Bit # 1 So, last week’s field trip was to Discovery Place, the kid’s discovery and science museum in Charlotte. When you walk in, one of the first areas you reach is a little play place complete with a toddler area, water table, Legos Wall, etc. It’s pretty thrilling (and overwhelming). We walked in and immediately moved into the toddler area where one corner was made up of a padded floor with a little twelve inch padded barrier around it. Happy quickly honed in on this location being the perfect place for dive bombing. What is dive bombing? Well, it is where an almost 2 year old boy throws himself, for no apparent reason other than the comic thrill of it, to the floor with all the force he can muster. So the padded floor was a plus for the landing. But an even bigger plus, the twelve inch wall that would allow him to dive bomb even more dramatically. As soon as Happy hits the floor in the dive bombing venture, he is cracking up. It unnerves me to have Happy do this, but, seriosuly, he only does it on carpeted or padded surfaces and so has met no ill fate with it and, hence, there is no stopping him. I could try to stop him but I assure you that not one of us will recover anytime soon from the hysterical shrieking that takes place with said attempt. So, if he’s near no one else and doing it on a safe surface, I do not try to stop him. Really, that’s a favor to everyone involved.
Soon, a cute little mom with her cute little pearl-necklace-wearing 16-month-oldish daughter came into the space and she sat her daughter down on the opposite side of the padded area. Happy was still nowhere near them so I let him continue to do his thing. The little girl sat in the corner with her little starfish hands clasped in her lap. She sweetly looked around, surveying the scene, not moving, not making a peep. I looked at my friend, “I would pay cash money for that to be my life for just five minutes.”
And then Happy divebombed. That sweet little girl with the pearls didn’t even flinch. Her mom, however, audibly gasped. He divebombed again. Again, she gasped. Back and forth they went, the divebomb, the gasp, the divebomb, the gasp. I do not think that mom would pay cash money for that to be her life for five minutes.
Bit #2 When I go work out, Happy goes to the childwatch program at the gym. Last week, I picked Happy up after my workout and the woman said, “I told someone this morning that he’s either going to be a doctor because he examines everything so carefully or the Wal-Mart greeter because he says hello to every kid that walks in here and gets their name right.” Happy is funny that way. He says Hello and Goodbye to every person and every thing, repeatedly, even the garage when we’re pulling out of it. “Bye bye garage,” he’ll chant from the backseat. And when we leave the gym, he hollers to the women at the front desk, “bye bye, ladies.” I told BF the story and so he asked Happy if he wanted to be a doctor or the Wal-Mart greeter at breakfast the next day. “Wah-maht greetuh,” Happy told him and waved both arms dramatically in the air.
Bit # 3 So, the comedy of errors that is our parenting has a new chapter. It was BF’s night to cook the other night (BF’s night to cook means that we are predominantly using the grill for dinner because I generally do not want to be responsible for anything that I can tragically malfunction). He’d been home for a bit before making any moves for the kitchen and so I said, “Hey, ya wanna get started with dinner?” “Where are we eating?” He asked and when he’s like that, it’s better to just not fight it. So we decided on a place that serves a fast-Meditterean inspired menu and BF headed out the door with Happy, hollering over this shoulder, “Get his shoes, would ya?” You betcha.
Driving down the road, Happy started coughing (he doesn’t have a cold or anything, maybe some milk down the wrong windpipe) and, sure enough, because the kid has the easiest gag reflex, he hurled. Frankly, you can pretty much guarantee that if Happy coughs three times in quick succession, there will be hurling (yes, that was the other half of our infancy double whammy– chronic sleeplessness and dramatic hurling. Jealous, aren’t you?). So, I crawled in the backseat and started sponging the kid down. When we got to the restaurant, I reached in the trunk to get BF’s diaper bag to grab whatever back-up oufit I had packed in there at some point. And the back-up outfit was… aged 12-18 months and suited for December. But we were at the restaurant and after cleaning up after Happy, neither of us was in the mood to cook so we pulled the sweatshirt and bluejeans on Hap. Those blue jeans came to just below Happy’s knees. I was just beginning to laugh at the whole ridiciulousness of the situation when BF asked for Happy’s shoes which could be found back at home where I left them. While BF pulled Happy out of his car seat and walked into the restaurant, I laid back and just laughed until the tears came because, seriously, what the heck else are you going to do?
The icing on top? Though we are two towns away from where we live and have never seen anyone we know is this restaurant, BF sees a couple he worked with the week before we left to get Happy. “Oh, there’s that beautiful boy we heard so much about,” the wife calls before moving over to us to meet the wretched-smelling little boy in the ill-fitting and seasonally inappropriate clothing.