Saturday, December 10, 2011

One Busy Winter's Day

Somehow we crammed a lot into this Saturday!

The weather is bee-you-tiful (clear as a bell and not too cold) so in the morning we went on a walk along the Westchester Bluffs fire road/Playa Vista riparian corridor maintenance track--or whatever that thing is called. This road is rough going in parts because it's so torn up with tire-track ruts and mud holes, but  that's worth suffering because it's such a great escape into genuine "nature" and so close to our house. Red-tailed hawks sail overhead, goldfinches dart through the bushes, monarch butterflies flutter past and there are even a few late-winter wildflowers hanging on for dear life along the edges of the path. Jackson slept in the stroller for most of this trip, but eventually woke up and enjoyed some "unstructured play" time clambering into the aforementioned ruts in the road, picking up sticks, rolling in the dust and generally enjoying himself.

After we finished the round trip along the bluffs, we got back in the car and headed downtown for storytime at the Los Angeles Central Library. I've been trying to do a "Manners Week" theme for the kiddo, and the topic of this story time was "Naughty or Nice" so I felt like it was worth the trip down there. (Also, I adore the Central Library with ever fiber of my architecture-and-books-loving being.) I've been failing miserably at doing this "good behavior" topic on my own since there aren't really any books on this topic that aren't totally inappropriate for a toddler and/or that don't make me want to go "You can't make me say please--you're not the boss of me!!" As it turns out, manners need to be demonstrated more than than be instructed!

Anyway, the librarians at the main library have their very own story theater and did a wonderful job of putting together a "show" about various misbehaving kiddos and what becomes of them. Among other things, they staged a retelling of Aesop's Boy Who Cried Wolf and the kids got to participate. When Jackson saw that the librarians were handed out stuffed animals, he insisted that he be cast as one of the fuzzy lambs--and he got his way.

Jackson played his role perfectly, shouting "BAABAA!" at appropriate intervals.
Jackson was not on his best behavior during the puppet show. He ran down to the stage and insisted on pointing out to everyone in the theater: "BEAR! BUNNY! BUNNNNNY!" He was summarily removed from the orchestra pit by security (mama) and returned to his previous business of sitting in the aisles of the theater, from whence he was later removed by the fire marshal (mama).
After storytime was over, we took a tour through the amazing/brilliant/outstanding library gift shop (seriously, I am a connoisseur of cultural institution gift shops and this place had the single little best selection of kid's stuff I've seen anywhere) and went for a ride down the elevator and then up the five escalators in the grand atrium, and then we headed for home.

But not before climbing and crawling on all the ledges of all the fountains on the walkway out to the street. Of course.
But that's not all! After a quick pit stop at home for Trader Joe's Chinese food, we headed out to the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. Amazingly, this is actually the second year in a row we've done this, so it's verging on becoming a genuine family tradition. Jackson loved the fireworks and "sang along" with the noises, "Bang!" for bang and "Boom!" for boom. When they were over, he immediately demanded "Again!" and we promised we would play the fireworks for him exactly one year. And then we sat back and watched the boats decorated for the holiday as they cruised around the channel, blasting holiday cheer.

We park next to the Del Rey Lagoon and walk over to the jetty that runs beside Ballona Creek where the bike path begins.
In addition to the fireworks and the brightly lit boats, we were treated to a radiant full moon.
I know this looks like a scene from a Vietnam War amphibious-attack flashback, but these are actually poorly photographed boat parade boats.
Last but not least, Jackson was brought home for a change into jammies and a dramatic reading of Corduroy by Don Freeman, as performed by his father in the style of a film-noir narrator. (This is extremely hilarious and bizarrely perfect for the book.) Jackson now sleeps cuddled safely in his bed, so merry Chrismukkah to all and to all a good night!

1 comment:

Cupcake Mama said...

I had no idea! I used to go when I lived in Newport but we will have to give it a go next year.