We took Robbie from one shore to the other on Saturday. No, we didn’t travel to California. We went from the South Shore to the North Shore. I think it’s an event best described in pictures…
We walked the mile loop, and the dogs swam. Then we found the hill… The dogs took off up the incline, with Robbie quickly following. He managed to make it up with minimal help from Uncle CaCa (Micah). He held Micah’s hand for a few minutes when it got rough, but he really wanted to do it on his own.
There was a big hill, and Robbie had a blast running up and down it.
And Justin tried to show him how to role down the hill.
It wasn’t very successful. Robbie had more fun going down the hill with Aunt Allie.
And climbing back up again.
When Robbie needed a break for some water, he felt like he needed a space. Rob took off down the hill and across a field to find a place to sit and have a little peace and quiet.
After the dog park in Hingham, it was off to New Hampshire for a little lobster at Markey’s and ice cream at Dunlap’s. Robbie liked the experience so much that he wanted to be a part of the ice cream.
And, yes. There was more. We headed to Joe’s Playland for a little arcade fun. Now, Robbie’s been there three times, and he knows how this works. He puts the quarter in, presses the buttons, and collects the tickets. And he gets the adults in his life to pour all their money into the machines to win him a new Cookie Monster and an Elmo. And then he falls asleep in the car, only to have his terrible mother making him take a bath at 11:00 at night.
Yeah. It was a full day.
Justin, Robbie, and I were on our way out of the store with groceries for tonight’s dinner when we saw the flier reminding us of the Greek festival going on down the street. We debated in the parking lot for a few minutes before Justin ran the groceries inside and we piled in the car for a little Greek food. After all, nothing like a little lamb, feta cheese, and baklava the night before a Jenny Craig weigh-in.
The line was outside the tent and down the sidewalk. We waited well over half an hour to get to the front of the line, with a very special young man in line behind us. He started crouching down next to Robbie about fifty yards outside of the tent. He continued next to us most of the way through the line. At one point, I had to ask him three time not to hand my child a piece of trash he found on the floor. Three times! He had the nerve to tell me it was OK, as long as Robbie didn’t put the piece of plastic in his mouth. Oy!
About three bites into dinner, Rob got moved by the music. He hoped down from his chair and started to boogie in the middle of a very busy aisle. Barefoot. You know, ’cause that’s the kind of classy we are. He made his way to the dance floor and clapped and twirled all over the tent-covered parking lot. I would have given anything to have had my camera. He moved with such abandon, not caring about anything but the music. And the girls. He loved the girls on the dance floor.
You know, every now and then being an adult is so much better than being a kid. Like tonight. I loved getting to decide last-minute what to do with my family. Or, occasionally, to have ice cream instead of a real dinner. It kind of takes the boring out of the monotony that life can sometimes bring.
Remember how I told you about the girl from daycare whose father pulled her out? Yeah. More has come to light on that. It turns out, the father didn’t actually see Robbie do anything to his daughter. He saw Rob pull another girls hair and push her, which is, in my opinion, much less egregious. It’s nowhere near as terrible as a face clawing.
One of Zhining’s policies is that she only gives a deposit back if she is given two weeks notice. This girl’s parents pulled her out in one day, so they do not get their deposit back, which did not sit well with the father. Apparently, he sent Zhining an email saying that he pulled his daughter for her own safety because my son was so dangerous that he shouldn’t be in daycare.
Now, my response to this is somewhat mixed. I don’t think my son is malicious. Or dangerous. I do, however, think he is a 22-month-old acting out in pretty typical ways. I don’t like those ways, and we’re working on that. What I hate is that we’re going to be “that” family for them. The ones who ruined daycare. The parents who have no control over their child.
Justin was a little more concise in his response: he burst out laughing. It was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard. And I wish that had been my response. I’m thankful that Zhining also feels the entire thing is stupid and that the problem lies with the parent and not Robbie. She told me today that she thinks the problems will just continue because the little girl has been enrolled in an unlicensed daycare. Best wishes for that family. I really hope there aren’t any children “too dangerous for daycare” there. Surely no one bites, hits, pulls hair, or shoves in that setting…
Rob loves balloons. And, as a faithful reader of my blog and listener to my stories at lunch, my good friend Elys knows this. So, it only made sense that she would stop and pick up a few balloons for him on her way over for a Tupperware party Wednesday night. Robbie was immediately sold on Elys and ran around for the next half hour with his balloons.
He didn’t let go of them for the next three and a half hours. I put him in bed with his balloons and an episode of Sesame Street on the computer. Really, the goal was just to keep him quiet, even if he didn’t go to sleep. And he didn’t. When I came upstairs three hours later, he was in the same position: standing at the foot of his crib, looking up at Sesame Street, and clutching his single remaining balloon in his right fist. I finally wrangled the balloon string away from Robbie and got him to fall asleep and thought I was home free.
Wrong. So wrong. I woke up at 3:00 in the morning to screaming. Heart-wrenching screams from the room down the hall. I went in, saw the balloon on the floor, and looked at Robbie. He had tears streaming down his face and was pointing at the floor, crying, “Bon bon! Bon bon!” (his new word for balloon, even though he actually knows how to say balloon). I handed it to him on my way to get him some milk, and he just cried harder, limp balloon in hand.
He finally fell asleep, but that wasn’t the end of the bon bon. As soon as we got home Thursday, he ran upstairs to look for it. And that poor balloon followed him around the backyard for the rest of the afternoon.
We finally got our gate fixed a few weeks ago, so Robbie is able to play outside with the cats and dog. Everyone is thrilled to be out of the confines of the condo, especially Robbie. I didn’t realize how much Robbie liked it until we were on our way home from the gym today. From the back seat, I heard a little voice say, “Pay, Mama. Pay.”
Now, a novice mother would have perhaps thought her son was offering cash for all the services she had provided – chef, chauffeur, therapist. However, I am no novice. I knew there was no way my child was at all aware of all I have done for him over the past 22 months and 3 days, much less having any concept of cash.
But, I digress… Being familiar with Robbie’s pronunciation patterns, particularly when he shouts “Pane!” whenever he sees a plane, I figured Robbie actually wanted to play. And I was right. As soon as we got home, Rob ran to the back door, throwing a haphazard wave toward his father. He got to the door, looked at me, and said, “Pay! Pease!” as he tried to open the door. He managed to let me carry him down the stairs, but, once he got to the porch, he was on his own.
He ran around the yard like a manic, racing up and down the stairs and around the table. He threw balls to the dog. He poured an entire Diet Coke into a bowl on his pretend grill and then swept it all over the place. He swept up yard debris. He rearranged chairs. And then he crashed, barely making it through dinner.