Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Toddlers anthropomorphize everything.

Editor's Note:  This post was written on Saturday, detailing events of that day.  It was originally scheduled to be posted yesterday, but unforeseen events delayed its posting until today.

Went with my hubby, son, and my dad (my son's "Papa") out to dinner tonight.  There's a place near our neighborhood that's like a slightly more family-friendly, large sports bar.  (If you've ever been to Playmakers, picture that, but with better lighting and high chairs.)

Now, my son, by virtue of being 23 months old, is sometimes difficult to take to restaurants.  This was made worse by a ridiculous wait time.  (I know restaurants are busy on Saturday nights.  I only call it ridiculous because of the larger parties that were sat before us...at a place that supposedly doesn't take call-ahead seating.)

But, all throughout the wait, my son was very sweet, and in a great mood.  Then we got to our table and got settled in.

And I do mean "settled in".  Our waitress was really, really bad.  On the rare occasions when we saw her, she was very friendly.  Too friendly.  As in, "Hey lady, if you stopped rambling about your nephew, you could have my kid's milk here by now."  We went for a long stretch without drinks, and by the time she finally came back, we just ordered everything, appetizers, entrees, next round of drinks, at once, to cut down on our wait time.

Then, my son saw the balloon.  The poor, sad, lone yellow balloon, floating up at the ceiling near our table.  He started crying and stretching his hands out towards it.  "Bloon!  Bloon!"

A few hours later, when our waitress got lost and accidentally found herself at our table, I asked if he could have a balloon.  Hating to be rude, but hating to hear my kid whine even more, I cut off her story about her nephew's balloon with, "If it's not too much trouble, can you get him one right away?  He's really upset about the one floating over us."

In what was, for her, relatively quick time, she brought the balloon.  Not wanting him to be even more upset by another lost balloon, I tied it to the side of his highchair.  He immediately started crying and trying to pull it off, pointing to the other balloon.

"Do you think he wants to hold it?" my husband asked.

I got the balloon off the highchair and handed it to my son, giving my husband the end of the string to hold onto so it wouldn't fly away.

My son immediately started trying to release the balloon, pulling it upward.  "I think he wants the ceiling balloon to have a friend," I said.

My husband and dad agreed with each other that this was a terrible idea, that there was no way of getting the balloon back if he let it go.  We tried to stress this idea to my son, who was insistent on releasing the balloon.  Finally I convinced them with the point that he couldn't get any more upset than he already was.

My husband let go of the string, and the second the balloon was in his power, my son released it up to the ceiling.  It bobbed and came to rest next to the other one.

"Bye bloons!" my son called cheerily, and went back to coloring his kids' menu.

My sweet, sensitive, strange little boy just wanted the ceiling balloon to have a friend.

Oh, and he spilled a drink across the table, causing my dad to leap out of his seat, get his foot stuck in his chair, and give the best impersonation of Neo dodging bullets ever seen outside of "The Matrix".  I can't describe it well enough to do it justice, but there was a span of about 20 seconds where he seemed to be in imminent danger of falling, and didn't.  It was like watching limbo in slow-motion, but with windmilling arms.  I laughed until my ribs hurt and even the people at the next table over, the people he was about to fall on, were dying laughing.  His one regret later?

"I never get to see this stuff because I'm always the one it happens to.  I'd like to have seen something like that."

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