I'm not ready to officially call myself a stay-at-home mom, but we've been in Austin now for 30 days, and with no promising job prospects on the horizon it's time for me to lock it up and start doing "things" with the kids during the day (hanging out at the pool doesn't count). And by the way, I'm four months pregnant, so the odds of me finding--and starting--a job before I have to turn around and go on maternity leave are waning by the day.
This morning I took a dive into the world of what-to-do-with-your-kids-when-it's-107 degrees-and-you-don't-know-anyone-in-a-new-city. My answer: Book People, an amazing independent book store in Austin that has kids' story time three days a week (plus author visits and book signings and other cool things going on all the time). We got there early so I could be sure we got a seat. I even remembered a sippy cup for Scout and some animal crackers to keep the tantrums at bay. When we got to the second floor theater where the readings take place, I looked around at my peers and saw that I was one mom among several nannies, what was possibly a mannie, and a few youngish hippies who could have been older siblings, babysitters or actual moms (it's hard to tell...). Even though I felt somewhat out of my element at first, I was happy that everyone didn't look the same and several of the kids were barefoot like Scout. Besides, Catcher and Scout enjoyed the stories and it kept us out of the apartment for two hours--what more could you want? Bonus: Whole Foods is next door, so after-story lunchtime there is a win-win way to shave another hour off your day.
Today the subject was butterflies, so after story time everyone had a choice of either coloring a butterfly or making butterfly antennas out of pipe cleaners. When I asked Catcher which activity he wanted to do, he responded: "I don't want to do anything. I just want to read, read, read." So he proceeded to jump down from his perch in the amphitheater and run over to a shelf where he picked out five different books involving trucks (and one starring Dora) to read.
Scout kept herself busy crawling on the stairs and eating crumbs that other kids had left behind. She even took her first two steps alone! I think she was going after the cracker I had in my hand. (I'm sure she was going after the cracker I had in my hand.)