Walker took us to an Easter party today at the zoo. He had his first (and second) time in a bouncy house and met the Easter Bunny, and oh yes, he got his face painted. I’ve been a member of the Golden Gate Mother’s Group for the last three years and I’ve never been able to RSVP fast enough to any of their events but I somehow lucked out this time. When we arrived, we were a bit apprehensive. As we entered the field, we had to navigate through hundreds of strollers and music was blaring a variety of tunes ranging from Leo Sayer’s 70’s hit “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” to “Old MacDonald.” Walker decided to have a snack alone by the bubble machine and then peel off from the crowd to play on the playground. We skipped the Easter egg hunt given there were hundreds of people looking to pick up a few eggs in a small area so instead, we took the opportunity to try out the bouncy house. Walker was in heaven.
As people started to dissipate, we snuck in the face painting line and spent more time in a less-crowded bouncy house. Walker got some little bubbles and a bunny cookie from the Easter Bunny and the organizers encouraged us to take a bunch of bananas on our way out. After a well-earned nap, we made cupcakes for Passover.
All in all, a very productive day.
Last weekend we took Walker to a playground we recently discovered. It’s huge and even has a play pirate ship. As we drove up, I saw his little friend Violette running around by the slides. For long-time readers, you may recall that Violette is competing with Madeline for Walker’s affections so when she saw him come through the gate, her face lit up. I could tell she was thrilled she got him all to herself. They immediately started chasing each other and after getting tired of the slide — which took at least twenty trips down — they decided to play on the swings. Violette doesn’t stay in one place for long so she sat in the kid swing for 30 seconds and then ran over to the big kid swing where she promptly jumped on and swung draped over the swing by her tummy. She had her hands out like an airplane and Walker thought that looked like fun. He ran over to try it and, well, didn’t have proper training so instantly did a nose dive into the ground. Seeing what was happening, I grabbed his leg, flipped him over, and brought him to a sitting position on my leg. It all happened so quickly that I only vaguely remember his scared little face, his head and neck hitting at a funny angle and blood spurting out his nose as soon as he righted himself. I calmly wiped away all the blood with my hand as Larry ran for my bag. Moments later, Walker was all cleaned up and running to the pirate ship with Violette. I stayed behind to try to clean up the blood from my person and clothes. Walker had a wonderful time and the picture above was taken after The Incident so you can see, he was none the worse for wear. That’s more than I can say because around 9:30 that night, I started feeling like I was going to throw up and realized I was experiencing some sort of post-traumatic stress. My wonderful husband talked me off the ledge and I guess that’s all part of being a mom. I wonder how I’ll feel the first time he gets a soccer ball in the face.
Today we also implemented a Potty Incentive Program. While our little guy has been out of diapers since August, in the last two weeks, he’s started peeing in his pants more frequently and has even had a few “other” accidents. I know it’s all part of a phase but for some reason, I’m finding it more difficult to deal with. So, always attempting to problem solve, Walker and I sat down this morning and made a chart for bunch of stickers that Daddy made. When he goes in the potty he gets a YAY sticker and when he has an accident he gets an OOPS sticker. All the books suggest stickers are good incentives and there are even books that give you all these things for potty training. But we made our own and he seems to be really happy about it. After the OOPS he had this morning which drove me to begin the Potty Incentive Program, he only got YAY stickers so I’m cautiously optimistic.
I was going to save this for another post but given the boys are asleep, I’ll take a moment to tell you about our wonderful trip to Florida. My grandmother and uncle have birthdays in March and we all went to Florida to celebrate. As Gigi sold her apartment, we all stayed at the Embassy Suites which was actually wonderful for Walker as we could walk out our door and swim in the big pool, sit in the “hot pool” (Walker preferred the hot tub), or walk across a small road to sit on the beach. Each morning we went down and enjoyed the breakfast buffet, had our requisite hot dog and french fries at the restaurant for lunch, and partook of the nightly happy hour which had drinks for Mommy and Daddy and Virgin Daiquiris for Walker. Twice we took our drinks out to the beach to enjoy twilight at the ocean before heading off to dinner.
We ate dinner at a restaurant each night and Walker was a super star. The first night all nine of us (my uncle’s college age kids, Jory and Jessica and my Cousin Barb also were in Florida) went to an Italian restaurant with Gigi’s close friends. Walker was so excited that he ran around the entire time and Larry and I had to do a lot to entertain him. At one point I think I was doing Walker curls because I ran out of things to do in a confined space and figured I might as well get a work out in as well. I was exhausted and stressed after dinner and thought there was going to be no way we were going to make it through a week of meals like that. Luckily, Walker got into the groove and I remembered to bring his mini-DVD player (he calls it his DVTV) so the rest of the meals were uneventful and actually rather relaxing.
We got Walker a bunch of beach and pool toys and each morning, Aunt Justina awoke at 7:30 and reserved a bunch of pool chairs under an umbrella for us. It was fantastic to have a comfortable base of operations established since it was difficult enough maneuvering the troops and equipment from breakfast to the room to the pool. We’d play in the water and sand from about 10:30 to 12:30 and then we’d order our lunch and eat it upstairs in the room. While Walker stayed on Pacific time, he continued to nap mid-day so he was up again between 4 and 5, just in time for Happy Hour and a nice romp on the beach. The Man-O-War were washing up on the beach so I was able to show them to Walker and he successfully avoided them but it did reduce the time we would have spent at the beach and in the waves. There were two icky days but one day we went to Jupiter Florida to visit Cousin Tom and Jody and they took us to a great turtle research center and the other day, we found a wonderful children’s museum so we were able to keep busy. We also found a local playground where Walker met some friends.
We brought home not only a tan but also a more permanent memento — Walker started saying a naughty word on the trip. I own up to the fact that it was my influence and thankfully, the word isn’t one of the more offensive but it still is a bit unseemly for a 2 year old… Let me explain. When I’m surprised or shocked or find something absurd, I’ll often utter “Jesus” a bit under my breath. And, I may have done just that when parking our car. You see, the hotel has valet parking but being a family on the go, we like to park our own car. We were warned that upon entering the parking garage, there is quite a large speed bump. But no amount of warning could prepare us for the mountain we encountered. If you drive over it too quickly, you feel your car will fall apart. If you go too slowly, you can’t make it over the bump. So, the first time we hit the bump, I was shocked and surprised by the absurd bump and must have muttered, “Jeeeee-sus”. The next time we went to park the car, Daddy and Cousin Barb were in the car. We hit the bump and walker exclaims, “JESUS!” We all bust out laughing and think it’s the cutest thing because, well, he got it right. But from that point on, it was all over. Walker thought he was hysterical and even when we were driving other places, he’d declare “Bump…. JESUS!” Toward the end of the trip, I realized we needed to find a way for this not to continue once we got to California because while we thought it was funny and harmless, I know I was going to be very unhappy if Sofiya informed me that he was teaching it to other kids. We took measures to ensure the context of the comment was only for use in the car with Mommy and Daddy. I’m happy to report that the usage frequency has significantly declined and even Walker will say that “Jesus” is only a car word. Dodged a bullet on that one.