A common phenomenon in Korean schools is Sports Day. Today we had rehearsal for it all morning, from 8:30 until after 12:30. Saturday the actual spectacle will be from 9:30 until at least 3:30, with a lunch break, plus clean up time, plus time at a buffet with free food and beer.
If it weren't a Saturday, I would totally be down with it. Unfortunately, on that Saturday Horyon's mother will be out of town, so the kids will be staying with just her father. He has had a couple of surgeries in the last few months, and is supposed to be taking it easy, so we were kind of concerned: Maxine is not much trouble, but Quinten will run away from you while outside, play rough inside, and get into stuff he should avoid wherever he is. (Maxine never put stuff in her mouth that wasn't food. Quinten is just now sort of figuring out that he's not supposed to, which means he does it when you're not looking.)
Fortunately, we've found a solution: Charlie Brown's Cafe!
I believe that they have officially gotten permission from Charles Schultz's estate to use the Peanuts characters. Unusual for Korea. They have pictures on the walls, merchandise, and some statues of Snoopy, Linus, Charlie and a few others. But that's not why we like to go. They have good food, though it's a bit pricey ($10-$15 for most entrees, $5-$6 for coffee drinks, and adults must order food or coffee along with paying $10 per kid). The reason we like C.B.C. is that it is full of toys, and has only one entrance, and attendants who play with the kids. They have a bunch of fake food in the little pretend grocery store area, lots of toy cars that you can scoot around in (if you are a child that is, they are a bit too small for me). They have a little golf area, and a padded area with big foam blocks. They have a table with wooden blocks, blocky "paper" dolls with magnetic clothing. They have one of those giant gerbil cages like you see at McDonald's with a ball chamber in the middle and a train track that goes around it and they run the train every hour on the hour and the kids go nuts over it.
When we go we spend about $50 for three hours, which is a lot on our budget, but we get lunch and we can let the kids run around and play without worrying about them getting hurt or wandering off. If you have kids you probably understand why this is a pretty good deal, especially if you don't have friends with whom you can easily do play dates.
So Horyon's father will take the kids to Charlie Brown's Cafe, and by the time he brings them to his home it will be Quinten's nap time. Maxine can color, watch t.v./video, or play with one of the hundreds of toys or books at their home.
Horyon will go there as soon as she can. I, however, will join my coworkers for food and beverages provided by the school after biking home for a shower.