With partly sunny skies and an active two-year old, the best place to be, whenever possible, is outside. So, our goal today, Ben's last Saturday in Tbilisi, was to enjoy the outdoors! Mommy slept more one night #2 and even woke up to the sound of little feet hitting the floor, soon followed by Daddy and Simon banter, laughter and roughhousing in bed. Apparently, I'm the only one in the family who believes in lazy mornings, snuggled in bed. Daddy tried to keep Simon quiet and entertained with a movie so that I could sleep a bit more, but it wasn't to be. Simon was in a very opinionated and contradictory mood today. His opinions and contradictions included included:
- I love my pjs and don't want to get dressed, but I want to go outside.
- I want to eat a banana, but I don't want Daddy to peel it. Now that Daddy started to peel it: I want the peel to go back in place so that I can peel the banana.
- I want to say "orange juice" but I don't actually want orange juice.
- I don't need to go pee pee or poo poo before my nap, but 30 minutes into nap time, I will need to go.
- Yesterday I liked riding in the stroller, but today riding in the stroller is torture so I demand to be carried instead. But only by Mommy and only in front, not on the hip.
- I don't want to ride my car. I want to ride the big car that costs money.
- I don't want a diaper, I only want pull-ups, even though a few days ago I didn't want pull-ups and only wanted diapers.
Anyway, we eventually were ready for the day and Misha picked us up to go to the park. We brought along the ride-on car we bought for Simon weeks ago and have been saving for when we had him full time. Vake park was a perfect place to spend the morning. The air was cool and smelled of fall, but the sun was warm. Many of the leaves on the trees are changing and leaves fluttered down. Simon pushed himself on his car around one of the fountains and Daddy and I took turns pulling him when he wanted to go faster. His steering was a little off due to his one-handed technique and he had a bit of a conundrum when he wanted to steer and beep the horn, but he kept trying different ways and got pretty good at riding the car after a bit. One of Simon's favorite words is "up" and when he saw stairs at the park, he had to go up, carrying the car along with a bit of help from Misha. At the top of the stairs was a WWII memorial, which had a statue on top of a platform with a bit of a slope to it, so Simon took to pulling the car up the slope and then riding it down. He's quite the daredevil!
|Top portion of memorial|
|Bottom portion of the memorial|
|Fountain at Vake|
After Simon's nap, I tried to figure out something on the embassy website, while Daddy and Simon played. A few times as they played chase, Simon climbed up on the bed behind me to hide and then climbed up my back and over my shoulder to escape. While this was fun and I loved every minute of it, it was quite detrimental to my productivity.
A little after 4pm, Misha picked us up and we went to the open-air ethnography museum where we met Misha's wife Bella, their son Sandro and Sandro's cousin Masha. The ethnography museum is a park with different types of houses from all over Georgia. The park hosts living-museum type events where visitors can learn about crafts, wine making, dance and other aspects of traditional Georgian culture, but today w just went to see the houses. There was quite a traffic jam on the road leading to the park, which suggested the possibility for a joke: How many Georgians does it take to park a car? I haven't figured out the punch line yet..., but we were finally able to park. At the gate we noticed many kids were wearing Halloween costumes and after hearing several speak English (including some with American accents), I guessed that there was a special school trip or play group meeting. It turned out though that the museum had a Halloween event going where the kids could trick-or-treat at the different houses! When Simon saw the kids getting candy, he wanted some too, so he taught him, Sandro and Masha how to trick-or-treat. Nobody seamed to mind that they weren't wearing costumes. It was quite a fun way to tour the different houses while keeping the kids entertained and excited. Bella told us about many of the houses and crafts as we walked around. It was interesting to learn some of the differences in culture. For example, in some regions, wine is fermented in large clay jars outside in the ground and in other regions, the jars are buried in the ground indoors. The park also had beautiful views of the city.
|Halloween festivities ar ethnography museum|
From the ethnography museum, it was a short drive to Turtle Lake, which once had turtles, but now only had frogs. The lake has a 1km paved path around it, so we busted out the stroller to give Mommy's arms a break. Simon would have none of it, though Sandro encouraged him and offered to push, so I ended up carrying him most of the way after all. Sandro and Masha took turns pushing the empty stroller. The path was quite peaceful and went through woods around the lake. The lake has amenities for summer (beach, sports fields, boats, a blow-up kid area), but also is a pleasant place to walk. After our walk, we stopped at the cafe and had drinks and french fries. It is so much fun to hang out and do family things with another family.
Misha dropped us off at the restaurant Guinness for dinner. We arrived a bit before the rugby world cup final started and Ben got to watch the first half, while Simon and I played on my phone (drawing and puzzle apps tot he rescue!). Simon had two khinkali and french fries. We quite enjoyed seeing him eat khinkali for the first time. When we left to walk back, Simon didn't want to ride in the stroller but did want to push it. Unfortunately, the streets were too busy and the sidewalks too narrow for it to be safe, so I had to carry him while he fussed "mome, mome, mome," ("give me, give me, give me") most of the way home (Daddy took a bit of a turn when I got tired). While we occasionally have issues with the Georgian-English language barrier, more of then the barrier is adult versus toddler understanding and perspective, which transcends(supersedes?) language and culture.
Back at the hotel, we called Ben's brother's family via FaceTime and Simon got to talk and see his cousins Aimslee and Ryker on video chat. He got so excited and started showing off my turning somersaults on the bed, which led to jumping on the bed, which led to all three kids jumping on beds while singing Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. They then took turns showing each other their toys and when Ryker showed a stuffed animal, Simon ran and got his stuffed Scout dog off his bed to show. When Simon saw their cat on video, he said "meow, meow." Simon really enjoyed watching his cousins dance around. Aimslee wanted to read Simon a bedtime story, so she picked Brown Bear Brown Bear. Since we had the book with us, Simon had his copy to look at while Aimslee read. However, Aimslee is a great book reader and goes page by page, while Simon flips through the book as fast as possible. So while Aimslee finished reading, Simon rolled around on the floor and climbed on Daddy. It was a great first meeting of cousins and we're excited to have them all together to play soon!
Simon has his evening routine down. He goes potty and then takes a bath. He loves to play, but doesn't like having his hair rinsed, so we get that part done as quickly as possible. Then it is into a clean diaper and pjs. He then sits on his blanket on the floor and has a couple crackers and water for bedtime snack while he watches a movie (tonight was a Busy Town episode). When he is done with his crackers, he carries the video player over to his bed and then goes to the bathroom to brush teeth. Mommy and Daddy then say bedtime prayers over Simon. He then watches a little more of the movie. Tonight, he even made sure that his stuffed Scout was placed so she could watch the movie too! When he is done watching, he rolls over and goes to sleep (after making sure that Scout is tucked in too). I usually lie down with him for a bit, but tonight Daddy wanted to cuddle with Simon. Simon wasn't too please with this difference, but he put up with it for a little bit. Daddy is soaking in as much Daddy time as he can get since he has to leave early Monday morning. While we're excited for Grandpa and Grandma to visit, we can't wait to get back home to Daddy again!