One Saturday evening in November I took the kids to the aquarium to watch the sharks in the newish Blacktip Reef exhibit. I love that the downstairs viewing area goes from floor ceiling because the kids can press their faces against the window and watch the fish, and if it's not crowded, I can sit down and just chill. So much better than TV!
When we tired of the reef, we went to the Australia exhibit to say hello to the pig-nosed turtles. We got lucky while there and got to watch a rarely-seen fruit bat crawl across the roof screen. It was cool and also a bit creepy looking, almost like something from a horror movie. I didn't realize they creeped like that, using those claws on their wings like eerie little fingers. Seems like if I had wings, I'd flap them rather than crawling around upside down with my creepy little bat claws....We cruised through the Jellies Invasion too before the masses started moving for the door, a sign I interpreted to mean that it was closing time.
After the aquarium I took the kids to dinner...at the grocery store. I plopped them down in the grocery cart, Jacob up front and Hannah in the back using a pile of reusable bags to prevent a waffle pattern indentation on her rump. First stop: baby food aisle to pick out an organic fruit and veggie pouch with no funkiness added. Yes, I have eased up on the reins of motherhood this time around. Packaged baby food never once crossed Hannah's lips, except for those Happy Baby Puffs. Jacob, on the other hand, probably eats a pouch or two a week. I grab one when I know we're going to be running around during a meal time. They're awesome because I don't have to have a bowl or a spoon. I just crack it open and hand it over, and he feeds himself. It's often a messy endeavor, but washing laundry is by far the easiest of all household so I'm fine with it.
From the baby food aisle, we made our way to the prepared foods counter where Hannah picked out turkey, roasted vegetables, and mashed potatoes. This was pre-Thanksgiving, and she was excited for the pending holiday. I heated her plate in the microwave at the front of the store, handed her a plastic spoon, and returned to the produce aisle to start crossing things off my grocery list, tucking pears and almond milk and garbanzo beans all around Hannah.
As it turns out, this is a pretty peaceful way to grocery shop. It was also one of our more pleasant dining out experiences. That I also gained points for efficiency means that more of our Saturday nights without dad will be spent in this manner.