I left my house today. It was amazing. I had no choice in the matter, mind you . . . I was dragged through the front door, kicking and squirming, by General Chase.
He woke up with an agenda, you see. I was all lazy on the couch this morning doing my "I'm lazy on the couch" morning routine and asked him to bring me a diaper so I could change his Morning Soaky. (You mean you don't have a name for this?) Do you see what kind of life he has to endure? And here I am shamelessly admitting to the depth of my apathy. On any normal day, he sighs, looks at me pathetically, and trudges back with a fresh diaper and the wipes. I firmly believe in "The Pitifully Lazy Method" of instilling independence in my offspring.
Well TODAY was different. TODAY he took my hand and pulled on my arm as if to guide me to his room. TODAY he said, "come here, woman. Do you see this shirt? Do you see these jammy bottoms? You are going to get me DRESSED today. We are going OUT today. In the CAR, even. I'm not HAVING this 'lounge around the house' business any longer. I can't take it anymore. You're going to wipe my butt and put shoes on my feet and take me OUT or I'm going to make your life a living hell today."
He might or might not have used those exact words. But he made it PERFECTLY clear that he was not going to accept anything less than getting out of this house - and he meant business. Shoes = business, in Chaseton.
And so . . . we went out. We grabbed the pastel pink book bag and shipped off to the library.
I've always held a special place in my soul for libraries. The books. The peace. The books. The freakishly nice people. The BOOKS! We arrived during a "drop-in" storytime, so we gave it a whirl. My stomach tied in knots, remembering my experiences with Scout and storytime. Scout and storytime did not get along very well. Scout was one of "those" kids. You know the ones. The climbing, spinning, chanting, interrupting, questioning, jitterbugging around the perimeter of the room ones. No. "The storytime experiment" didn't last long with Scout. So when Chase quietly sat in my lap the ENTIRE time, gobbling up the stories and then quietly asking for more, I almost fell out of my . . . well, I wasn't IN a chair, but if I was, I would have fallen out of it, let me tell you! As soon as it was over, I scooped him up and charged over to the children's help desk and slapped our names on the list for next month's "real" storytime session. I skillfully suppressed my squee. Okay, so maybe I didn't.
If he jumps and spins and chants and interrupts during those sessions, I'll have no choice but to cry into the pastel pink book bag.
Our Thursday mornings signed away for the upcoming month, we verrrrrry carefully selected a few books (apparently this is not a decision to make lightly) checked them out, and headed over to the park. He exploded out of the car and bounded over to the playground equipment shouting an endless stream of "PLAYPLAYPLAYPLAYPLAY." Sometimes I feel like I might as well have "we don't get out much" stamped all over. He climbed, slid, swung, bounced, and ran himself silly.
At one point, he seemed to pause and reflect. Was he dreaming of the future? Was he pondering the present? Was he solving the economic crisis in America?
Or was he just hungry?
He fiiinally had his fill of fun and cooperatively held my hand as we left to go home. Wait, that was how our FRIENDS left. CHASE screamed and kicked and tried to hit me in the face as I held him like a football in one arm and dragged our bag with the other across the field to the parking lot. Good times. The magic of the written word came to my rescue. As soon as he saw the verrry carefully selected library books, he calmed down instantly. I'm beginning to think that all toddlers and preschoolers are just a little bit bipolar.
So he perused the books as we headed home, where he settled down for a long springtime nap. But only after he insisted that I put clean socks on his feet, naturally. Wouldn't any 3 year old boy?