Typical Saturday – Jidokan (Baby Center)

Yesterday was Saturday, and it was really hot! Tak and Gaku got up really early and went to the park to look for cicadas and beetles. They came back around 8:30 and got me up before Tak went to work. So, then we were trying to decide what to do for the day. Go to a park with water? Hmmm… a bit hot and maybe not so ideal for me alone with both Gaku and Hana. Jidokan? Sounds better. It has A/C and is much easier with both kids. So the next question is which one. There are two nearby that I really like, so I left it up to Gaku. He decided on the jidokan with a slide (not the one that Mom and Dad when to when they were here).
I decided to put Hana on my back and go by bicycle. Boy was it a hot ride! On the way, we stopped at a convenience store to pick up some onigiri and snacks. There’s a lunch room up on the second floor, so took our food and ate there before playing.
This jidokan has three main play rooms – one for babies, one with books, playdough, trains, cars, legos and a play kitchen, and one more that is for moving around more which has big blocks, lots of toys to ride, a see-saw, a small play structure with a slide and (Gaku’s favorite) a ball tent. We go here at least 2-3 times a month. Sometimes we spend more time in the baby room and sometimes we spend more time in the others. Yesterday, we pretty much played only in the big room. I went and got a Moses basket from the baby room, and Hana spent almost the whole time in it playing with her feet and chewing on a towel.

Gaku had a great time in the ball tent. He basically does a kind of feet-first sliding jump into the tent and then flails his feet and arms about. Sometimes, he lays on his back kicking his feet and moving his arms; it almost looks like he’s swimming. He had balls everywhere outside of the tent. When he first went into the tent, I told him to be careful that he would have to pick up all the balls he threw out, but I realized that there were too many outside of the tent for him to pick up by himself. I asked him if he could pick them all up himself like he’d promised and he said no. So I said let’s do it together. I went and got a basket and we went around the room together filling the basket and dumping the balls back in the tent. He was really good about it.
Then he was playing on the small play structure, pretending to be a dinosaur. I got some really funny photos, but when I turned it on video he was done with dinosaur and had moved on to pretending it was a boat. Gaku really has a thing for boats (Disney Land)… Yesterday, I showed him how he could climb up the side using the special foot/hand holds. He thought that was pretty fun. He can’t climb up the higher side yet, but probably next time.
I got him to agree to leave without throwing a fit by suggesting it was time for ice cream. We often have ice cream when we’re out on the weekends. It worked beautifully. It also helped that he was a bit tired out and ready for his nap. But the tired out part backfired a bit in the grocery store when he had a mini-meltdown, not too bad though. So we got back to the bike and he was eating his ice cream on the way home. We were about halfway home when I realized that his head was starting to wobble, meaning he was falling asleep while still holding his ice cream. I made him wake up enough to continue eating the ice cream. He called me “baka”, but started eating again. He started nodding off again. This time when I woke him up again, he dropped the spoon. I told him his ice cream was so melted now that he should just drink it. I really didn’t want him to fall asleep until after we got home. If he falls asleep in the bike, he comes wide awake when we get home and won’t take any nap. So I succeeded in getting him home while still half-awake, carried him upstairs, and set him down while I unfolded the futon. He said “Mickey” and I threw it on the futon and said, “There’s your Mickey.” He basically crawled on top of it and never moved! Hana hadn’t slept while we were out either. I took her out of the back carrier and laid her down, and she didn’t move either. Both kids completely zonked out!!

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