On past Veteran’s Days, I’ve taken advantage of our proximity to Washington, D.C. to go to Arlington National Cemetery to hear the President speak. I started doing this because I needed something to do while Mama was working, and later, when she got a job that gave her the day off, we went together. I might not have agreed with the politics of the man, but he was the Commander in Chief and it was Veteran’s Day.
Now that I do agree with more of the politics of the Commander in Chief, however, I also have two kids, who don’t care so much about politics, commanding or standing around in the rain. This means that I spent my morning at Jammin’ Java, rocking out to Rocknoceros’ weekly Wednesday morning concert. Most weeks, 3B is in school during the concert, so this was a special treat for him: Papa had a “stay at home” rather than a “go to work” day, and he got to see his self-proclaimed favorite band. Plus, he took his “best buddy” Eeyore to his first Rockno show.
As he gets older, 3B enjoys the concerts in different ways. The first time we saw Rocknoceros, you’d have thought 3B was hypnotized, watching TV or bored out of his skull. He sat as still as a stone, thumb in mouth, staring at the stage. On the way home, of course, he recounted every detail of the concert and asked to see them again. And again. And again.
Today, 3B was offering up the songs he wanted to hear today before I even asked, off my lap and dancing in the aisles from the downbeat, and rushing the stage for a handstamp before the last notes had stopped reverberating through the hall. It’s so much fun for me to watch him have fun.
After the show, we stopped by the hardware store next door, lured in by the fat honey crisp apples they had up front. We remembered that we needed a few things–when don’t you need a few things at a hardware store?–and wandered the aisles for awhile, taking time to heft a 36″ pipe wrench and give a skritch to the store dog, Rocky. I decided to push my luck and head to Babies R Us because we need a new window shade, more sippy cup valves and nipples–when don’t you need more nipples?
We managed to make it out with our sanity, even getting through a ride on Bob the M’erF’in Builder’s tractor in the entryway.
While we’re on the topic of shit that drives parents crazy, let’s talk about those m’erf’in rides in front of stores. I know they used to have the same effect on Mom, and I’m sure that I never got to ride on one. Then again, she had six kids in tow, so giving everyone a ride would have pretty much taken all week. Mama and I take the same approach, although this means that we have to go in through the BRU exit to avoid Bob the M’erF’in Builder and his tantrum-inspiring tractor. 3B, who is too damn smart for his own good, however, has figured us out and as soon as we turned into the BRU parking lot–before we could even see the store, mind you–he was yelling from the back seat, “I want to ride on Bob! I want to ride on Bob!”
It was all I could do not to get all Ed Abbey on him and threaten to blow Bob and his habitat destroyer to bits.
On the way in, I could see that there was a kid on BTMFB, so we went through the entrance. For the 30 minutes we were in the store, 3B accepted that the kid was on BTMFB, so we were cool. On the way out, however, I let him run over and climb on. Why? Because if he doesn’t ride, he melts down, and if he does sit on it–we never put money in–he melts down when we make him get off.
Clearly, whoever puts these things in front of stores doesn’t give a damn about parents.
So, today I did what any good, compassionate parent would do. After lounging in one of the wheelchairs that are parked beside BTMFB for awhile, I announced to 3B that I was headed home and walked out to the car. I’m not sure how we’ll ever get 3B to leave places when this trick stops working, but today it was a charmer and we made it home just in time for a nap, which 3B actually took today.
His naps are becoming more rare. Gone is the daily three-hour snooze, during which Mama could work, sleep, or fruit around on Facebook. Now, he takes two or three naps every week, usually going several days between them. We compensate by putting him down earlier, but he still does become a bit of a beast in the evenings on no-nap days.
His sister is following her brother’s lead, staying awake longer during the day. Today, after waking up at about seven–sleeping in for her–she didn’t take a nap until 2 p.m. Yikes, little girl. That’s impressive, but you do need your rest. Then again, it’s not like she’s not growing and developing, plus she’s kindly making up for it tonight by sleeping like a lamb. These days, when she’s awake she loves being read to, sitting in her Pooh bouncy seat, or chillin’ in someone’s arms. She’s also prone to tell us what she thinks about a variety of topics and will gladly smile or laugh with almost anyone about almost anything, when she’s in the mood.
And it’s not just me who has so much fun watching her have fun–our little jewel has captured everyone’s heart; all of us love reading to her, watching her and holding her.