Work has been crazy for about a month now, maybe longer. I have clocked overtime at least three weeks, which is significant considering I'm only supposed to work 32 hours. We're so busy (which is good) and so short-staffed (which is less-good) that even working extra hours, I'm still behind on my own work. I've been spending my time covering programs because there's no one else to do it. I have permission now to hire a few part-timers for summer help, but I'm not sure when I'll have time to interview anyone. We'll make it work somehow, I imagine.
Two moms from Nico's class have asked me if he's planning to attend any of the day camps at my work, thinking it would be fun to sign their kids up for camp with him if he is. This is a nice contrast to last summer, when I sent "let's meet up for a playdate!" notes home with every single kid in his class and didn't get one email or phone call over the summer. I tried not to take it personally because people are busy, but that was a bummer. Nico is signed up for half-day Big Truck Camp at the Y plus half-day dinosaur camp at the children's museum, and then he'll probably do two weeks of half-day camp with me at work. One of his playdate friends wants to do a week of all-day camp and I think I'll let Nico try. I'd never send him to all-day camp on his own right now, but maybe with her to hang out with he'll do okay? If not, it won't cost me anything to yank him out and send him to my parents for the week instead. Oh, and both kids will do Kindermusik one afternoon a week for five weeks. I feel like such a stereotype even writing that, but they love it so I will get over it.
I was off today because of all the working recently. Nico had preschool in the morning and Elliott had his last Kindermusik session of the semester, since I worked yesterday morning and we missed it. After that and a much-needed nap for Elliott, Nico was begging to go to the playground down the street. I decided I'd rather gamble on the park farther down our street, about half a mile in the opposite direction of the really close playground. It was totally worth it. The park is shaded by a dozen big old trees, there's a nice play structure with a sand pit, and there's benches for the parents. The kids played happily for almost two hours while I sat in the shade and read a book. The other parents we encountered were my favorite kind - present but hands-off, letting the kids just do their thing. Not one person told a kid to not get dirty or to stop running (though I did have to ask Nico not to kick quite so much sand into his shoes). Nico spontaneously played in the sand with two other little boys. My kids came home covered in sweat and dirt and went right into the shower. After shoveling down his dinner, asking for more, and then shoveling that down, Elliott hollered, "Playground! Please, playground!" Alas, we did not return, but we definitely will go back this summer.
Reading: Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
Playing: Elliott won me over for the thousandth time today by repeatedly requesting "more black doggie" in the car. It's not my favorite Zeppelin song by any measure, but he is definitely my favorite little blond boy.