Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Killing time during visits

Caterpillar has three one-hour visits per week, and the expectation is that I transport for them (though I do not supervise them).  Our other foster children have had similar visit schedules.  I am very fortunate that these visits usually mesh with my life pretty well when they wouldn't for other people.  In fact, that was one reason in favor of fostering babies and toddlers, as agencies that don't do much transportation for visits have a lot of trouble finding families who are willing to juggle three visits per week.  It works out all right for us because:
  • I live less than ten minutes' drive from the agency.
  • The agency is in a walkable downtown of a city.
  • I like getting out of the house once a day anyway.
  • Because my part-time work hours are in the evening, if I'm not available to transport, B usually is.
  • When visits are scheduled during Rhinoceros's nap time and no other time can be found, the agency is willing to transport at least one way.
So, I thought I'd share what our during-visit time is like lately.  During the school year, I have Rhinoceros with me, and during school breaks, Dinosaur joins us as well.  Some options depend on weather.

Library - One library branch is a short walk from the agency.  We'd make routine visits here anyway, and a little under an hour is about perfect.

Museum - One child-friendly museum is a short walk away as well, so we have a membership and go regularly.

Lunch - Some of our visits have been during lunchtime, so we find a restaurant nearby and try to stretch it out to an hour (a little bit of a challenge with a 3-year-old, but we manage).
Farmer's Market - I wish there was one within walking distance because I hate getting in and out of the car, but it is a short, fun errand that I like to do in the summer.

Other errands - Occasionally we'll run a quick errand, but I try to avoid this because again it means getting in and out of the car so many times.

A snack and a walk - This is a new idea I tried out today.  We picked up a pastry and coffee and crossed the river downtown, then back via two different bridges.  Rhinoceros rode in the stroller some and walked some.

Honestly, I like the structure and miss it when we don't have a child placed with us.  Though our house does get a lot cleaner, and it's nice to stay at the museum for longer than 45 minutes.

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