Friday, December 6, 2013


Walter and I had a wonderful dateventure yesterday.  It started with picking him up from daycare. This in itself is unusual, because generally Sean does the daycare drop offs and pick ups, or I just get Sally and he gets Walter. Walter is in Room 5, the 2-3 year-old room. When combined with Room 6 (the 3-4 year old room) at the end of the day, it has a real Lord of the Flies kind of vibe.  That's probably a bit of an exaggeration.  The teacher is there and well in control of the situation, but I'm just sayin' ... it's a situation.  It's amazing how big kids' personalities get when they hit 2.

Walter is a bit of a personality himself, of course.  But he was on especially good behavior last night, or maybe he's always this polite at daycare? It was neat to see him interacting with his classmates and his teacher.  He was just finishing his snack when I came in.  He greeted me warmly, showed me his graham cracker crumbs (neatly placed on his napkin) and finished drinking his milk (regular cup, not a sippy.) He then got up from the table and cleaned and cleared his space.  After throwing away his trash he went over to the sink to wash his hands.  There was an older girl there kind of playing in the sink and he very politely said, "Excuse me, please." After she moved away he turned on the water, got soap from the dispenser, washed his hands, got a towel, dried his hands, and then threw the towel away.  He did all of this by himself, with no one telling him what to do. Impressive!

His teacher asked if I wanted her to change his diaper; definitely, yes. She took him to the bathroom (it has stalls! And kid sized toilets!) and he peed in the potty, standing up.  After washing his hands again I helped him with his coat, and just when I thought I couldn't get any more proud, he called out to his teacher, "Bye bye!  Thank you for the crackers!"

We went out into the cold, clear night (it was 5 pm.  But winter is here, and it is ridiculously dark all the time.) Walter likes to spot the moon, and I showed him Venus, nice and bright in the sky. I told him to look for it while we were driving, which meant he spent most of the 30 minute drive to Waupaca asking me where the moon was (it was behind us.) I was a little nervous about driving in the dark with all the deer and ice and whatnot, but we made it to Culver's just fine.

Walter associates Culver's very strongly with the word "date." I think he might think a date is a trip to Culver's, actually.  This started when I was pregnant and an outing to get some custard was often my answer to good mom-son time.  No custard this time, but he did get a chocolate milk, chicken tenders, and fries. I didn't get fries with my fish sandwich, so he shared his fries with me ... dipping each one in ketchup before giving it to me.  I gave him a two minute warning when it was time for us to start getting ready to go; he thought about resisting (I can pretty much see his thoughts, especially when he's thinking about doing something two-ish) but then changed his mind and asked me to set a two-minute timer on my watch instead.  He prefers that his transitions happen with beeps.

We got to the church just as the concert was starting.  It was a Christmas concert for a band that our friend E. plays drums in.  Our friend J. was handing out programs, and our friend D. had saved us the perfect seats: in the back, where Walter could stand on a chair and easily move in and out of the sanctuary.  For the first 30 minutes of the concert, though, he just snuggled in my lap, listening to the music.  I thought he might fall asleep (the concert started at 6:30, so it was a definite possibility.)

When the banjo came out, though, he sat up and took notice.  He stood on the chair to see and did some squirming around.  I took him out to to the narthex to get some water and exercise. We spent a good bit of time looking at their big nativity scene and talking about the different people in the scene (he likes calling baby Jesus "angel" ... I think he's conflating Jesus with a winged garden cherub that sits outside one of our neighbor's houses.) He watched with interest as the church's kids choir lined up and got ready to join the band for the last two numbers.  He did some great dancing, including a move that looked a lot like yoga and which, I found out during a conversation with Walter on the ride home, was, in fact, yoga (evidently one of his teachers is teaching the kids yoga ... this, my friends, is how you deal with an island full of wild two-year-olds.)

He waited very patiently until the last note was sung to pick out a cookie.  I got him some punch, too, and he was delighted to find it carbonated.  "That's soda, Mama!" We chatted with some friends, finished our cookies and soda punch, and headed back out into the cold, dark night.  No deer were harmed in the making of this dateventure, but boy oh boy did I white knuckle it all the way home.

When we got home it was quite late (9 pm) but Walter was hungry so he ate his leftover Culvers chicken and fries while I got reacquainted with Sally.  As he and Sean headed toward his room to start his bedtime ritual, I gave Walter a kiss and said, "Thank you for a great date."  "Thank you, Mama," he said. "Thank you for the chocolate milk.  Thank you for church.  Thank you for dancing.  Thank you for the cookie.  Thank you for soda!"  Just like that.  Putting aside my child's deep and abiding love of sugar and junk food, you gotta admit, that's pretty sweet.

It was an awesome dateventure.  And everything went really, really well.  But even if it hadn't, it would have been Mama/Walter time, just the two of us.  And we both need that; it's clear we do.  Tonight Walter asked me to play with him after dinner, and I can tell he's starting to see me as more available to him again.  He's seen and touched my "owie" (the gallbladder incision that's finally healed) and is satisfied that I'm OK.  And it's true.

I'm looking forward to the next dateventure, wherever it may lead.

1 comment:

3d8th said...

So wonderful! I am glad you are healing and I know Walter is loving the mama time.