27 October 2010

more adventures in babysitting

Don't tell me not to fly; I've simply got to
If someone takes a spill, it's me and not you!
Who told you you're allowed to rain on my parade?
-Don't Rain on My Parade

We were hoping to go to the zoo today (the kiddos and I, that is), but just as we were getting ready to leave the house, I remembered something. "It's Census Day," I said. "Won't it be closed?"

Census Day is apparently a big deal here in Argentina. Everything is shut down for one day, no one goes to work, and the streets are empty except for people with plastic satchels that say "Censo" on them going door to door. The Subte was very nearly empty, which was delightful considering I usually have to stand for the duration of my morning commute, and my afternoon commute as well.

But the Census did put a damper on the kids' plans for the morning. The 3 year old in particular was really looking forward to going to the zoo- she made nearly a full recovery from her illness when she heard that was on the schedule for the day. We held out hope that the zoo would be open despite the Census, reasoning that we'd keep our zoos open in America on such a day just for those parents who didn't know what to do with an extra day at home with their kids, but we also devised a couple of backup plans. These were:
  1. The botanical gardens across the street from the zoo, and
  2. Any of the many other parks in the area
With this solid plan of action fresh in my mind, I hailed a taxi, and piled the stroller, diaper bag, and both tots inside. I asked the driver if he thought the zoo would be open, and he said definitely not, so I asked if he thought the botanical gardens would be open, and he said probably not, and then suggested that we try the Japanese gardens, because "You know how those Asians are, they always stay open on holidays."

I decided to go with it, because we all know the only place you can get anything to eat on Thanksgiving and Christmas in the States is a Chinese restaurant, although I really didn't think the gardens would be open. At least we would be near other public playgrounds and things if the Japanese gardens were closed.

And of course they were closed, so we just got out there and wandered around the perimeter of the Rosedal (Rose Garden) because its gates were locked as well. We played around the lake, and watched goslings and ducklings, and the 3 year old thought she was going to vom a few times, and then we climbed trees and THEN I CHANGED THE 18 MONTH OLD'S DIAPER. It was an ordeal, I'll tell you, with him screaming and squirming and locking his legs so I couldn't lift him up by the ankles to clean him up. There were tears shed, wet wipes thrown, and rude glances from passers-by, but I got the job done. And I tell you what, that kid was rashy. I think he fights diaper changes because he associates them with diaper rash, but it's a vicious circle. He's not going to get rid of that diaper rash unless he lets us change him. But try explaining that to a kid who's a year and a half old. And thankfully (or not, really), he did the same thing when his mother tried to change him yesterday, so at least she knows that it's not just me making excuses or something. The kid is genuinely very, very difficult to get changed.

When we got back to the house, their dad asked what things were like on the outside. Apparently the ex-president of Argentina died today. (Interestingly enough, he was also the current First Spouse.) We weren't sure if we should expect riots, or celebrations, or what, but in the end I don't think people could be bothered with actually doing anything on their day off.

Anyway. What else is new? Oh, there's a new poll at the bottom of the page for everyone to enjoy. I want to thank everyone who participated in the last one; you can see the results on the 'Results of Weekly Poll' page. If you have more poll ideas please let me know because I'm not actually that creative.

Happy Census Day!


Anonymous said...

question: Is 'as soon as is Lizzily possible' before or after Christmas? I hate trick questions on the polls! :-)

What exactly IS census day? (or whatever it was called?)

Am I starting to detect a bit of homesickness? (It's about time!) Remember.............there's no place like home, there's no place like home. Just tap your heels together three times.

Lizzie said...

As soon as is Lizzily possible would be as soon as is humanly possible. . . except I am not a human, I am a Lizzie.
And I've been homesick for roughly the past 3 and a half months! But I'm not coming home til I've made the money to pay for the flight. . . so when I'm working 20 hours a week at around $10 an hour, that could take me roughly. . . forever