Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Calvin Date

Today Brian and I split up the twins and took them on dates. I took Calvin to the National Book Festival and Brian took Clark to a Nationals game. We've only split them up this way a few times before, but I think it's important to spend one-on-one time with each of the boys. We surprised them. They didn't know what we were doing until Brian dropped Cal and I off at the festival on the National Mall.

It's hard because we don't want to put them in boxes and always assume that Cal will like the more artsy activity and Clark the sporty one...but it's also hard because we know that's what each of them likes the most. Cal is bored after awhile at a baseball game, but Clark knows the players and how to keep score and everything.

The date was rather last minute-- I had thought I'd be going to the festival by myself and so I hadn't paid much attention to the children's authors. I could have checked out books at the library from specific authors and then arranged to hear their presentations after the boys knew the books. That's what I've done in the past for myself. Next year I'll remember.

The author I wanted to hear and meet on Sunday was Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I love her adult book, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. I've read only one of her children's books, and the boys and I like it a lot (Bedtime for Mommy). So we heard her speak with my friend Missy, who introduced the book to me years ago, and we got to meet AKR. (Missy wrote about our afternoon here.) She signed my book and signed Cal's festival poster. She and Cal talked about superheroes (Cal has named his superhero self "Throthen" and Clark is "Quesadilla"). I told her about Whispers & Shouts and I was even so brazen as to hand her my card when she asked what the name of it is. Maybe she'll read this...

I bought Cal a book written and illustrated by a husband and wife team. You know how Cal loves to paint; I thought he would like to see the person who painted his book as well as the person who wrote it. We watched Erin and Philip Stead read two of their books from the front row: A Sick Day for Amos McGee and Bear Has a Story to Tell. They were charming.

Then we had a traumatic experience with Cat in the Hat and Sid the Science Kid at the PBS Kids tent, a side trip through the insect zoo and bathroom at the Natural History Museum, and a fun time at the Storybook Station before we walked to Uncle A's house to meet the baseball-ers.

The weather was unusually perfect for the festival (I have horrible rain and sweat book festival stories). I also thought it seemed to be organized and managed better than in past years-- it was a smoothly-operating function. What a fun day!

Here is my Calvin date in pictures:

Mommy and Calvy date!
Meeting Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Philip and Erin Stead

He ended up being brave enough for a
quick high five from Sid.

Then Cal stood and stalked Sid.

This is a big place with books and pillows for reading!


Drawing a ceiling fan

I don't know.

Walking back to Uncle A's house

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