Today we are sort of stuck. We are over scheduled and other than our quick walk from school to the car our outside time is on a sidewalk, in . . . a strip mall. We start with a wild gallop from one curb cut to the next. This nice straight path is delineated by a wide yellow strip on the curb side and a row of plate glass windows on the other. We began this galloping back and forth months ago when my older daughter first started taking her class in this building. We can see her inside moving in unison with the other kids. A blur of white as they kick, step, punch, repeat. There is silence and then a rush of sound as they count in Japanese.
My little one can't wait to begin Karate with her sister. But for now we are outside and have this wide strip of flat concrete to use for our entertainment. After the galloping we move to tickle monster but that proves too intense. She wants to run but not to be chased. Just a month ago she would have been sound asleep at this time.
Today we discover robots. "You be Mommy Robot and I'll be Baby Robot," instructs my little one. I stiffen my limbs and take on the requisite monotone voice. I shamble along patting her head saying, "Nice Baby Robot, bleep, bloop, blip." She thinks this is very funny and I'm glad to have found her funny bone. After a bit I decide my robot is broken and I tip half way over and repeat, "Mommy Robot needs help, fix me, fix me, fix me." I try to keep a straight face as my tiny mechanic begins working on me. She has pretend tools that make noise and after a bit she pushes me upright with all her strength. Clearly this is the sign that I am fixed. Off we go again, back and forth along the side walk. No toys, no grass, just a flat space and our imaginations.