Just like last January, my son and I have spent most of the new year so far fighting off illness. Our doctor diagnosed both of us with sinus infections. Phlegm (ewwww), fevers, and unusually cold weather have kept us inside in recent weeks. And if there's something I can't stand - something I absolutely detest - it's being housebound, relegated to watching Oprah and watching the world go by from the front window while I tunnel through boxes of Kleenex. I suspect my offspring feels the same way.
Yesterday, both of us were finally back in business. We decided to go on a field trip to the bookstore. We have a well-honed Borders routine, one that's fun but free. The steps are as follows:
1. Hit up the magazine area and make one or two selections. I usually go for Outside, Money, a sailing magazine, or U.S. News. My son likes the railroad magazines:
2. Take said magazines to the children's section. I find a little chair to sit on and indulge in some recreational reading while my son ooh's and aah's over the Thomas the Train books and plays with the wheelies:
3. After about 45 minutes, we put the books away and replace the magazines on the shelf. Then we go home without buying anything. Cheapskates.
I know Borders isn't a playground, but no-one ever objects to our activities, and we always clean up before we leave. And unlike the library, the noise at the bookstore kind of drowns out preschooler-generated rackets.