option). “Go to Connor’s house” (also not an option). We took the American Yvette who lives nearby up on her offer to drop in anytime. We did! Aidan played with her 8 yr old and 10 month old’s toys for several hours. She fed us burritos for lunch and sent us home with an exersaucer for and doorway hanging jumper thing for Quincy. (Turns out we have almost no door jambs so haven’t tried it out yet). He likes being vertical in the saucer especially after I put a pillow under him so that his feet were able to easily reach the ground. We were happy to have Pete home again – he got home around dinner time. Actually we met his shuttle at the bottom of our driveway as we were heading out to return videos. I was running late as Aidan had hid the videos on me and had no idea of where they were. I was NOT amused. I think I was on the computer uploading to ofoto and Quincy woke up. Aidan kept him busy for ½ hour by bringing him various offerings and I guess the videos fell in that category. I found them in the side pouch of Quincy’s crib after a least 15 minutes of searching. It is amazing how poor Aidan’s recollection is of where he puts things. He can even be almost looking at them and not see things. He has a good memory for events. He is still referencing our trip to Lake Tahoe and some events that happened before we left home. He even mentioned that he isn’t a Lucky Ducky – something his Nanma said on her last visit!
Saturday we puttered around. Brunch again at Havre overlooking the beach. We headed to sit inside – it was quite crowded. He was quite upset and said we needed to sit on the patio. We told him if he could find a table we would. He did! So we got to sit on the patio and watch the world go by – or at least our little neighborhood. Late afternoon we headed to the YMCA to play in the water for quite a long time.
Sunday we didn’t get off to an early start as proposed (we almost never do). We headed west to the Waiter… (can’t remember how to spell) Ranges starting off at the Arakati (sp?) Visitor Center. It is up on a ridge with nice views back to city and water and surrounded by forests – subtropical rainforest I believe. It was interesting to see all the plants piled on top of one another in places (dead trees esp). We found our second Picture Frame. I really like them – very well done with native plants and animals carved into it. So of course we took a lot of pictures. We did the Nature Trail across the street. Aidan wanted every word on the tree identification signs read. Sometimes a couple of times. I just started making words up instead of trying to figure out how to say the Latin. Also quite a few had Maori names – and who knows how to say those words! Apparently it has plenty of difficulties in it like English – “wh” can be pronounced “f” for instance. But not always. Place names around here are either Maori or English which end up sounding very familiar. Shakespeare Park, Ascot, Epsom, Nelson, Wellsley etc.
We had lunch at a nice look out spot at a cottage (closed) and searched out an easily missed path off the road to a large Kauri Tree (very famous kind of tree here and almost all chopped down of course – huge trees that once could make a canoe for 100 from one log). We thought to take a path to Fairy Falls – but seeing several people coming off the path with mud up to their knees discouraged us. I have been advised to try it another day. We stopped off at a winery (well the retail place anyway) on the way back – they are very close to town as it turns out – almost all the vines have been paved over however – progress. I went in and had a nice time chatting wine with the tasting guy while the guys all napped in the car. I have really been enjoying the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. I was the only client late on a Sunday afternoon. We then headed back to town and met Pete’s co-worker Dzung for dinner at Seamart. He had bought the kids a couple of books and also some snack foods for Aidan. Quite unnecessary but nice. His family arrives in a couple of weeks. He has a boy and girl – 5 and 8 perhaps. He rented the identical car as us and has been letting Pete drive it to and fro during the week and then he keeps it on the weekend. Pete got the car and came home. Dzung reported that he had had some problems with it. Unfortunately Monday morning it stopped working altogether on Pete and he had a long wait for the AA (like AAA) and then at the rental shop. He ended up with a different car at the end of it.
We went back to Mission Bay playground Monday morning and then Aidan insisted on lunch at the stone café Mecca (“where we ate Yesterday” – everything in the past is Yesterday). Then home for naptime for the boys. They are both running some sleep deprivations. Last night they were appalling. One would start crying then the other would join in. Aidan ended up in our bed and I left for his. Quincy is not sleeping through the night by any stretch of the imagination. He can be very contented in his crib – I love listening to his coos sometimes when he is hanging out and happy. Aidan used to start screaming the minute he woke and found himself in a crib. Quincy can also put himself to sleep after crying a bit. He is waking after only going down for an hour though! He will give us a 5 or 6 hour stretch most nights. Oh well. I really hoped to get this licked while we have a multi-room house and before Nanma and Pop arrived. Not going to happen. Quincy especially won’t stop crying if he sees me – it is so sad to see his little head popped up staring in my direction as he heartbreakingly cries. He also can shuffle around in a real hurry when he wants to follow my progress across the room. Pete was most amazed at his physical prowess when he returned from his trip. At this age they advance so quickly. Today Quincy was trying to jump his knees under him into a crawl ready position. He isn’t there yet but he so wants to be! Aidan is waking usually toward morning and comes up the stairs if I don’t get to him quickly enough. Usually carrying his two puppets who have been sleeping with him. And our stairs don’t have rails for him to hold onto so I try to hurry down. I then have to stay with him til he is back out. Usually quickly but was 2 hours one night this weekend. Speaking of bed, I’m off!