Every Thursday morning, a group of moms gather informally at the play place in the East Side Marketplace to chat and let their toddlers run off some of their energy before nap-time. The Stay-at-home moms around town who have kids of similar age usually end up making friends with one another; after all, Moscow isn't a very big place. So there is a group of moms I have become acquainted with through Preschool, MPTC, church, the Library Story Hour and the Park. Many know each other from MOPs too, but I have yet to go to that since my schedule is full.
One of the moms has two adopted daughters from Taiwan. We spent the morning swapping adoption stories last week. One of the moms has two kids the same ages as mine; her son loves Cars also. Another one I met just this morning is new in town so we exchanged emails and have hopes of future playdates.
I have met moms from Kentucky and moms from Wenatchee. Today I chatted with a couple of Dads. Subject: Potty-training. You never know what you're going to get at the Tree-Slide. A genuine Idaho cowboy chatted with a sophisticated-looking transplant from Seattle. Their offspring chased each other through the tunnel across the play area.
My children love going there to play. When given the choice of playing with her brand-new birthday toys or going to the Tree-Slide, Curly opted without hesitation for the latter. When we arrive, Little Mister rushes to push the "robot button", the handicap automatic door opener. Once inside, he always reminds me that we saw the Chihuahua movie there at the Cinema. "Wa-wa. Moo." He states it emphatically, just in case I had forgotten the important incident. Chihuahua Movie. Curly Miss runs at full-speed down the corridor toward the playplace, has her shoes and coat off and has made five new friends before Mister and I have found our seats along the "parent bench". I take his little shoes off and set him on his sturdy feet, smiling as he takes off for adventure.
Today I stopped at the Safeway Deli, grabbed some kid-friendly food (and a Starbuck's...I am really racking up the coffee charges this week!) and took it back to the Tree-Slide where we had a picnic. Sitting at the nearby table, munching macaroni-and-cheese and chicken strips, my children were in Toddler Heaven.
Normally I dislike sitting on a park bench watching the kids play. But on Thursdays at the Tree-Slide with friends to talk to, I find that the time goes quickly. All too soon we're saying goodbye and heading back home to housework and naps. Until next Thursday.