We hit up Achievement House Friday, which is one of those places with silly prices for books and 'boutique' prices for most other stuff. I still stop in every once in a while- Fuss likes their kids alcove, and the prices keep most of the other book scroungers away so I find occasional gems. This trip it was a small pile of books on Bridge, illuminating one of the maxims of the biz, "good books travel in packs". Normally bridge books are resale poison, but if you see a group some are bound to be interesting. Basically, if you get enough of anything on a single topic together chances are a couple of them will be excellent- the reader who assembled the group will have an in-depth knowledge of the topic, whatever it is, which means their judgment trumps your own.
While I sussed the books Fuss dug through their toy bins, another fairly recent developmental advancement. He's big enough now that I can wander fifteen feet away out of line of sight without having to worry he'll hurt himself, destroy something or just vanish. If he needs me he's comfortable yelling out "DADA!", and I'm fairly confident he'll still be there when I check back in.
He picked out a little toy bowling set, missing a few pins and overpriced at $3, but it included an aftermarket baggy of steel bearing 'bowling balls' that were the *perfect* size for Mousie Game Mousetrap. As losing metal balls is the main fear every time we break it out, I figured it'd make a good insurance policy. I got my bridge books and a few others.
Then it was across the street to the grubby park by the bus stop that Fuss has an inexplicable affection for but which keeps me nervous, being the congregating point for every sketchball character in the city. Happily on this outing the derelicts stuck to the periphery & the only other occupant of the play structure was an adorable little girl named Kara.
Apparently she'd also paid a visit to Achievement House, as she was wearing a plastic fireman's hat with one of their price tags on it- .75 for a hat they give away at the fire station, another example of weird asymmetric thrift store pricing.
Fuss, unique little boy that he is, is already far more adept at social interaction than his dada. They ran around together playing something inexplicable to adults until it was time for her mom to catch the bus. The I stepped in and we shot alligators in the bark pit with different colored bullets for a while- the brown ones made them fart, the rainbow colored ones went underwater and made a giant explosion, which would splash all over Fuss and then he had to go down the 'Shower Slide' to get clean. The blue bullets just killed the alligators without any complications.
Eventually, as happens nearly every time you spend more than an hour at the bus stop park or the park by the library in Los Osos, that one homeless lady with her trailing posse of small children showed up. The little boy with the tangled blond afro started pulling branches off the pine trees by the basketball court and I packed up Fuss before the gal could buttonhole me with one of her crazy monologues.
We went home and played the bowling game until bath time- even if he never busts it out again I call that three dollars well spent.