friday, i thought we were going to have adult time. and by "adult time", i mean that we were planning to go to sol's for mar's 40th bday celebration after dropping oliver off at kidztime next door. little did we know, even after dropping him off there two times prior, that a reservation is required. we were booted. we didn't have his booster seat or any toys and were equipped only with some cereal and his drink. oh god.
we were the first ones in the restaurant. after being seated, it didn't take long for oliver to grab a chip, reach across the table, stick it in the salsa, and then in his mouth. i saw him at the last second and held my breath remembering he had been fine eating spicy chili earlier in the week.
after a couple of seconds displaying his well-would-you-look-what-i've-done face, it began to turn sour. then came the hot torrent of tears. considering he was on tenuous ground to begin with, this did not prove promising. i couldn't get him to take a drink, so i stuck a couple of pieces of cereal in his mouth. he eventually calmed down and then decided he wanted to sip ice water through my straw. i guess we don't really give him cold, cold drinks because he sucked the water up, then let the entire mouthful back out all over the both of us, and started crying again.
we took turns walking him outside and running up and down the sidewalk in front of kidztime. early on, we decided to order our food to go and settled in with drinks to wait. since people were trickling in slowly, it was ages before they even took our order. then it was another age to get our food. two hours in all. it was bedtime by the time we left. at the end, oliver was sitting quietly in annette's lap, not sticking his fingers in the sour cream plate three inches from his hands and only eating chips he had instructed annette to fetch for him. and a zucchini slice.
i think we watched no country for old men. bleh.
saturday morning, after standing on the uneven parallel bars at the little gym, we drove to tyler. my parents went with us to bergfeld park to let oliver get in some outdoor time. at 3:30, on the way back to their house, it occurred to me for the very first time that i needed to take oliver to the broadway square mall for his scary rabbit photo. i couldn't believe my lapse. i had even just been looking at last year's photo a couple of days before.
we dropped off dad, because he is no fun, and carried on. we arrived at a fortuitous time as there were only two sets of kids ahead of us in line. the photography team was much more respectable looking than last year. same old bunny since i was probably in high school. oliver reacted much as he did in his xmas photo... with very little sense of humor. he put up with our shenanigans.
then we went to drug emporium's "health food" section and i became a kid in a candy store.
dad ran the baby around the yard and deftly kept him from kicking his way into the frigid pool waters. oliver really digs the pool pump and all associated equipment. dad held him up and turned some kind of release valve spigot so that this aerosol of water shot out to the side and oliver went bananas sticking his hands in it and making it spray up into his face. fortunately, he was already topless for this.
then we ate take out from liang's and brian and i did not have the loose stools the following day unlike the last time we were in tyler and ate take out from ming's. we did, however, loose at trivial pursuit.
the following morning was easter. brian acted like he didn't know people go to church on easter morning and he also tried to act like he didn't know he had gone to church on easter morning with my family for the past two years. it was a complete surprise and all my fault for not telling him. after a struggle, he grudgingly got out of bed to watch oliver while i got ready. then he went back to sleep.
the four of us trotted off to our spiritual awakening. the first five minutes, we experienced two musical performances (with drums, even!) and oliver dutifully clapped and said "yea!" in the silence that followed. then, i remembered that churches have nurseries and we were out of there. i watched him for a bit and then walked across the street to this gigantic playground while talking to dave on my cell (who was not in church on account of his being an atheist jew). about halfway past the play structure, i started hearing a male voice. i turned and started walking back the other direction, mildly freaking out as i continued to hear the voice. i could see someone to my right sitting up on a bridge and thought it might be a homicidal homeless man. The Easter Sunday Playground Killer.
i glanced again and saw it was a teenager with ipod ear buds firmly in place, singing god knows what rather loudly. i paced the grounds for a bit before heading back across the street. then i heard him walking behind me, still singing. i told dave to prepare to phone the tyler police on my behalf. then the kid split off and rounded the corner. i would totally rail on his watch-me-freak-out-this-lady behavior if i had never been guilty of sitting on a playground jungle gym with a friend while singing people are people to one another. but, i'm pretty sure we would stop when some hapless soul would stroll by quietly rolling their eyes.
i never went back into the sanctuary. i made pleasantries with other people passing through the buildings and peeked back through the one way mirror on occasion. i passed a father trying to tie a ribbon into a bow in his daughter's hair. i said hello to leigh ann b, my sister's high school friend. i thanked an elderly lady for saying i looked like spring. i watched the lower branches of large trees bounce slowly in the breeze.
when i went to pick up oliver and turn in my pager, he had just sat down in a miniature chair at a miniature table to eat his cereal.
we made it all the way home before i realized how tired i was and how much i needed a latte and how we had driven right by one of the glorious few starbucks in tyler. dad climbed out with oliver and my mother and i zoomed back over there to get our upper of choice. i was even nice and got one for brian, who was still sleeping at 10:30. at least he didn't complain about being tired during our drive back to dallas.
my sister's family and our grandparents came over for easter lunch and i made the mistake of thinking i should wait for everyone to do the easter egg hunt. i use that term loosely. there were no eggs. we didn't even purchase oliver anything for easter. i had loaded up some of his small toys and stuffed animals to toss in the bushes. my parents filled plastic eggs with raisins and marked them with an "O" so the elder children would not grab them. i think my sister added to it as well. i knew there was no way he would get through even a fraction. i was right. he began falling apart quickly after tripping twice in a row on a jute door mat. we calmed him down with bubbles and giant, rubber bugs.
then we went home.
though it appeared to be the toddler version, this was the scariest slide on the playground and possibly on the planet. it was practically a straight drop down, was too wide to hang on to the sides, and i swear i saw one kid fly a good three feet off the end of that thing before landing on the ground.
so, we stuck with the mammoth slides instead. click twice to see Evil Daddy.
who am i kidding. no one is going to click twice. but, you're still going to see Evil "i eat babies for breakfast" Daddy. this vaguely reminds me of the day oliver was born.
assorted park photos.
this was moments after brian commented that the patch of dirt was probably the neighborhood kitty litter box and moments before oliver put what i later hoped was just dirt in his mouth. i've learned you can't really do much to pull dirt back out of someone's mouth. he just crunched and crunched on what was left. brian hung him upside down in the lion's mouth trying to get him to drink, but mostly just washed parts of his hair and face.
oliver's player piano.
we posed for a serious of three awful photographs. this is the least offensive. neither of us look like we usually do. thank god.
newton's fourth law: toddlers are always in motion.
a curious sculpture outside the church.
oliver in the nursery. i felt like i was going to be arrested at any moment for photographing church children through the one way mirror.
return of the easter booty.
here we are. in the backyard. smiling pleasantly. on easter.