Since September, Muffin and Squeaker have been in a playgroup for two-year-olds that they have adored. But with the end of the month of June came the end of playgroup for them. And this year, their first week without playgroup coincided with our babysitter's annual week-long camping trip with her family, which left us with two girls eager for fun and excitement but no distinct plan.
We started off the week on a high note. This year, for the first time, instead of , we invited about fifteen of the girls' friends from the six-and-under set, mostly kids from our synagogue, the playgroup, and those with whom the girls have regular playdates. With the , we decided to start at our home for pizza and cake, and then we took those who were up for the walk to for some outdoor time.
After the last of the girls' friends had decided to leave the park and head home, we went back home to collect books and then headed out to to take advantage of the . We sat in children's room and I read a couple of books to the girls, attracting other children until I was running an impromptu story hour. The girls chose a couple of books they wanted to take home with us, and then we left the library right before their 5:00 p.m. closing. Following dinner at to continue the girls' celebration, we took two very tired girls home.
The next morning was Monday. We knew that the work days were going to be the challenging part, since the girls had a routine of going to playgroup in the morning and then napping and playing until Michael and I came home. And since I am still within the first year of my employment at my current job, I was not sure I would be able to take the time off (since most of my vacation time was used for Jewish holidays in the fall). Through the kindness of my boss, I was able to work from home this week, so while I attended my morning conference calls, Michael took point on attending to the girls' needs, and then he went into his office for the afternoon to deal with his work meetings while I organized the girls for lunch and then nap time. Tuesday we both worked from home, with Michael taking the girls out to Waldstein Playground again during my meetings and then me meeting them afterwards. On Tuesday afternoon the girls and I made pizza together for lunch, which was again followed by nap time.
Wednesday being the , things were more relaxed. I didn't have my work meetings and Michael had no need to go into the office (although he did do some work at home), so we took the morning slowly, having a leisurely snuggle with the girls followed by breakfast and then a trip out to the playground next to after the rainstorm had subsided. After errands at and and a stop at , we came home for a brief nap, followed by a Fourth of July barbecue at the home of friends of ours. The girls ate hot dogs and watermelon and enjoyed playing with sidewalk chalk and blowing bubbles.
Thursday was similar to Monday and Tuesday, with my work obligations followed by a trip to the park and some brief errands and then home for nap, during which Michael had a work meeting and I visited with a friend. Friday is shaping up similarly, though on Friday the girls and I will also prepare for Shabbat. It will not be the most stress-free of weeks, but I hope it will spawn some fond memories for the girls in the future.
This week’s column is written by Nomi S. Burstein.