The first Monday, home alone, with the kiddo while my husband went to work was, in a word: frightening.
Our boy is the kind that can't be left indoors for too long or else he'll turn into a gremlin. We currently don't have a car. Roy has one for work, but that's strictly for work only. It wouldn't matter if we did have a car through, because I don't know my way around enough (at all) to know where to go anyway.
So why not go to a playground? My head has been full of this: Arizona = scorpions, snakes, bugs, spiders that bite or sting or are poisonous and things that freaking hurt when they sting. One does not simply 'go' to a playground (in my head, over and over).
With my head full of the above, my head has also been full of: panic, can not walk off the sidewalk, do not walk on grass or woodchip, don't sit on seats anywhere, don't look anywhere but the sidewalk in case of stepping on any of the above listed scary things.
So, frightened as I was, I ventured out with my 3 and a half year old. We went as far as the playground (about 50 metres/54 yards). I kept looking at the steps and railings on the playground for any signs of spiders. The gardens are pretty bare so I didn't think there would be any snakes. I didn't even sit on the seating at the playground. Too scared.
It turns out that I had a severe case of hypochondriac-ness. If you're from Arizona, you're probably laughing at me right now.
Honestly though, in New Zealand we are so lucky to not have any snakes, scorpions or anything that's really too scary. There are spiders, but they are nothing (I hear) to what Australia has, or the US for that matter.
That night I had a mini freak out and talked to my husband about it. I came to the conclusion that because I didn't know anything about my surroundings I felt so scared and isolated. So, the next day, I put our son in the little stroller and wandered a little further.
Needless to say, the next day after that we went even further and found the most amazing book store, clothes shops, a vans shoes shop (dig vans) and a mini outside playground in a mall. One that I could frequent as a potential place to meet other
Mums Moms - or so I thought at the time, until my darling 3 and a half year old found the power outlets and cables around the edges of it more interesting than the actual playground. Yes they were covered, the cap on the end of the hose was also in a covered drain. But my boy, you see, is very fast and knows that if there is a plastic cover, then there's probably something really interesting underneath it. Oh my.
We left quickly after that and found a pet store. Lots of cute puppies to look at and there was even one white boxer puppy out that we could play with.
We went to church last Sunday, but that was when we still had a rental car. I didn't manage to talk to anyone. It was big (and awesome) and we got a little lost amongst everyone. But, now that we don't have a car, church is out of the question. It would take about 2.5 hours to walk there versus a 15-20 minute drive.
Not having a car is limiting, but not having a car also means that I'm going to get to know this neighborhood really well and I might just get a little bit of fitness into my system. Now, I can't complain about that.
While my husband was at work last week, our boy and I managed to go to a couple of playgrounds (many times), we've had a swim in the pool, and dipped in the hot tub (we had the whole pool to ourselves), I've been to the local craft store, I've made my first purchases with American money, we've learned that our boy does not like automatic flushing toilets (too loud), and that you always always need to have your sunglasses and/or your sun hat.
You'll be proud of me: I can now sit on a playground bench without too much fear of being eaten alive by a spider. Because it could potentially happen, right?