11:40 Getting ready to go. My sister told my nephew that if he keeps eating cheese he’ll turn into it. She’s a doctor, so this is indisputably true.
12:06 Stopped at Dunkin on the way because Hank really wanted me to have an iced coffee (Hank is two).
12:13 Toddlers get pretty offended when you offer them the wrong kind of munchkin.
12:17 Hank is blowing kisses. I send one back. “Actually, that was for Nana,” he says. Fine. Who told you you can start saying “actually,” anyway?
12:20 The parking lot looks like some kind of minivan aficionado convention. Good afternoon, suburbanites!
12:25 Hank keeps taking off his socks and boots in his car seat. I put them on him for the third time, and explain that we’d already be inside if he’d kept them on. And Hank’s all, that means nothing because I have no concept of time yet.
I started the day with french toast made with leftover eggnog, and lots of coffee. I am already thinking that empty stomach and depressants may have been the better bet.
12:28 Last time I was here someone called my nephew my “son.” This always makes me real defensive, like “it’s not like that, he’s just my friend!”
12:30 Max, age 2, is asleep already.
12:34 Hank flips out when we have to choose between going through the path that goes through the superhero exhibit and the one that goes by Reading Adventureland. It’s all very Robert Frost, except instead of taking the road less traveled by, I take the one without the mom yelling that Santa has the power to take toys back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh/ somewhere ages and ages hence
12:38 We are the first people in the Bear Country exhibit. I score a 5 on Sister Bear’s jump rope game. It’s like Just Dance for preschoolers. Hank got a 5 as well. Again, he is two. Embarrassing. But what is jumping rope good for anyway? “Cardiovascular fitness?” Cute.
When I was his age my jump rope was a jump rope.
12:40 Does anyone remember that really bleak Berenstain Bears book where Mama got all uppity and decided to get a job, but Papa Bear and the kids couldn’t handle the idea? Her job was a quilt business, and here are those quilts:
Made with love! And a teensy tiny bit of misogyny.
12:50 Hank is practically asleep, and informs me that he just pooped. What am I supposed to do with this info? And how can he be falling asleep? I gave him some of my iced coffee on the way over. Or I mean… Kids don’t drink coffee.
12:52 We’re at the giant that Hank’s scared of. He stammers “I…I…I..like his belt?” It’s like when someone asks about your friend’s boyfriend who you don’t really care for, so you try to come up with something positive and end up saying something like “well… his sideburns are a pretty good width for his face.”
12:54 Someone buy me this:
I’d probably call it Dollton Abbey and redecorate it every day.
I think you could make your own if you had PVC pipes and paint and were amazing.
12:55 There are four screaming children within a few yards of me. One of them is covered in snot and the snot is all over its mom’s nice coat. Alright, Todd Akin. This is when your body decides it doesn’t want a baby and finds a way of shutting the whole thing down.
12:58 One of the crying kids has a juice box now. I want a juice box. Full of wine.
1:04 Two little girls are holding hands and talking about how to set the breakfast table in the playhouse. Jack, 3, and Hank are making fart noises and talking about poop. I really should call my niece today.
1:10 There are some old puritanical nursery rhymes about how “in Adam’s fall, we sinned all” on display and a sassy hipster mom starts joking with me about it. I like her.
1:14 Something smells like an old lady, and I start looking around for one. Then I realize it’s me. Have any of you used Shimmer Lights shampoo? Then you already know. It makes your hair smell like your name is Gladys and you’re active in the Altar Rosary Society. I promptly turn my French braid ponytail into a French braid bun to get it away from my nose.
1:16 Every boy in this room has a name that ends in -aiden or -son and every girl has a name that ends in -ella or -lynn. There are probably some parents who are really going for it with an Aidanson or Ellalynn.
1:17 A lady is dressed exactly like rich lawyer from a 1994 film. Curled-under pageboy hair, long tailored coat with fur collar, distinctly no-nonsense attitude.
1:20 When the kids leave the beanstalk climbing area, it’s like they’ve been in ‘nam. They don’t want to talk about it and assume that if I haven’t been there, I just don’t know. I remember Discovery Zone being the same way.
You have to take off your shoes to go in, possibly as a sign of respect for the giant.
1:26 There’s a Filipina-looking preschooler with a cute coral smock dress and a side braid (TRACI!).
1:34 I guess if there’s one thing tots like, it’s display cases full of toy steamships from the 19th century.
1:40 The only thing that makes me think that there’s something inherently good and lovable in my soul is that babies I don’t know always smile at me, and kids I don’t know always talk to me. This might just be because they can tell that I’m well versed in Arthur and A.N.T. Farm.
1:45 Jack has one pant leg rolled up. My parents always said that was a secret gang sign when I was a kid, but they probably just wanted to make double-sure that I didn’t walk around looking stupid. And how secret a gang sign could it be if my parents knew about it? They are a lawyer and a principal and not really up on life on the streets. Well. Except for raising their kids in a neighborhood called the Fatal Crescent.
2:07 We’re at the food court and I am happy to see that they carry that fresco menu that Taco Bell pretends is healthy. But I will still end up with heartburn. I also have stubborn grays. So this is what being 26 is like, huh?
2:25 Jack finished two other people’s food after his own. I like to think he learned that one from me.