Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Going Places: Finding a Balance between Preparation and Flexibility

I keep trying to be more organized when going on outings with the kids, but it seems like flexibility is just as important as organization. I knew we needed to leave kind of early this morning to go tour the Chelsea Teddy Bear Company, which the GPS said would take about 40 minutes to get to. So, I packed the diaper bag last night along with lunch for everyone. Then, I set my alarm clock (don't do that much anymore) to get up and get ready. Normally, I just wake up when the kids do and grab a shower whenever is convenient. Despite my best intentions, we left late and of course, arrived late. Luckily the mom's group is patient and waits a few minutes for stragglers (usually us).

It turns out that their "factory tour" isn't much of a tour. The lady told us about the history of teddy bears and how the company was started. Naturally, the kids weren't interested in that. Then she took us inside to a small closed in area and showed us a little about the steps involved in creating teddy bears from drawing to completion. Again, the kids weren't that interested in looking at the pattern on the wall or feeling the materials used to stuff the bears. The highlight of our tour was seeing the world's largest teddy bear, which is pretty sad looking. Gravity and time have not been kind to him, so he is a bit droopy and bedraggled. After the "tour" we looked around at all of the merchandise they had for sale, and I showed Mia the items I saw that had a sign reading "$2 or less." She chose a blue cheerleading skirt that I thought would fit her animals or dolls at home. It was a bargain at 53 cents.

The three other moms and I discussed our options for what to do next. Others didn't bring a lunch which left the Treehouse play area or McDonald's. I didn't want to buy expensive food at Treehouse since it would have cost $6 to get in, so we headed to McDonald's. I guess I didn't need to pack that lunch, but oh well. Mia enjoyed the play area and she even ate her entire Happy Meal, so I was happy. Logan made an enormous mess eating his food that I had packed for him. I think more ended up on the floor than in his belly, but again, oh well.

We loved the drive there and back since the Garmin took us on many winding, hilly back roads. Mia called out every time she saw horses, which was often, and I saw some really pretty houses. The most interesting part for me was having to stop to allow seven ducklings cross the road in front of us! I think everyone had fun even if it wasn't doing the thing we originally set out to do. This reminded me that it's important to be flexible. Sometimes it's nice not to have a schedule.

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