Cody heard that a local group was having a moon-watching party downtown tonight, and asked me out on a date a few days ago. I wasn't sure if it would still happen because of the weather, but it cleared up after a while.
Today was payday, so I grabbed a grouchy Evelyn and went to Target almost as soon as I got home from work. She had had a short nap, and was pretty furious that her visit to Granddad and Gil's house today didn't include an overnight stay.
Last week, she stayed with them for two days. Cody and I were pretty much dying by the time she came home on the third evening from missing her so much and feeling so weird without her in the apartment. I flung open the door when she got to press the doorbell and she immediately shouted "Mommy! I do not want to come to here!"
So. Lots of distractions cheered her up, and stocking up on cleaning products made me happy. We got home a little before 8, ate pizza, and strolled a few blocks. She was already impressed with the fact that we were walking around at night, and that she hadn't been plopped in the bath immediately after dinner.
The Central Arkansas Astronomical Society had set up telescopes all over the vacant lot where the Argenta farmers market meets and people were just milling around and visiting and looking through different types of telescopes. Evelyn stood on a stool or two, but mostly she looked through telescopes while I held her and covered up one of her eyes with my hand. Everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful--they had to readjust the telescopes every so often because the moon would just sort of slip away. Cody even looked through one telescope and the guy who owned it (I guess) was pointing out that he could see dust clouds in one of the moon's craters.
Evelyn kept yelling "This is just like the pictures! This is just like on that show!" She really loves The Magic Schoolbus right now, and we've watched a couple of the space-themed shows on repeat for the past few days. Also, she wants to be Carlos right now. She maybe told the cashier at Target she was Carlos. This is still not as strange as when she was Liz.
Anyway, people talked to her and she loved that. Everyone was very nice and I had her walk up to some people and ask them questions (it's not like Cody or I knew what any of the telescope parts did!), and she was thrilled with the answers. She was also thrilled to get a Frisbee and a little foam air plane. She would probably tell you she got that from a guy after she complimented him on his tank top, but really they were passing goodies out to attendants.
There was a pretty diverse crowd. I was surprised at all the middle school and high school-aged kids I saw, and how many questions they had. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, especially once the clouds moved away. We were probably there for 15 or 20 minutes, and the lateness started to wear on our little skywatcher. She seemed content with leaving, though, because she got a poster on her way out of some stars being born in dust clouds--"Just like on the show!!!!!!!"--and because I think we looked through 10 different telescopes. It's not like something cooler was going to happen that she was afraid she'd miss if she'd already looked through every kind of telescope known to her three-year-old mind. Also, someone asked if she wanted to go to a star-watching party in a few weeks and she was pretty enthused. I'm not sure how much she'll love space in a couple of weeks, but I hope it's early enough in the evening that we can go. This was a casual, quick little event for us and a really fun break from our ordinary nights. We walked home, threw some pajamas on the kiddo, and called it a night.
It was a good date.