School’s Out!

Published July 19, 2018 in Warp & Woof

School’s Out!

Even Family Day Care Gets Summer Vacation
William Sundwick
It happens every year. This is Owen’s second summer vacation from the family day care provider in his neighborhood. Grampa and GiGi volunteered to take three days out of the facility’s five-day closure. We played, we napped on the Aerobed in Grampa and GiGi’s bedroom, bought just for Owen. And, then the big event Friday – we got a haircut at the award-winning Westover Barber Shop. They specialize in kids’ haircuts! Topping it all off, we visited the Westover Library and had lunch at the Lost Dog Café.
As he gets bigger, Owen is more confident of his place in the world. He is comfortable with us, our

house, our toys – and, we have now discovered, our neighborhood business district! This was his third haircut at Westover Barber Shop. He already knew the people there. And, he knew the Library and Lost Dog, too! Comfortable, confident, more interested in the truck and bus traffic he saw through the windows than what was happening inside.

But, if there was a lull in the adventure content of what he saw and heard, he made up for it with his active imagination – he became a “trash man,” the toy ambulance was rushing to an “emergency,” Grampa was “sick”! Or, Owen was a “monster,” making gruff roaring sounds.

As soon as he arrived Tuesday morning, the first thing he asked for was “trains” (the Brio collection inherited from the older boy next door when he outgrew them).

Then, thanks to GiGi buying sidewalk chalk for him, we went outside on the patio and drew on the pavers – long, straight lines, rather impressive. Grampa suggested two lines, different colors, equal length, next to one another. Then, the two pull-back vehicles entered the scene – a DRAG RACE! (Credit Grampa’s imagination for that.) it worked. The lifted Hummer beat the Crown Vic police car!

To prove to us that he was a “big boy,” Owen presented no resistance to afternoon naps on that nicely dished out Aerobed, with a full-size pillow (prepped, to be sure, with the requisite two bedtime stories). Like the barber shop, naps were a piece of cake for him – been there, done that!
When comfort begins melting into boredom, Owen easily fills in with his play-acting skills (child development specialists like his mom call this “imaginative play”). Presented with the same toys, the same Brio tracks, the same rooms, that he knows so well, he can make something different happen with them each time. The boredom isn’t in his head – maybe his grandparents? But, Grampa, at least, has no problem letting Owen take the lead, letting those wonderful fantasies go wherever they may.

As engaging as he is now, his life will soon be turned upside down with the arrival of a new baby sister! Owen knows she’s coming – Mommy and Daddy have spent much time talking to him about that. When GiGi mentioned her doctor’s appointment, Owen asked, “Do you have a baby in your tummy?”

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